Monday, September 14, 2009

TV for Preschoolers

So there has recently been a few research studies and websites that show too much television viewing for young children is not developmentally appropriate and can cause excessive aggression:

1. How TV Affects Your Child

2. LimitTV

However, I do believe that there are a few very good quality shows on the air for child viewing, particularly preschool children. These are just 2 of several that my girls and I enjoy. We watch shows exclusively on Treehouse TV (in Canada) and PBSKids.

1.Super Why

I really enjoy this show. It is designed for children ages 3-7, but my daughter (not 3 until October) loves this show. It's an interactive reading problem that has really cute characters.

The Storybrook Village is the home of your child's favorite fairytale characters. Immediately, you'll meet the four best friends who anchor each episode: Red, from Little Red Riding Hood; Pig from The Three Little Pigs, Princess from The Princess and The Pea, and Whyatt, the curious younger brother of Jack from Jack and The Beanstalk who discovers he has the power to fly inside books to find answers to his questions. Each of these characters is re-imagined as an everyday kid, not unlike your child's own friends: Red rides roller blades; Pig drives a trike; Princess loves tea parties and dress-up; and Whyatt is the group's natural leader.

I love how the show teaches children how to solve problems while teaching literary skills. The music is catchy and I do not think that this show is cheesy in anyway. The show teaches letter sounds, recognition, pre-reading and early reading skills. Actually my daugther has learned to recognize five letters already, from simply viewing Super Why. I also like that the program is short...only 30 minutes, which is perfect for the short attention span of many preschoolers, including mine.

Not only is the television program worth it, but the SuperWhy website is amazing. It is full of wonderful games and activities for children to do independently and with adult help. There is also a wonderful section for parents and teachers to get activities and lesson plans to do with individual children or small groups.

2. Sid The Science Kid

If your preschool child is anything like mine, then they love exploring and learning new things, doing messy play and learning about the world around them. Sid The Science Kid is the television program for you. It is designed for children ages 3-7 and explores the world of science in a fun and educational, but not boring way! My daughter loves the music, the characters and the activities they do. In fact we have gone on the website to try out some of the activities they offer. The website for Sid The Science Kid has games, videos and science experiments for all children to explore. Check it out here.

The parent and teacher section for Sid the Science Kid is amazing. It is full of great activities to do with your child. Your child will learn about distance, weight, measurement, the senses, weather, seasons, health, germs, exercise and movement and sound. AMAZING! Though some of the activities were a little old for my 2.5 year old when we started watching....we easily modified the activities and I can't wait to try out more with her as she is now just shy of 3.

Other shows that we will occassionally watch in our home are:

1. Dora The Explorer
2. Blue's Clue's
3. Diego
4. Veggie Tales
5. Sesame Street

I know there are many television shows out there for children, but I prefer ones that teach concepts and new ideas in a fun way. Like I said these are just a few of the great ones out there!

What are shows you enjoying watching with your children and why?


  1. We turned off our cable four, maybe five years ago now. We thought we'd get a couple channels with the antenna, but nope, nothing. So our kids don't ever see TV except when we're at my parents' a few times a year.

    They watch videos and like Dora and Diego, Backyardigans sometimes, some of the older Winnie the Pooh, etc. Gavin's seen both the shows you referred to and really liked them (although they all get so enthralled by the TV they might like anything, lol!)

    I don't know how they'd be if they did watch a bunch of TV (I can never believe how high the average number of hours a day is for kids - like six hours or something?!?), but I know they are very imaginative in their play most days and play pretty creatively. Might just be who they are, or it might be because we're mean parents with no cable. ;)

  2. Thanks so much Farrell for your comment.

    We do obviously still have cable, but we are careful how much tv our girls watch. However, I do notice that on days when its on more than normal, the imaginative play is so much less. Even at 3 yrs of age, when imaginative play is just starting to really develop.