Our household has televisions. We have cable. Our kids even have IPads. We are realistic about the technology driven world we live in these days. My kids like to watch cartoons. However, I am not a fan of all cartoons. There are plenty of shows on the Cartoon Network that I will NEVER allow my kids to watch at any age. I like my kids to watch cartoons that are educational. Brielle started watching shows just before she turned two. I was pregnant with the twins and to be honest, sometimes I needed her to just sit with me so I could keep the contractions at bay (I had lots of contractions my third trimester so I had to take it easy). After the twins were born some days were more about survivals from one hour to the next than anything else. Did we use cartoons as a crutch from time to time? You bet. We are human, not always perfect parents. In allowing her to watch cartoons I realized that there are much better cartoons out there than when I was a kid. Smurfs was not exactly brain food.
We have found a number of cartoons that my kids really like and I like them because they are educational. Keep in mind that specialists recommend 1 hour of screen time a day, so I am not suggesting plopping your two year old down all day in front of the TV. What I am saying is that when you do allow sceeen time, make sure the content is good. Kids are like sponges. They absorb things easily, so make sure what is on the screen has good content.
Here are the top 5 shows for our household:
1. Wild Kratts
This is one of Brielle’s favorite shows. I don’t mind watching this one myself. I have actually learned about some exotic animals while watching this cartoon. It is an educational show, but fun for the kids too! They integrate regular footage into this series to show the actual animals as well. It is a PBS series. Here is what the PBS website had to say about Wild Kratts:
2. Bubble Guppies
Bubble Guppies is a Nickelodeon show. This is a great show for preschoolers. It has lots of educational elements throughout each episode. Here is what their website had to say about the show:
3. Team Umizoomi
This show is a Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. series. This was one of the first series we downloaded onto our kids’ IPads. This series is literally loaded with educational concepts in every episode. Wikipedia has a good explanation about the educational value of this show:
4. Super Why
This PBS series helps children ages 3-6 with their literacy skills. It is a well developed program and was created by the makers of Blues Clues. All three of my kids like watching this show. PBS shares a great deal of information about the value of the program: http://www.pbs.org/parents/superwhy/program/
5. Peg + Cat
This is another PBS show. Brielle has been watching this one for several years and still enjoys it. It involves a lot of problem solving concepts, which we have discussed in real life because of the show. The twins now watch it too. Here is what the PBS website has to say about this show: