After my post yesterday about how awful TV can be for kids I thought I would write about shows that I think are great for kids! I'm not against TV, I just think we should carefully select the shows our kids watch, and limit TV watching. In case you didn't know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV before age two (this includes background TV), and no more than two hours per day after age two. I'm also not a fan of flashy, fast-paced shows. I don't think it's good for a kid's brain. Here are our favorites:
Little Bear: Ahh, Little Bear. Even saying that makes me want to relax. It's like the classical music of the cartoon world. I used to watch it when I was a kid and I loved Little Bear's imagination. My son and daughter both have wonderful imaginations thanks in part to him. I also love the cute little phrases that Little Bear, and now my kids, say. You can get these on VHS at Amazon or Ebay.
The Busy World of Richard Scarry: I used to watch this when I was little as well. I love that it demonstrates all of the people in a community working together. It's also calm and teaches letters, numbers, manners, nursery rhymes, and so much more. I'm not a fan of the newer Busytown videos, which are more flashy than the older videos. We have found many of these on VHS at thrift stores.
Signing Time: Ever since before my kids were born I was excited to teach them sign language. I borrowed many children's sign language DVDs from the library and none compare to these. We began with Baby Signing Time when my children were toddlers and moved on to Signing Time by the time they were about two years old. We also listen to the Signing Time songs on CD. My kiddos now know hundreds of signs and use them daily! Most public libraries carry the Signing Time DVDs.
Curious George: I love that George learns a new life lesson in each episode. And at the end of the episode we get to watch real-life kids demonstrating what George learned: everything from composting to playing with pipes and water, to cooking with local produce. My kids are big Curious George fans. Their interest began with the Curious George books.
Barney: This was my favorite show as a kid. I remember watching it and feeling like I was in a magical fairy tale land. Plus it teaches colors, shapes, numbers, letters, manners, and healthy relationships. It's an all-around wonderful show. We have found all of our Barney videos on VHS at thrift stores. I don't care for the newer episodes that I've seen recently on PBS Kids. They don't feel as magical to me.
Word World: This is a new favorite. Everything in Word World is made of...words! All of the animal characters are made up of the letters that spell the word they are. It's really neat to see. The word friends go on adventures and face challenges that can only be resolved with the right word. That word is built letter by letter, or sound by sound. Once the word is built, it changes into the thing it is!
Sid the Science Kid: My kids love to investigate, explore, and discover, which is why we like Sid the Science Kid. Plus the songs are catchy. On a side note, I think the teacher on Sid has a pretty sweet deal. She seems to have an entire school all to herself, with every teaching resource imaginable, and only four students! No wonder she's so enthusiastic!