If you’re like most parents, you try to limit TV time for your preschooler. So when you do turn on the tube, you want to make sure you choose shows that will feed their sponge-like brains with juicy educational programming. Review these guidelines and choose TV shows for your preschoolers that will both educate and entertain.
Television programs that involve word building help preschoolers develop their pre-literacy skills. A number of shows feature an entertaining storyline that incorporates alphabet review and phonemic awareness. Preschool-age kids and their early-grade-school-age siblings will both enjoy word-focused shows that introduce new vocabulary words with each episode.
Art and music
Let’s face it. You probably aren’t taking your kids to the art gallery or symphony as often as you’d like. That doesn’t mean you can’t build an early appreciation of the cultural arts. Expand your child’s horizon with programs that incorporate beautiful music and art into the story line. If the music is good enough, you just might find yourself scooping your kiddos off the couch for a waltz around the living room.
It’s never too early to introduce your children to foreign language and culture. Choose a program that features characters from other countries, so they can see how others live around the globe. Shows that incorporate foreign language vocabulary words are a fun way to build a foundation for future language learning.
Ever get mildly annoyed by the character on the screen continually asking your son or daughter questions? It turns out there’s an educational value to this persistent questioning. This type of interaction helps children with story recall and comprehension. This is good practice for skills that they will use for reading comprehension.
There’s a reason toddlers have tantrums. They haven’t yet learned how to deal with certain emotions or social situations. Choose shows featuring characters who encounter challenging situations and choose to respond appropriately. It’s often helpful for preschool-age children to see appropriate behaviors modeled, so they know how to react the next time they encounter jealousy, disappointment or frustration.
Science and nature
Don’t wait until your kids are old enough to have a science lab to introduce them to the beauty of scientific discovery. Pick a program that teaches science in a way preschoolers can appreciate. It’s fun for kids to watch other kids their age use the scientific method to observe, measure and test their hypotheses. It doesn’t get much better than watching the show’s characters turn into bees, raindrops or butterflies to get an up close look at nature!
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