Many parents find themselves wondering if television can ever be beneficial for their children. Alternatively, others believe that television is an excellent learning opportunity and as long as children are watching media that is in some way educational there is no such thing as too much screen time.
The truth is somewhere in between the two extremes. To this end, DIRECTV TV service can open up a variety of beneficial viewing options that can be limited to what is appropriate for the age of the child. This is thanks to a plethora of channels combined with a state-of-the-art parental controls system, allowing parents to find something suitable for little ones to watch without risking exposure to “trash” TV.
Science and Nature
There are a lot of television shows that feature science and nature.
· PBS Kids Sid the Science Kid – Each episode focuses on a single science concept that is presented in a manner preschool and early elementary school students will be able to relate to.
· National Geographic – The famous magazine has branched out into the world of television. Most of their shows have educational impact and their NG Kids shows will appeal to younger viewers.
· Dino Dan – This series combines animation and live action to follow the adventures of an apprentice paleontologist to learn more about dinosaurs.
· Go, Diego, Go! – Diego is the hero of the show. He travels around the world helping animals and teaching children about science and the environment.
· Rusty Rivets – The show follows a young inventor and his team of robots on their science and technology adventures.
· Doc McStuffins – The heroine of the story is Doc, a little girl who helps children become more comfortable with going to the doctor and offers health and wellness information in an easy to understand format.
History and Geography
History and geography can be more difficult concepts to make interesting for children. While there are a few that have been created specifically for younger children, documentaries are one of the best options.
· Dora the Explorer – The main character and her friends explore the world and solve problems along the way.
· Little Einsteins – This ambitious show actually covers a variety of educational topics. One of the most prominent is an understanding of world cultures and the arts.
Math shows have slowly begun to have strong representation in the world of television.
· Team Umizoomi – One of the best math shows for young children. This show features math concepts such as counting, patterns, numbers, and basic math skills.
· Cyber Chase – A team of children work together to solve math problems to defeat the show’s villain.
· Peg + Cat – The show helps children understand foundational math skills in a fun an unintimidating way.
· Odd Squad – A live action series helps build math, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. It is set up as a crime drama with each case being centered around a math concept.
Language and General Education
Language development and general education shows remain one of the most popular forms of early childhood television programming. These shows tend to offer a broad range of concepts to keep children interested.
· Sesame Street – One of the best known children’s shows of all-time. Adults who grew up watching it as a child will notice that the educational value remains while the sets have received dramatic updates.
· PBS Kids Word World – In this show words literally come to life. New items are created by combining the letters and watching them turn into the shape of the item. This is a great way to help children visualize the relationship between words and what they represent.
· Wallykazam! – A magical troll with the ability to make words come to life. He uses his special word powers to help his friends and solve problems.
· Super Why! – Four friends go on magical adventures by becoming reading superheroes. The characters jump into storybooks that come to life as they change words to change the outcome of the stories.
Moderate amounts of educational television can provide a great source of academic material. However, it is important to note the time limit restrictions recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and limit screen time to age appropriate amounts. This may mean carefully scheduling which shows children watch but it does not mean cutting them out altogether.