When is TV good for children?

Educational Media Ideas

By Alexandra Smith

Not the best use of the TV.
While we all know that books can support learning, other forms of media sometimes receive a bad press because their excessive use means children spend less time actively playing and exploring outdoors. However, parents of young children and toddlers should not be made to feel guilty for using children's media as a distraction to enable them to get on with chores or to have a break so here are four ideas for parents who want to find educational media experiences.

1) Choose a TV channel like the BBC's CBeebies where shows like Alphablocks, Numberjacks, I Can Cook and My Story will introduce children to letters, numbers, science and a host of other topics which will support what is being taught on the curriculum in schools.

2) Look for inspiration for other activities by using shows that can be played any time on YouTube or BBC iplayer. For example, set your child up to watch an episode of a show relating to art or play then find appropriate resources from around the home and get them to copy what was being shown.

3) Find educational games on children's websites, apps or your child's school intranet if they have one. Try to make sure the games do actually engage your child and stretch their abilities. Find new games if your child finds them too hard or not challenging enough and don't let them play for longer than twenty minutes at a time.

4) Rather than having the television on, put a children's podcast on for your child to listen to while they play. Get involved and encourage them to play with props while listening to stories (e.g. three teddy bears and a doll for the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears) or to dance and use instruments while listening to music (choose songs like Old McDonald's farm rather than inappropriate pop music).

If you have any more ideas or links to children's educational media sources, please comment below.

© This article and its photo(s) are the property of Alexandra Smith. Only use or reproduce with permission.

Disclaimer: These tips are created from lessons I have learnt during my own experience.  With regard to the content and advice on this blog, Alexandra Smith makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability or suitability for anyone. Any reliance you place on the blog or its content is at your own discretion and in no event will Alexandra be liable for any loss, damage or injury in connection with your use.

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