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 Post subject: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:53 am 
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/09/ban-under-threes-watching-television
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2214886/Children-banned-watching-TV-improve-health-wellbeing.html

What do you guys think about this? I was really anti-TV for kids until I had Raygold and then started letting Beetroot watch educational programmes and some kids shows, while I was too busy breastfeeding to give him all the attention he wanted (and I found out there was a kids show all about numbers and he was positively mad about numbers (and still is)). But from TV and a Brainy Baby DVD that we got free in a newspaper, they've learned how to count, colours, the alphabet, shapes, some social skills, new words and concepts, and it even helped Beetroot read and count to 20 in Spanish. It's not like I wasn't trying to teach them all that myself, but when Beet was younger, he learned much faster when it was coming from the TV or my computer. (And as for internet screen time, Beet learned phonics from starfall.com in under a week after I'd been trying to teach him for ages -- even Raygold knows some phonics from playing on that site -- and the Alphablocks game on the cbeebies website has taught Beet a lot of words and spelling.)
Letting my kids watch TV totally goes against what I thought before I had kids (so do a lot of things I do, mind you) and I hate to see kids sitting in front of the TV, vegging their lives away, but I feel like it's really helped mine, who never sit still, not even when the TV is on or when they are on the computer -- they are still running around and causing trouble and everything.

So is TV really all that bad or does it depend on your kid and their circumstances? (For the record, I don't really watch much TV myself, although I watched a lot of DS9 reruns when Beet was a newborn and a boob-barnacle.)

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:54 am 
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my intention was no TV, ever. Our specific situation with huge medical issues meant that the reality was we used TV as a tool, distraction and reward.
i really and truly believe that TV is terrible: terrible FOR ME. for other people, i can't say. it has good and bad and who am i to judge.
for what it's worth, we did and still do limit screen time so that there is an incentive to interact with people and be physically active.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:19 am 
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I believe it's a circumstance issue and that balance is always the most important thing. Of course, plopping a kid in front of nonstop tv is bad, but watching something educational with them here and there seems good to me? When Silas was in his wild running stage, he watched a show a day, while I made dinner and then he would mimic the dances the rest of the night. Now at age 4, some days he'll watch a show or two, some days nothing. Every day he spends far more time running and playing and being read to than he would ever spend in front of tv. Shae's 14 and tv to him means a soccer game as background noise while he juggles a hackeysack.

I definitely agree that some kids absorb info from tv or the computer (which I see as virtually the same thing for small kids) better than they do from their caregivers.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:24 am 
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I'm no expert but it sounds like the problem isn't TV-watching specifically, but TV-watching in the absence of other activities that engage the body and mind more. One of the issues I could imagine with TV-watching (I haven't researched this and have no credentials, this is just me pulling theories out of my asparagus about things I don't know anything about) is that TV-watching seems to discourage independent problem-solving/critical-thinking skills. Like, whatever you're watching, no matter how educational it is, you're going to find out the "answer" to any questions that are raised, any situations that come up are going to be resolved by the end of the program, etc. So I would think that if that's your main source of "input" for information/entertainment, it would be problematic. But that doesn't mean TV itself is inherently damaging, just that you would need other things besides just TV in order to get that mental exercise.

That said, I was not allowed to watch TV before I was 3, and even after that, there were very strict limits on how much I was allowed to watch and what shows were permitted. I was just discussing this with my mom actually, and I still think it was one of the best parenting choices she made. I had no restriction whatsoever on what books I was allowed to read, so I read everything I could get my hands on, which FOR ME (maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me!) was way better than watching TV.

So I think it's probably okay for kids to have some TV in their lives, but I think it's certainly also okay for them not to have it or to have very little of it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:19 am 
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The American Academy of Pediatrics says this

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Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.


But my friend whose kid is insanely advanced - like her daycare wants to move her in with the 2-3 year olds because her speech and ability to follow directions is so advanced - lets her kid watch kiddy television. And it seems to have helped her with her ability to recognize words and ask for things etc. The DVD or TV teachers are so consistent and not distracted (like we sometimes are). And its a great way for mom to get a break which is important too.

I just think that you have to do what works for your family :) And obviously educational television isn't like sitting them in front of a Law & Order Special Victims marathon. Beety and Raygold are clearly doing really well, so obviously you're doing stuff right!

I am now wondering how to get more math learning into Leela, so I appreciate hearing your experiences!

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:12 am 
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I talked to my doctor about it at greys 15 month appointment. Before that he rarely saw much tv, now I let him watch one or two shows a day. He doesn't ever see commercials, we only watch Netflix or PBS kids on my iPad. Basically my doctor said not to plop him in front of the tv, but if him watching tv for 30 minutes means I can make dinner, then do it. Grey is very needy of our attention, so he never really likes to play by himself, watching mr. Rogers or something gives me a few minutes to do something else. I don't watch tv or use the Internet unless he is sleeping or with Nate. My neighbor is an early childhood education professor and I asked her opinion as well, basically she said if it is mindful tv watching then it isn't that bad, it is when you have the tv on all day. Grey and I spend anywhere from 3-8 hours a day outside, so if he gets 30 minutes of tv after constant attention outside I don't feel that bad.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:25 am 
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I am a terrible parent who can't deal with silence, so when I get sick of background music, we have background TV. Thus Malka is exposed to hours of background TV every day if I am home with her. She barely notices it's on, I try to steer away from violent stuff, so it's mostly comedies, long movies, talk shows/news. The only time she gives a crepe about TV is when it's a cartoon or it features babies. She will not sit and watch anything else and even for that stuff she usually is doing something else as well. I am most worried about building habits of vegging out, which so far seems totally disinteresting to her. I think limiting screen time becomes more important when they actually care about the screen.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:32 am 
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I forgot to mention that when Shae was little, we let him watch kids shows everyday. He is the type of kid that played the entire time and just absorbed everything. He rarely sat to watch but would create storylines with his toys that integrated with the shows, etc. He is at the top of his class now (at almost age 14) and is the only kid I know his age who doesn't veg out in front of video games every chance they get. We always pushed balance and I think it really clicked for him. He'll play 30 minutes of FIFA soccer when he gets too exhausted from playing actual soccer and before he reads something. Also, we never allowed any violence and still are basically that way. I did let him shoot some zombies a few times when his friends were obsessed with whatever game that was, but he got bored of it real quick.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:40 am 
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I feel pretty bad that my baby is exposed to so much television (and he isn't even quite 6 months.) My husband is the primary caretaker and has the TV on at least half the day. The baby doesn't really watch it per say but I know he is hearing it and he does turn and look at it sometimes. I do find it interesting how much he likes the music/theme songs and have tried to play more music for him when I am home. His favorite song ever which always makes him smile and shake around with joy is the theme song to "cheers". I alternate between finding it super cute and being really upset that he has heard that song so much he adores it.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:56 am 
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torque wrote:
i really and truly believe that TV is terrible: terrible FOR ME. for other people, i can't say. it has good and bad and who am i to judge.


Hi. Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Littlebear, we are a lot like you and Grey. Walter is just over two. Six months ago I started letting him watch 20-30 minutes of a show on occasion. At first it was so that I could vacuum or take a shower. Now it's at the end of the day, before my husband is home, when Walter is exhausted and cranky and I need to make dinner. He doesn't usually watch anything on the weekends, and I don't resort to it every weekday (only if we are driving each other nuts and need a break).

He watches mr. Rogers, sesame street (though only the Elmo's world part at the end, the rest is over his head), and he obsessed with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which is actually a really good show. I can tell he learns things from it about sharing and talking about feeling, and he sings the songs to me. I have no problem with ~2 hours of Daniel Tiger a week.

I also avoid commercials. We don't have a television or cable, so we used to go to my mom's to watch football, but now we don't because I don't want Walter watching all the violent commercials on during sports (video games about shooting people, join the military, etc.).

I guess the only thing that bothers me about his tv watching now is the way sesame street characters are used to market to kids. Today in the grocery store he saw juice boxes with elmo and Ernie and whoever on them and wanted them so badly (I did not buy them). I'm the grown up and I get to say no, but it's creepy how aware a two year old is of these characters that are sometimes educational but mostly used to sell things.

Edit: I should add, Walter is really good at entertaining himself, which is an important skill for kids to learn. Now when I shower he listens to music and looks at his books, and the rest of the day finds ways to be busy. It's only when he is completely wiped out that I let him watch something. If he is happily playing/reading when it's time to make dinner I don't put on a show.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:33 pm 
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We started letting D watch a couple shows when she was around 2.5, mostly as a way for H to do the stuff he needs to do like make her breakfast and other chores. Before that, when we had the TV on for ourselves, she totally ignored it, which I was happy about. For a long time she was obsessed with these educational DVDs we'd inherited from her cousin, and those were ok. Now we DVR her shows so she never ever watches commercials and I guess each show is around 20 minutes. I'm not crazy about it but man the winters can be long and boring! And I do feel like she has learned some stuff, because she can count in Spanish now (ugh thanks to Dora, my least fave kids show but one of her faves) and she dances like crazy along to other shows as well. Lately we've started letting her watch that Team Umizoomi show which features a lot of numbers and basic math.

I don't like how intensely she watches! but I don't feel it's that harmful as long as we are with her, and limit the amount of time. What's crazy now is how Sierra reacts to it - she completely recognizes Dora/her theme song and starts smiling! Not very happy about that but I'm gonna admit, it has stopped the occasional meltdown...


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I am now wondering how to get more math learning into Leela, so I appreciate hearing your experiences!


One thing that my mom did, which I think was really helpful, is just talking about the math in everyday situations and toys and whatever. Like, if Leela is "helping" you cook something, then just talk through things like, "This says four teaspoons. One tablespoon is three teaspoons, so four teaspoons is a tablespoon plus a teaspoon." Play with dividing things up into groups, and talk about, "We can make this into four piles, so each pile is a quarter of the total. Now let's each take two of the piles, so we each have two quarters. That's one half! We each have the same amount!" Things like that. Any time you're counting something, or dividing something up, or measuring something, there's math to learn.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Patterns are also great for math skills. Line up some Legos or something red-red-blue-red-red-blue-red, and ask her to find the next few. Stuff like that.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:13 pm 
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We don't have TV reception because we lost the digital box thing when we moved (we just use our TV for Netflix, movies and video games now). I don't even know how to turn it on (I mean, there are like three remotes!) so I'm glad I don't even have the temptation to let Sven watch right now. However, we're planning on trying to get pregnant very soon, so I can imagine there might be a lot of TV in our future. Either I will be pregnant and tired or breastfeeding and tired.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:19 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
However, we're planning on trying to get pregnant very soon, so I can imagine there might be a lot of TV in our future.


This made me think naughty thoughts and lol.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Larisa wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
I am now wondering how to get more math learning into Leela, so I appreciate hearing your experiences!


One thing that my mom did, which I think was really helpful, is just talking about the math in everyday situations and toys and whatever. Like, if Leela is "helping" you cook something, then just talk through things like, "This says four teaspoons. One tablespoon is three teaspoons, so four teaspoons is a tablespoon plus a teaspoon." Play with dividing things up into groups, and talk about, "We can make this into four piles, so each pile is a quarter of the total. Now let's each take two of the piles, so we each have two quarters. That's one half! We each have the same amount!" Things like that. Any time you're counting something, or dividing something up, or measuring something, there's math to learn.


Oh Larisa, thank you so much. My sister is so good at math naturally that it was hard for my parents to believe that I needed more explanation and not just to be shamed into working harder.

If there are any resources, for teaching kids math that you know about, please pass them along <3

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Violet watches Sesame street each morning at 7. It allows me to make and drink my coffee in peace, prepare our breakfast, get her diapers ready, etc. She usually doesn't sit down and watch an hour straight, but watches for a while, does other things, watches some more.. I generally like what they have on, though I detest Abby Cadabby's Flying Fairy School with the firey anger of a thousand red hot burning suns. The Borg-like collectivist "twinkle think" business bothers me. Honestly I'm surprised the right hasn't gotten all up in arms over that segment, in the past couple days they've spent time talking about Zsa Zsa Gabor, cornholes, and their solstice celebrations. She and Zoe and I can't even make out the name - Onohita or something? The one who seems to speak fluent English but is constantly throwing in random Spanish words for no reason - are the only female muppets on that show, and she has the most prominent voice, and of course the whole darn screen gets drenched in pink when she's on.

That said -- every single article like this presents me with zero evidence that the TV itself is harming babies, but instead talks about all the things they're not getting because the TV is on. There's also a big difference between 0 hours of TV a day and the American average.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:51 pm 
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I think all kids and all situations are different. I think kiddo (just turned 6) started watching around 2-ish, maybe a little earlier. She has always had strong language skills and picked up tons of stuff from PBS kids. She watched Dinosaur Train daily (DT was actually the reason I started letting her watch TV) for a long time and for a while was a mini-dinosaur encyclopedia. Since she doesn't see that particular show often and hasn't for the last year and a half, she's lost a lot, but can still tell you basic stuff like what a dinosaur with three toes is called and she sorts the herbivores and carnivores at her doctor's office by looking at their mouths and teeth.

Last night at dinner she told me about a show she had watched last week on PBS kids that said "silent E is a ninja" and how it turns words like "cap" into "cape." I think that's a pretty cool way to look at it because I struggle with helping her with some of the phonetic rules like that. She reads really well (at a 2nd-3rd grade level in K) but I still think reiterating the basics in a fun way like that are important to make sure little things don't get overlooked.

Other than limiting time, my biggest concern is commercials. She rarely watches commercial television and I make sure to take time to talk to her about ads and what they mean when she does come into contact with them. Like someone else mentioned above (Kelly?) my daughter tends to play while she watches about as much as she watches.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:00 pm 
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bekki wrote:
Last night at dinner she told me about a show she had watched last week on PBS kids that said "silent E is a ninja" and how it turns words like "cap" into "cape." I think that's a pretty cool way to look at it because I struggle with helping her with some of the phonetic rules like that. She reads really well (at a 2nd-3rd grade level in K) but I still think reiterating the basics in a fun way like that are important to make sure little things don't get overlooked.


http://www.wordworld.com/

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Not to threadjack, but my husband and I have a similar discussion about the internet. Yes, Leela would benefit from our absolute and complete attention at all times, but sometimes I need the internet to feel like I get enough adult conversation.

I just think all of us need some time to do stuff besides just interact with our tinypeoples.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Honestly, I have two and only two issues with the Emperor (about 3.25) watching shows in moderation:

1. When he was younger, if he watched more than about 15 minutes of anything, when it was over he'd be totally wild and crazy. Like sitting still that long just left him with too much energy.

2. He is really big on processing things verbally. If he watches a 30 minute show, you can expect to spend like 120 minutes minimum over the course of the next week or two discussing every forking detail of the show. This necessarily puts a cap on how much he watches because holy balls people, there is nothing I would less rather discuss every minute of every hour with my kid than the subtle nuances of My Little Pony.

Interestingly, M (about a year) gets background screen time when his brother is watching or when my husband's watching random things on youTube-- and he mostly does not seem to give a damn.

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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:06 pm 
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My rule for DD was no tv until 1. Then when she turned 1, she wasn't interested, and didn't end up wanting to watch tv until 2. When DS was born, the no tv until 1 rule went out the window because DD was allowed to watch some. We limit tv time. The kids get one show first thing in the morning to allow them to wake up more slowly and get an appetite for breakfast rather than just eating right away. And they get one show in the evening which allows me to cook dinner.

From reading the research, I think there are two problems with too much screen time. One is inherent to screen time and the way the brain processes information, but the other is opportunity cost. If you are watching tv, you are not reading, coloring, playing wiht play doh, playing outside, etc. For me, managing that is all about finding balance and watching my kids to make sure they are happy and developing. That's part of how we arrived at the current limit. When DS was a baby I let DD watch a bit more tv to make up for how much I had to nurse him, and I noticed it interfered with her sleep. So, we cut back to a level at which it was not causing any problems.

I also think if you monitor what your kids watch, tv can give good learning opportunities. Yes, kids tend to learn better from interacting with the world than tv, but tv can introduce concepts and give a framework for talking about things. The two shows we primarily watch are Curious George and Sid the Science kid. Thanks to Sid, my 2 year old knows about pulleys, levers, wheels, water conservation, digestion, germs, muscles, animal communication, etc. After we watch a show, the kids will often play Sid and reenact the investigations or come up with their own. It is not uncommon to find my kids using a prism and talking about rainbows, or using magnifying glasses. Last night DS got a toy fire truck and we did a "force investigation". We then added a shoe and proceeded to investigate inertia and friction. While I guess I could have introduced that to him without the tv show, I probably wouldn't have thought to at his age.


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:02 pm 
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I was just coming here tonight to post about this (because of an article in HuffPo). Freya's had minimal amounts of screen time most of her life, but she's really starting to enjoy it now. Lately, after our 10-15 minutes are up, she starts fussing to watch more (and we distract her into something else).

I've studied this issue a lot as I work primarily with kids under age 4. I can't deny though, that (some) children's TV had a good effect on me. My mom read to me a good bit, but I am 100% sure that Sesame Street and especially the Letter People helped me to be an early reader.

What do your under 3s like to watch? We've done bits of In the Night Garden (does that air in America?), some Postman Pat in Norwegian, her Monkey Music promo videos, some show with a sheep that I can't remember the name of, and the RSPCA animal rescue show.

Tofulish...math is everywhere! How many steps are there in your house, following directions when making a recipe, counting your cheerios, matching shapes, measuring kiddos height, using cups and spoons in the water and sand table (measuring volume). Even activities where she would guess what comes next (such as reading a book and then pausing for her to make a sound/word she might know or inserting some nonsense words to see if she catches it)..teach sequencing. Stacking cups, blocks, noting rhyme and meter in music, dancing to the beat...all this is math!

Oh, it's time for bed here. :)


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 Post subject: Re: No TV for kids under 3?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:15 pm 
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We count steps walking up and down the stairs, and Violet is used to it by now and kind of tries to do it herself - she'll mimic the rhythm and sounds of counting but makes up things that sound like plausible numbers. It's hilarious. "Ba....Siss....sive....ta...."


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