I understand parents who strictly abide by the AAP screen time recommendations and also those who don’t. (See American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use.)
As a toddler parent, I fall in the middle, so TV is not the devil, as long as it’s watched in moderation, involves parent interaction, and is educational in some way. In my books, this falls within the AAP guidelines. Generally, we watch a maximum of one show per day or part of a movie. Truth: sometimes, we watch a whole movie, and I don’t even feel bad! Because, it involves some fun parent/child interactions, discussions, or pretend play afterwards. And really, what parent really has the time or energy to feel bad about a little TV?
As an educator, I support the use of measured screen time to enhance a lesson, like showing a short clip to introduce or demonstrate a concept, like:
Colbie Caillat and Common’s Sesame Street collaboration “Belly Breath” to help children practice working through big feelings.
Pinocchio’s Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide to start a discussion on listening to your conscience.
E-books and PPTs are also a great way to present material and lessons in an engaging and interactive way.
I highly recommend checking out the position statement from NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center regarding the use of TV and technology in early childhood classrooms.
But since we are all short on time, the Fred Rogers Center so kindly sums up their position as thus:
technology and interactive media are tools that can promote effective learning and development when used intentionally by early childhood educators, within the framework of developmentally appropriate practice, to support learning goals established for individual children.
Well, now that you have my thoughts on TV and hopefully a few good resources and clips for being purposeful with your little learners’ TV usage, check out:
Toddler TV Favorites (coming soon)
Feature image from streamingwell.com