There is a glut of bad television out there, but when it comes to educational programs for young children, there are some gems. My kids are past this stage, but I can tell you that it was more enjoyable to sit with them watching TV when they were young then now, with the over-acted, heavy laugh track, inane story lines my newly-minted teen (August birthday) currently watches.
Back then, TV wasn’t just a babysitter, it was a teacher too. My kids learned about the world around them and their curiosities were piqued. Sesame Street may be the longest-running (1969), most famous children’s show of them all and it tackled heavy issues in a way kids could understand. The producers even conducted focus groups on difficult topics and sometimes had to cancel a segment, like when divorce was tested and kids feared that dad sleeping on the couch was a precursor to parents splitting.
According to this article on Smithsonian.com, STEM is making its way into kids’ shows. “There is “Curious George” (science and engineering), “Peep and the Big Wide World” (science), “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That” (science), “Dinosaur Train” (life science and literacy) and “Sesame Street” (math and a new science curriculum that revolves around scraggly bearded Murray Monster and his science experiments).”
I was thinking about kids returning to school and came across this video of an episode from The Magic School Bus. Remember it? It was all about science. The episode below takes the children inside the body to learn about cells. Go ahead and let them watch without feeling guilty (and enjoy your 20 minutes of alone time).
Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.
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