As a mother of two young girls, I very much understand the struggle of when and how to introduce your child to television and other screen media.
In today’s busy world, I feel it’s important that we parents embrace all of the opportunities and activities out there to further the bond we have with our children as we explore new ideas together. Education-based television is just that.
In my household, I’ve found that my children can and continually do learn things from age-appropriate TV. If you’re a parent and have a television in the home, it’s likely you’ll begin to seek out programming for your child.
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of learning based TV for tots:
- Make Smart Choices
Allow your children to view programs that are age-appropriate and educational in nature. Programming for babies and toddlers should be designed by developmental experts.
- Set Limits
Limit the amount of time you allow your child to watch television. This will ensure that you and your baby don’t spend a disproportionate amount of time in front of the television when you can be enjoying other activities such as reading or playing outside.
- Join Your Child
Take the opportunity to bond even further and share in your child’s TV viewing experience. It not only makes for great cuddle time, but it also allows you to take the concepts introduced in a show beyond the television so your child can continue to learn.
- Share Emotions
Television viewing is an emotional experience for your baby or toddler, so acknowledge when he expresses emotions such as delight or puzzlement. With a limited ability to verbally communicate, it’s important to share in his feelings as they occur.
- Keep Programming Fresh and New
Babies are naturally inclined to repeat something they’ve enjoyed. Be sure to continually refresh the programs you select so your baby is exposed to new and exciting things.
- Diversify Content
Introduce a broad range of programs to your baby or toddler featuring many different experiences. Not only will this help keep her interest, but it also ensures that she is introduced to a broad range of items.
- Talk About It
Even though your toddler may have a limited vocabulary, he is still actively listening and discovering. Talk about what you just viewed to keep him engaged while building upon the experience.
- Encourage Memory Recall
Optimize your toddler’s television viewing by exercising her memory skills once the program is completed. Ask her questions about the program such as the name of her favorite character, the noise the animal made, the song she liked best, the colors she saw, the story that was told, etc.
- Have Fun
Spending quality time with your child is the most rewarding part of being a parent, so make it fun! Most importantly, you and your child should have fun no matter what activity you engage in.
About Sharon Rechter
Executive Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, BabyFirst
Sharon Rechter, along with business partner, Guy Oranim, conceptualized and co-founded BabyFirst (www.babyfirsttv.com), which is a global TV channel for tots. In her role as executive vice president, she leads the business development and marketing activities for the company – with a clear passion to bring quality, new educational programming to families of babies and toddlers.
Rechter has a broad background in television programming and recently served as the vice president and head of operations for The Israeli Network (the Israeli television channel in the U.S.). She was responsible for the general management of the network, and focused on areas including business development, advertising and subscriptions. Before entering the television broadcast industry, Rechter headed the strategic planning department at GNS Advertising in Israel where she was responsible for developing strategic plans for a variety of lifestyle brands.