Want to know how to choose the best kinds of entertainment and media for your kids? We went to the best source and talked to the creator of the best of the best when it comes to children's entertainment: Angela Santomero, creator of shows like Blue's Clues and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
The Green Smoothie
(excerpt from Angela's Book "Preschool Clues")
- Education (the greens): Just because a show says it's educational doesn't mean it is. As smart consumers, we need to dig deeper and ask questions to uncover a show's curriculum, teaching approach and more.
- Interaction (the protein): We want a show that allows children to participate, think, have a voice; that speaks to them with respect and sparks an interest or ignites a passion.
- Engagement (the sweets): Effective, healthy media needs to be engaging and entertaining so kids will want to watch. No matter how good something is, if no one watches, no one will learn anything. Period.
Your Media "YES" List
How does your child's media stack up with regard to its relationship with play? Go through the following checklist (and do the same with checklists at the end of each chapter of Angela's book) to refine your personal media "Yes" list and deepen your understanding for how to apply the strengths and tenets of the best shows for your child into your parenting notebook.
- The show is asking my preschooler to be involved and play.
- The play is enriching, new, different, and/or challenging.
- My child is motivated to try new things, solve problems, and/or explore something new after engaging with the show.
- The play themes in their media are extending into real life in a positive way.
-- Angela Santomero, Preschool Clues
You can learn more about how to judge a TV show's "nutritional content" in Angela's Book: Preschool Clues: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids In A Screen-Filled World.