Feeling guilty about parking your preschooler in front of the tube? A recent Scientific American article suggests you try tuning into shows created specifically to spark an interest in science.
Young children find information easier to process if it comes to them in narrative form, says Shalom Fisch of MediaKidz Research and Consulting. PBS has capitalized on that with its newest science series, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! For example, the show teaches kids about mud, twigs, and grass through a story about saving a baby bird.
WGBH’s show focuses on getting kids to model certain behaviors. After it discusses a scientific concept, such as shadows, it then shows kids experimenting with that idea—say, making shadow puppets. As a bonus for parents, it also includes a witty adult commentary.
Parents who want to make television a more interactive experience can check out Nickelodeon’s show whose narrator helps animals in distress. It encourages participation by asking viewers direct questions, leaving time for them to think and yell out responses.
For another program that may help stimulate an early interest in science, go to The Bright Spots of Kids’ TV.
Source: Scientific American
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