31 August, 2018

How TV time can help in learning for kids?

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These days, all parents are talking about reducing screen time for kids. I heard an interview with Sudha Murthy, a writer, and philanthropist where she says if children have to reduce screen time, we parents have to reduce screen time. Of course, we are the role models for our children and they follow us.

But, Is TV really an idiot box and should be avoided? Tv is invented for entertainment and relaxation. If we watch it moderately and not addicted to it, TV might not be that bad. What say? 

With this thought, I want to write about what to watch on TV with kids. Instead of completely avoiding it, how can we utilize Tv time to be knowledgeable?

How TV time can help in learning for kids

These days, we all have smart TVs at home, which connect to wifi and have many apps installed like Netflix, Amazon prime, and Youtube. So, Television doesn't mean only the channels that we watch on cable Tv or tata sky. There are a lot more options now.

Here are some options that might help in learning new things and might not make TV time useless :

1.  Science videos from Youtube

There are many youtube channels for kids which explain basic science like the Solar system, planets, how things work, How plants grow etc., These videos are fun to watch and kids will learn something new. 

We even have videos to improve vocabulary, learn how to write essays for school, how to express ourselves etc.,

2. Food-related programs

My kids love to watch 'Food Factory' channel on youtube. They enjoy learning how food is made and packaged. 

There are 2 benefits due to this. 

1. The programs are educational and they will know how food comes to their plate and thus they value the food they eat without wasting.
2. These videos are fun to watch with some tidbits of less known facts.

Also, There are many TV channels which air cooking shows and recipes. There are many channels which show how to grow vegetables and gardening tips. Try these and tell me if your kids liked them?

3. Travel and Geography channels 

I love traveling. I want to imbibe this interest even to my kids. We love to watch travel channels together. Sometimes, we start our weekends by watching Nat Geo channel. Kids usually love animals and so they might like these programs. We also watch documentaries that they like - ex: how volcanoes are formed? How Earth is formed? Why storms occur? etc., 

Sometimes, we simply search on Youtube about travel videos of national parks and make a mental note on what to visit when we go there. Kids also compare national parks and they discuss with me if they like to hike mountains/ watch animals in the forest/play in the waterfalls.

How TV time can help in learning for kids
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4. Family Movies

We watch family-friendly movies on Friday or Saturday nights. There are some great movies like "Up", "Kungfu Panda", "Finding Nemo" , " Zootopia" etc., Search in Google and you will find hundreds of good movies which teach good values to the kids. 

I personally love "Up", which is a beautiful movie to teach about being adventurous and never giving up in life. 

5. Hobby channels and Craft videos

I enjoy making crafts with my children. It's a bonding time and we try, fail, try again and learn from mistakes. We also watch youtube videos on painting and mimic those. 

There are some TV channels specific for hobbies, crafts and creating something. These are worth a try. There are also a few programs which show easy science experiments and explain the science concepts. 

I know, I have written this article mostly from the perspective of smart TVs but I observed that there are a lot of good Tv channels aired on cable TV networks as well. Just take time to explore and set a limited TV time.  

Do let me know in comments what would you love to watch on TV with kids.

Until next time,

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