Study finds toddlers learn more from Elmo » Kidscreen - Evolved Mommy
While pregnant I swore that once Charlie arrived there would be no more TV. That’s noble, right?
It seems obvious to me that staring at a box for hours on end cannot be good for our brains.
Charlie was introduced to Barney (you know, that giant uber-irritating purple dinosaur) when she was about 9 months old. The moment that love-filled, over-stuffed monster came on the television she froze in her tracks, mesmerized instantly. I even made a YouTube video of it because it was so frightening and amazing to me.
As much as I want to hate Barney I cannot deny that he taught my 22-month-old to count. Now, she’s no math whiz. Today she did a lot of, “one, two, four, nine, two.”
There are days, though, when she gets them all in the right order, and when she does she gets so stinkin’ excited (as do I).
It really is awesome to watch the lights come on in her little head when she figures something out.
Honestly, we watch so little TV that I don’t worry about it too much. But there is always a thought in the back of my mind, a worry that maybe I’m robbing her of precious imagination and brain development.
The study I linked to above eases those worries at least a little. Three sets of 21-month-old toddler were studied to determine the effects of preschool programming on their little brains. One set of toddlers watched an unfamiliar character demonstrate playing with nesting cups, another set watched Elmo demonstrate the same activity and the third group didn’t watch anything. The group that watched Elmo (a familiar and beloved character) retained and demonstrated more of the information they received than either of the other two groups. The theory is that they were more comfortable with and therefore more receptive to a character they already knew and had positive feelings toward. Makes sense.
Between Barney and Elmo we’re likely to have a super genius on our hands. Super. Genius.
She is also cute, so if the genius thing doesn’t work out she’ll be fine.
We’ll talk about the “Pretty Principal” at a later date. That’s a different post for a different today.
The moral of today’s story is this: the TV is not always evil and/or harmful. In limited doses of mostly educational programing it can do more harm than good.