Have no fear, mamas: you don’t have to watch another episode of Paw Patrol. You don’t need to allow its constant drums of noise to infiltrate your day, your happiness, or your peace of mind. Paw Patrol and its similarly un-hinged ilk may bring your children alarming shrieks of glee and entertainment, but there are other, more educational—or at least quieter—television shows out there for the youngest of your households.
According to various reports, children between 2-5 years spend anywhere from 16-32 hours a week in front of the television. That’s more than four hours a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one hour per day for that age group. It is no doubt that parents are overstretched and overworked, and the television provides a tempting distraction, so that they can work or make dinner or clean the house or have a thought to themselves. But, the detriment this amount of screen time can bring to your child’s health is considerable: obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and poor academic performance have all been linked to too much TV.
All the more important then that the shows your children do watch be intentional choices made by you. Though the genre has a terrible reputation, there is a relatively new crop of shows aimed at the two to five-year-old audience that can be educational, culturally-minded, and calming.
Common Sense Media is a great place for parents to double-check the merits and quality of a show your child suggests. But, to save you time, we put together a list of 10 such shows that we highly recommend you reach for next time the kids are driving you crazy, and you need a 20-minute respite for just you and your cup of tea.
For more stories on kids and screens, be sure to check out The Rapid Evolution of Media Use By Children Aged 0-8, The “New Rules” Around Kids & Media, and 10 Moms On Their Screen Time Rules.
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