Here are some more thoughts on children and television, via a Washington Post opinion piece by Lisa Guernsey.
But a flurry of new research says we have more to learn. The problem: We're assuming that our children can make sense of what they watch, no matter how old they are. We're forgetting that huge cognitive leaps occur between the ages of 1 and 7.
Researchers, it turns out, doubt that a 1-year-old can even make sense of the sequence of information on the screen, let alone pick up the wholesome messages in "Sesame Street." There's almost no evidence that children under 5 are picking up on the moral lessons in "VeggieTales," not to mention the supposedly character-building themes of many Disney movies. And the children's shows on PBS may be more educational, but that doesn't mean that they're always getting through to young children.
Read the entire article here. Guernsey also talks about what's good for kids to watch.
If you're turning off the set this week and/or looking for a good picture-book read-aloud, check out The Three Cabritos, by Eric A. Kimmel. The Tex-Mex retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff stars a maniacally dancing chupacabra instead of a troll. Lots of fun.