Updated: May 21, 2020
I have a pretty serious rule when it comes to screen-time at school. It has to be purposeful.
In absolute honesty, occasionally the purpose is so a teacher can wash the floor, but that is the reality of why toddlers are introduced to screens. Sometimes grownups need a distraction so they can get something done for the greater good. Whatever the "WHY" might be... I've found ways over the years to enrich the act of watching TV in a way that enhances an experience and allows the activity to help promote connection, rather than disconnection. Here are some suggested programs to offer to your kiddo along with some ideas to help make the experience memorable and meaningful.
Pete The Cat:
James Dean's beloved book series about a cool cat who lets nothing wreck his good vibes. Pete has so much to offer including a fun website and an entertaining tv series on Amazon Prime. We would often watch a 15-minute show in school and follow it up with putting on our red shoes to enjoy a jam session, complete with guitars made from blocks and string.
Guess How Much I Love You: Based on another beloved book, Guess How Much I Love You, offers several seasons of episodes that celebrate the seasons, family, and mother nature. Families can enjoy a 15-minute story and then follow up on the adventure with a walk outside to enjoy signs of the changing leaves, growing flowers, or crackling ice. There is also an audiobook for friends to enjoy before rest hour or bedtime.
Creative Galaxy: A wonderful and imaginative series that introduces young friends to various art concepts and techniques. Join Artie and friends on adventures to different worlds where they use art to fix problems and make the universe a more beautiful place. Each segment is short and is followed by live-action clips of real children doing art projects that are related to the previous episode. We suggest watching the program before presenting to your child and putting out the materials for them to explore and make art along with the video.
Aliens Love Underpants:
Friends at Crayon Power had a blast enjoying "Underpants Day" and having a wild dance party with this hilarious series of short music videos (each less than 5 minutes). This is a fun show to introduce to kiddos who are interested in independent toileting and who are curious about exploring wearing underwear. It is also fun for older toddlers who are testing out their sense of humor.
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie:
One of Crayon Power's favorite program finds of 2019-2020 school year! Mouse and friends provide fun holiday adventures, and strong life lessons of friendship and social curtesy. Many friends had Mouse and Cookie books at home and brought them to school for us to read at rest hour. There is also a website that families can explore together.