With 99% of American homes having at least one television and 56% of American homes paying for cable, the viewing options can seem endless. (Statistic Brain, webpage, par 2-3). Children are watching more television today than ever before; however, it does not have to be a negative thing. Shows such as “Sesame Street”, “Sid the Science Kid”, and “MythBusters” can help children get excited about learning. These shows engage children with puppets, songs, and science experiments you can do at home.
“Sesame Street”, for over forty years, has been on television getting young children excited about learning. With characters like “Big Bird”, “Count Von Count”, “Cookie Monster”, and “Oscar the Grouch”, they help children learn their colors, how to count, and increase a child’s vocabulary. Using sketch comedy, puppetry, songs, and animation, they are able to keep learning fun, while at the same time, stimulating a child’s brain.
A recent study, by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, showed an average of an 11% difference in test scores between children who watched “Sesame Street” and children whom did not watch the show (University of Wisconsin-Madison, webpage, par 4). Being produced with educational specialist’s input, “Sesame Street” has proven to have a positive effect on learning, social, and cognitive skills. The impact of “Sesame Street” is worldwide, children in Bangladeshi have a 67% high test scores than children who do not watch (Sesame Workshop, webpage, par 8). Their website offers a variety of different links to resources for teachers and parents, such as math kits, science kits, and vocabulary videos, all of which have proven to improve test scores.
As children get older, television can still play an important role in their education. Shows like “MythBusters”, “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius”, and “The Re-Inventors” demonstrate how math and science can be fun. Showing experiments like, what happens when you drop Mentos into Diet Coke, can you escape being eating by a crocodile by running in zigzag pattern, or taking blueprints from history and recreating the design to see if they would work in today’s society. By showing these types of experiments on television children can get excited about trying them at home with their parent’s help.
Websites like “Discovery Kids” and “Discovery Education” offer a variety of activities for parents and teachers to continue teaching what the children see on television. On the “Discovery Kids” website, you can learn how to make rock candy, grow a fungi garden, or make milk into rubber (Discovery Kids, webpage, Activities Link). The “Discovery Education” website offers free lesson plans to teachers or parents for all subjects. Lesson plans vary from learning how tunnels are built to mathematical probability. For students on this website they offer homework help, step by step instructions on math problems, and virtual labs for science.
Shows like “Dora the Explorer”, “Bob the...