Where kids are concerned, TV gets a bad wrap, and usually for good reason. The truth is, though, that there are some great shows for preschoolers that teach as well as entertain, which gets kids really excited about learning.
To kids, watching a show like Between the Lions, for example, is a lot more interesting than reading word flashcards. Educational programs have thus become a good tool for parents and caregivers, providing a fun supplement to preschool time, or a great springboard to get kids excited about diving into a subject and learning more.
The show My Friends Tigger & Pooh focuses on a curriculum surrounding problem solving and reflective thinking, and the show usually also incorporates some facts about nature or science as well as lessons about cooperation and loyalty. Here are just a few ideas for parents and educators to expand upon the curriculum of the show:
- Make daily life into a mystery: Find ways to make every day tasks into a problem-solving, learning experience. Encourage kids to "think, think, think" as they help you figure out why the laundry has to be separated by color, or what caused their crayon to break.
- The Mystery Game: In addition to making a mystery out of natural daily tasks, you could create a mystery to help kids learn about the day's preschool time lesson. Give them clues, maybe even a little cape or hat like the characters on the show have, and help them discover something new and exciting.
- Identify the steps to problem solving: In order to solve each mystery, Darby, Pooh and Tigger employ some problem solving steps - identify the problem, gather information, think of possible alternatives, make a conclusion. Help kids figure out the steps and apply them to questions or problems in their own life. Teaching kids techniques for problem solving is highly beneficial, and can apply to many areas of life.
- Continue the mystery: If kids seem excited about a scientific or natural fact that comes up on the show, give them a hands on experience. For example, in one episode Tigger learns that his shadow goes away when it's dark. After watching the episode, kids might have fun experimenting with shadow puppets or going outside to find the shadows all around.