Interactive Videos are Best

I have a confession to make – today my daughter and I are going to watch allot of tv. I’ve temporarily moved my “office” into the tv room and she is watching a series of Pooh Bear movies while I prepare for some upcoming meetings. I always feel a sense of guilt over resorting to TV to entertain her when I get busy like this – her mom is out all day as well. It happens very rarely but one time is too many.
New research indicates that parents should choose videos with high interactive content if they want their children to be educated as well as entertained by their time in front of the tube.
“By age 2, children have figured out that other people are a primary source of information about the world, and they use social cues such as facial expression and where a person looks or points to gather that information. As a result, they are more likely to learn from a person on video whom they perceive as a conversational partner,” psychologist Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt University says. “In our study, if a video was not interactive, children were much more likely to dismiss the information being conveyed.”
“There is good evidence from other research that watching shows such as Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues in which characters speak directly into the camera and wait for responses can positively impact children’s mental and language development,” Troseth said. “Our new findings have implications for educational television aimed at toddlers, as well as for the use of video images in research with this age group.”
One side effect of her occaisional movie watching is that it fuels her imagination. She will be a Tiger all week I think.