Support early language development with a healthy screen time “diet”

(Source: Grow & Sing Studios)
(Source: Grow & Sing Studios)

Although we just celebrated a holiday devoted to giving candy to children, we all understand that fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet. A child filled with strawberries, carrots, and yogurt behaves radically different than a child filled with candy corn, chocolate, and a juice box. You don’t need to be a teacher of an early childhood curriculum to understand that!
In addition to a healthy nutritional diet, children also need a healthy “screen time diet.” Today’s children are considered digital natives, but too much of a good thing can be, well, too much. And, of course, not all television shows, movies, and mobile apps for kids are created equal—some are more candy than carrots for the brain. However, in a world filled with smart phones and tablets, and with televisions found everywhere from the home to the car to the local family-friendly restaurant, it can be challenging.

A healthy “media diet” matters

A group of pediatricians recently published the results of their study, Modifying Media Content for Preschool Children,” that showed that increasing a child’s exposure to screen time that teaches positive social behavior can strengthen a child’s social skills. In the study, the pediatricians recruited 565 parents of preschool-aged children ages 3 to 5 years. Without decreasing or increasing the amount of screen time, the participants simply changed what their children watched. After six months and again after 12 months, the parents reported increased social competence and behavior in their children. In addition, the preschoolers showed significantly less aggression and better social skills when compared to the control group.

Try “feeding” your children these mobile apps for kids

Finding the best mobile apps for kids can be tough. Unlike the grocery store where healthy foods come with labels like “organic,” “100% whole grains,” or “120% of vitamin C,” apps that support a healthy “media diet” such as early language development, phonemic awareness, or even musical learning aren’t as clearly identified. As creators of early childhood curriculum and with thousands of educators around the world, the Kindermusik community can help.
RreadingRainbowKindermusik_MusicIslandPromo_Exp111513An earlier blog post identified 6 websites and mobile apps for kids that support early literacy development, including the Reading Rainbow app. This trusted app for kids includes eBooks for families to read together and video field trips to expand a child’s world from the comfort of a parent’s lap! Plus, Kindermusik will be partnering with Reading Rainbow to bring a “Musical Island” to the app and we’d love your help naming the island! The new Kindermusik Island will contain a limited selection of eBooks from the Kindermusik library and some additional videos that Reading Rainbow and Kindermusik will produce together around musical topics.
Help us name the new Kindermusik/Reading Rainbow Music Island!
Enter your suggestion by clicking this link. If your name is chosen you will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card, a free 6-month subscription to the Reading Rainbow app AND a Kindermusik prize package! Enter to Win now – Friday, November 15, 2013.
Kindermusik@Home - Online Learning Games for KidsOf course, we want to mention Kindermusik@Home as part of a healthy media diet. Available through enrollment in Kindermusik, Kindermusik@Home provides parenting resources, musical learning games for kids, eBooks, and developmental insights behind the activities. Kindermusik@Home helps children learn both online and encourages families to take the learning offline through engaging activities. Try one of these Kindermusik@Home activities today!

To learn more about enrolling in a Kindermusik class and receiving access to Kindermusik@Home, contact a local educator via our Class Locator.


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