Friday, January 20, 2012

Media Exposure for the Kids

There has been a lot of talk lately about how much media exposure kids have these days. Some people estimate close to 11 hours every day, including television, movies, internet, and music. And probably video games.

We've gone through a period of the kids watching a lot of tv and movies. Having a new baby is hard work, and it seems like the only thing that would keep Ivy & Jamey occupied while I was trying to put Livy down for a nap was Sprout.

We're putting the kabosh on so much screen time. We've eliminated movies in the car (unless we're driving to Grandma's house). We're "taking a break" from the Yellow Phone (the old iPhone we have for the kids to play with). They can choose to watch some cartoons on Sprout or PBS Kids or watch a movie. I'd estimate that they are now watching an hour of tv every day.

We leave our cable turned to Sprout so if the kids happen to turn on the television at least they won't be watching Law & Order marathons. They very rarely turn on the tv without asking. Although Jamey tends to more than Ivy. Like Ivy never would. But Jamey does.

They like to watch a few different shows, but I don't have any of them set to record. Martha Speaks, Arthur and Wild Kratts are on right after each other on PBS Kids from 4-5:30 in the afternoon. Those are the most frequently watched shows, because at the end of they day when I'm trying to make dinner and ready for a little break, it's nice to have them preoccupied. They also really like Caillou and Super Why, but I don't know when they're on. Sometimes, we catch them, but not always. I think they're on in the morning, and we don't usually turn on the tv until later in the day.

The other thing they think is super awesome is watching Netflix on Auntie Bethany's computer. They watch Veggie Tales or Phineas and Ferb. Those are about 20-30 minutes each. We reserve this for special dates with Auntie.

I'm considering a week without tv, but I'm not sure I can do it until spring when the kids can be outside more. Maybe we can do No TV Summer.

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