DO you feel guilty about the amount of TV your tot watches? You shouldn’t.
Parenting expert Liat Hughes Joshi tells us which TV programmes youngsters should watchCredit: Getty
Liat Hughes Joshi reveals ‘It’s important for us not to demonise screen time’Credit: Sonja Horsman – The Sun
And if your child is chatty, you might even have the TV to thank, as Portsmouth University’s study found that age-appropriate shows can reinforce children’s conversation skills.
Parenting expert Liat Hughes Joshi says: “It’s important for us not to demonise screen time, as it’s really not all bad.
“The crucial thing is to think about what your child is watching, and how much.”
So grab the remote, as Liat tells Nikki Watkins which TV programmes youngsters should watch and learn from.
Watch: Spidey And his Amazing Friends – streaming on Disney+
For ages: 4 years plus
Spidey And his Amazing Friends, on Disney+
A QUARTER of school pupils feel lonely and 15 per cent say they don’t have anyone to speak to when they feel sad or lonely, according to research published by education platform Edurio.
This makes learning to be a good pal one of the most important lessons for preschoolers as school can seem very daunting if they don’t know how to make friends.
“Spidey And His Amazing Friends is heaped full of lessons on how to make and keep friendships and it is aimed at an audience of four-year-olds,” Liat explains.
“The show features Marvel favourites Spider-Man, Miles Morales, The Hulk and Ghost-Spider, among others.
“Each 11-minute episode details how you should share, be kind or be understanding towards others.
“Because Spider-Man is so popular with young children, these vitally important lessons become deeply impressed upon them.”
Watch: Octonauts – streams on CBeebies
For ages: 2-7 years
Octonauts – streams on CBeebiesCredit: BBC
RESEARCH shows that children who are gentle to animals are more likely to be respectful and empathetic to humans.
“This cute cartoon features a team of underwater explorer animals, whose adventures help different creatures,” Liat says. “The animals and locations that the crew encounter are based on real marine critters in their natural habitats.
“Your little explorers will learn all about species that live in the sea and they will be exposed to fun facts to drive home lessons about the natural world.
“Most episodes include minute-long Creature Report musical sequences which recap the lessons learned.”
Watch: Peg + Cat – streaming on Amazon Prime
For ages: 3-5 years
Peg + Cat – streaming on Amazon Prime
SCIENTISTS from Stanford University recently found that a child’s brain goes through physical changes after repeated maths practice, which could boost mental health.
“In each episode Peg and her cat face a new maths problem they must solve in order to move ahead,” Liat says.
“Your kids will learn to solve maths problems in a fun way. Children will develop new skills and strategies for solving maths problems and overcoming obstacles.”
Watch: Blue’s Clues & You! – streaming on Sky Go, Netflix, Virgin TV Go and My5
For ages: 3-5 years
Blue’s Clues & You! – streaming on Sky Go, Netflix, Virgin TV Go and My5
RESEARCH has found youngsters who can spell well perform better in reading, writing and comprehension. Analysis for the Scientific Study of Reading found it builds a child’s knowledge of the alphabet.
“This series has a live-action host in a brightly coloured animated world,” Liat says.
“The show follows dog Blue as she leaves a trail of clues for the host and viewers to figure out her plans for the day. In the show there are built-in silences to encourage viewing kids’ participation.
“The show has a heavy emphasis on literacy, which includes phonics, spelling and letter recognition. There are also lots of opportunities to learn basic preschool skills like shape and colour identification.”
Watch: Operation Ouch – streaming on Sky Go, Virgin TV Go and CBeebies
For ages: 9 years plus
Operation Ouch – streaming on Sky Go, Virgin TV Go and CBeebies
THE human body is an amazing machine but in a recent poll, 19 per cent of kids couldn’t identify where their heart was in the body and over 80 per cent had no idea we have two kidneys.
“This series gives kids their first insight into the workings of the human body,” Liat explains.
“For kids aged nine on, it shows what can happen in A&E – taking away the unease some kids have of hospitals.
“The team of presenting doctors also investigate medical treatments and technology with ‘try this at home’ experiments for viewers to participate in. This show might even inspire future medics, which is very exciting.”
Watch: Bluey – streaming on Disney plus and CBeebies
For ages: 4 years plus
Bluey – streaming on Disney plus and CBeebies
A SOUND sense of empathy helps children to build stronger relationships. It encourages tolerance, acceptance of others and promotes good mental health.
“Animated TV series Bluey is aimed at preschoolers and follows Bluey, an imaginative and curious six-year-old puppy,” Liat says.
“The show is great for educating kids on how to identify and regulate their feelings and emotions. Bluey puts heavy focus on coping and resilience.
“In the cartoon, your kids will see that learning new things takes trial and error: from riding a bike to putting on your own backpack.
“Kids will start to understand that things don’t always come easily and that they need resilience to be able to cope when things don’t go well.”
Liat concludes: “A child watching this show may become a more sympathetic person.”