I found a new website that I just LOVE. We talked about it before the holiday, it is called Common Sense Media and it “rates” TV, Movies and websites for kids & parents. Such as, if a movie is rated “G”, how do you know if it is OK for a 3-year-old or a 7-year-old? Common Sense Media tells you what ages are appropriate and tells you WHY and gives you ideas about topics to discuss that happened in the movie or show. This site is chock full of amazing info, we’ll be sifting through it for you.
Before I had a child I am sure I probably made fun of parents who got hung up on stuff like this. But now, I see what they show in so-called cartoons and I worry about what sort of message they are sending. I had never realized how “violent” Looney Toons are! I am embarrassed that I gave that DVD as a gift to a 2-year-old before Claire was born! I am just way more tuned into this now and very happy this website is out there. Not that we want Claire (age 2 1/2) to watch much TV, but when we do we would like it be be appropriate and educational (she has not learned the word “stupid” yet and I want to keep it that way). I remember that when she was 1 1/2 I was ready to consider letting her watch some shows but I had no idea which ones were good. This site has tons of info, so I have picked out a few pages that might be interesting. I have also listed a few popular kids shows and the ratings that Common Sense Media gives them. I will be doing this for movies and books in future posts.
They have some good lists of “Best Bets” for Kids:
Here are a few sample ratings of popular shows, each listing links to the show’s rating page, which has much more info on the pros and cons of each show.
Dora The Explorer – 3+
This is Claire’s #1 all-time favorite right now. We read the books and on special days she gets to watch one episode. I like it because I feel that it has a pretty good message. She did get scared that Swiper was in her room one week and she does not like the one episode with the witch but she got past it and otherwise she loves it. She pretends she has a backpack just like Dora and tells me “Vamanos” all the time.
Little Bear – Rated 3+
Claire has watched this one a few times
Go Diego Go – Rated 3+
Blue’s Clues – Rated 3+
The Wiggles – Rated 3+
Super Why – Rated 3+
Sesame Street – Rated 3+
Curious George – Rated 3+
Oswold – Rated 3+
Thomas The Tank Engine – Rated 3+
Danger Rangers -Rated 4+
Hannah Montana – Rated 8+
The Suite Life of Zach & Cody – Rated 8+
This is just a sampling of the reviews and ratings, to find any show go to the website.
What shows do you like for your kids? How much TV are your kids allowed to watch? And how old were they when they started?