TV: A Different Kind of Pacifier
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended parents eliminate television viewing for children under two and limit viewing for older children. At a time when Barney and Teletubbies were topics even adults were talking about, this made quite a splash—and the debate still is a hot one.
Think about it: How much TV does your child watch? Some of our faces may turn crimson when we realize just how much our young children watch daily. But for some parents, turning the TV on is strategic: It is not a replacement for the quality time spent with mom or dad but a way for parents to cook dinner or return an important phone call while knowing that our kids are safe in the company of Caillou or the Wonder Pets.
But when does the TV-watching privilege get abused? For more thoughts and feedback from other parents, check out these BabyZone articles:
- No TV under Two? Understanding What's Best for Your Baby & Toddler
- What TV Is Teaching Our Kids
- Tuned In or Out: A Review of the "No TV" Debate
Art Projects for the Home
Children this age will turn off the TV when engaged in interesting activities. Art projects are great because they maintain kids' interest while challenging different development areas. (Review what your pint-size Picasso is developmeantally capable of, here.) They can easily be done inside on a rainy day or outside during the spring and summer. Remember it is the process that kids learn from, not the finished product. (Though what kid doesn't like to see his creation posted prominently on the refrigerator door—or on one of these cool displays?)
Try these arty projects:
- Painting either with watercolors or tempera (that easily washes out of clothing and off little fingers)
- Stickers of animals, trucks, or of others things that are interesting to your child specifically
- Sidewalk chalk that washes clean with a little water
- Molding with clay or dough that inspires wonderful creations (making a birthday cake is an all-time favorite). The best part of modeling dough is that it can be made in your own kitchen with your child's help. (Click here for a play dough recipe that takes just minutes to make.)