Children love to watch TV, and occasionally parents like it too, as it gives them a moment of quiet. Unfortunately, not all children's TV programs are created equal. Some children's television programs do more harm than good, especially if the program has violence, inappropriate language, nudity or sexual innuendo. There are educational television programs available to children that will make their time watching TV more productive. They include Sesame Street, Barney, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and several others.
Sesame Street is a popular educational television program that first aired in 1969. The idea behind the creation of Sesame Street was to provide children of all socio-economic backgrounds an equal chance at obtaining a pre-school education. At this time, over 97 percent of households in the United States had a television set, which allowed Sesame Street to reach a majority of children. Sesame Street teaches children concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, thinking, science, music, art, culture and getting along with others. There have been occasions where this children's program has explained deeper concepts, such as the death of Mr. Hooper, which was aired with proper planning and parental notification beforehand.
Barney and Friends is an educational television program, created by Sheryl Leach, that is geared towards toddlers and preschool age children. Barney is a six foot (182.88 cm) tall, purple Tyrannosaurus Rex, who is often seen with his friends Baby Bop and BJ. Barney teaches children about sharing, caring, using their imagination and other trials children may face, such as moving. This is done through singing and dancing, making it very effective in conveying the message to young children. There is a small focus on numbers and letters, though a majority of the shows are focused more on a young child's emotional development.
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is an educational television program that was first released in 1993. This television program is geared towards a preteen audience and utilizes humor, fast paced action and hip-hop songs to teach science topics. One hundred episodes of Bill Nye, the Science Guy were produced and still air regularly on stations such as PBS. The programs topics include buoyancy, gravity, digestion and magnetism.
Educational television programs are growing in popularity, mainly due to the fact that young children are spending more time watching television. These types of programs are usually found on PBS, but can also be watched on Nickelodeon, Disney, and Sprout. Although, these TV shows are beneficial to children, the amount of time kids spend in front of the television should be limited to two, or less, hours per day.