television

Kids & Media Device Usage: How much is too much?

It seems kind of fitting that the day I intended to do this blog post, I came downstairs pre-8am to find the kids both sat like this…

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I posted the pic on my personal Facebook page with the caption “peace and quiet sponsored by Nintendo”.

We all know that kids are now exposed more than ever to a wide variety of media devices, and handheld computers like Nintendo 3DS’s are just the tip of the iceberg. From television – which seems almost primitive compared to some technologies – to Xboxes, iPads and Smartphones, most kids have access to one or more of these devices on a regular basis. My 8yr old has a Wii, a Kindle Fire, a Nintendo 3DS and an iPod touch. Oh and a tv/dvd in her room. My five year old has a Kindle Fire, a Nintendo 3DS and will be getting a tv/dvd from Santa this year.

With easy entertainment at the touch of just a few buttons, it is easy to embrace media devices. They are a great way to keep the kids quiet – as demonstrated by my picture this morning – without creating much mess or noise. When it comes to eating out in a restaurant, I almost always take the kids handheld devices so that they have something to keep them occupied if there is a long wait for food. My 8yr old always unwinds with a dvd before bed. The kids both love Minecraft and will happily sit and play it for an hour at a time without moving from their seats.

On the surface it all looks great. Mum/Dad gets some peace and quiet and the kids are kept busy relatively cost and mess free. And there is plenty of evidence that supports that media device usage does indeed have a heap of benefits, particularly in terms of language development. However, there is also evidence to suggest that too much screen-time can actually have a negative impact on some areas of kids lives.

So how much is too much? My friends over at California Cryobank have created the following powerful infographic detailing the pro’s and con’s of children using media devices. Their research clearly illustrates the effect that too much screen time has on our kids health and development. It’s thought-provoking stuff and well worth five minutes of your time to read – hence why I am sharing it with you today.

Feel free to like, share and comment on this infographic from http://www.cryobank.com entitled “The Pro’s and Con’s of Children’s Media Device Usage”.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dee xoxox

 

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80s cartoons they need to bring back!

The kids were watching telly last night, one of the cartoon channels, I think it was Boomerang, when an advert came on stating that Inspector Gadget is starting tomorrow (Monday!). Oh my god I am so excited, I used to LOVE Inspector Gadget when I was a kid. I only hope they have kept the originality and haven’t changed it too much!

As I was telling the kids that I used to watch it when I was a kid, it made me think about some of the other shows I used to watch when I was a child that they should bring back – purely for nostalgic reasons of course!!

1. Button Moon

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Let’s face it, who didn’t love a bit of button moon. Started in 1980 there were over 90 different adventures to watch. How they managed to make 90 different episodes is beyond me, but it was awesome!!

2. Trapdoor

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Possibly the coolest thing ever to come out of blue plasticine – featuring Berk, a blue creature who lives as servant to the unseen ‘Thing Upstairs’ in an old dark house. Each time the trap door opens a new adventure begins for Berk and his mates; Boni (a talking skull) and Drutt (a mischievous spider)!

3. Danger Mouse

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The crazy adventures of Danger Mouse, the greatest secret agent mouse in the world and his sidekick, Penfold. They follow the orders of Colonel K’s and fight to save the world from monsters, master thieves, and their arch nemesis, the Baron Silas Greenback and his henchman. I have heard a rumour that Danger Mouse may be making a comeback! Exciting stuff!

4. Bananaman

Bananaman

Eric, a young boy who, when eats bananas becomes his alter-ego…. Bananaman! A short-lived series it didn’t quite live up to Danger Mouse, but was still pretty awesome in its own right and I guess tv companies could introduce Raspberryman, Potatoman and Celeryman in a bid to get young kids to eat healthier!

5, Count Duckula

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Voiced by the amazing David Jason, Count Duckula is a vegetarian vampire duck who lives in a castle that can travel anywhere he wants to go. He lives with his servants: Nanny, his large and stupid nanny who always has her arm in a sling, and Igor, his evil butler. While Nanny accidentally destroys furniture, Igor attempts to turn the broccoli chomping duck to the dark side.

5 Things I blame on “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”

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Just in case you aren’t familiar with Disney Junior, the above picture depicts, from L-R, Skully, Izzy, Cubby and Jake.

I really am starting to dislike some children’s telly, and in particular at the moment, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

Here are my current reasons why:

1. Gold Dubloons!

When Jake and his band of buddies complete a task they receive a number of gold dubloons. Now is it just me or does this say to kids “you will be financially rewarded for doing things”?! I have had more than a few occasions where I have had to explain to the kids that no, I wont give them 4 gold dubloons (£4 to you and I) just because they’ve put their plate in the kitchen or their rubbish in the bin!

2. Magical array of weapons/items (1) The Whirlyhook

I have labelled this as number one because this is a constant problem for me. I have picked the two most annoying and difficult ones for this list though. I totally get that cartoons are fantasy, but if you show key characters using certain weapons or items then it stands to reason that kids are going to want to own those items also. Disney bought out a range of “hooks” that could be attached to a plastic cuff type thing so a child could pretend to be Captain Hook. It featured a net hook, a plastic traditional hook, and a cannon type hook that fired little foam balls. Fantastic you think. Except they also have an episode with Captain Hook using a hook with a little propeller built into it to pull him up into the air, and THAT is the hook my 4yr old son wants. I have tried copious times to explain that they don’t make one, and even if they did make one it wouldn’t be strong enough to actually make him fly. The disappointment on his face was clear and then a little bit of the magic was gone. He still isn’t entirely convinced though and sometimes tells me I am only saying its not real because I am mean and wont buy him one!

3. Magical array of weapons/items (2) The Invisibility Ring

Well I’m sure I don’t need to explain what the invisibility ring is or does. As before my son wants one, and cannot understand why there would be something on tv that isn’t real and isn’t available to be bought for him.

4. J&NLP Talking Telescope

One of the most annoying toys my son has received to date. The “off” switch seems to have no bearing on the fact that the slightest creak of a floorboard can cause a loud “ahoy there matey” from Jake. Predictably this usually happens in the middle of the night and said telescope is buried at the bottom of the toybox at the very back of the huge pile of toys under my sons mid-sleeper bed.

5. The Valley of the Lost

It sounds a lot creepier than it really is. In one particular episode of J&NLP the characters head to the “Valley of the Lost” to look for Cubby’s map. My son is totally convinced that there is a Valley of the Lost in England and that is where all his old toys have gone. I’m not sure how to break it to him that our “Valley of the Lost” is otherwise known as “the bin” or “the bootfair”! He is currently suggesting that we take a trip there in half term to go and find the last 4 years worth of toys and games!

I love that kids tv is so imaginative, but it makes it very difficult when I have a child that wants to visit/use/have the non-existent products of this amazing imagination!!