When I think back to the cartoons I used to watch on tv when I was a kid, I can't help but be a little upset by the fact that TV viewing time was only a bleak distraction from reality. I so wish I'd grown up with the amazing STEM based shows targeted towards today's preschoolers. Perhaps then I would have had a better idea of what I'd want to do career-wise for the rest of my life. The older and more experienced I get, the more I turn to the term Return on Investment, or ROI for short. Nowadays, I base most of my decisions on ROI. I weigh my options and see things through in my head before taking the plunge. If I'm not getting out of something what I've put into it, I pull the plug. I do the same for the television shows my son gets to spend his free time watching. There's plenty of garbage out there that I don't allow him to watch because it's not teaching him anything. Yes, I understand that TV shows are meant for enjoyment but Nick Jr and PBS Kids have done an absolutely phenomenal job of making learning fun and enjoyable!
Once again, I turn to ROI - if I'm going to let my son spend 30-60 minutes watching TV so that I can fit in a shower or prepare dinner, I want it to be high quality programming. I'd much rather he repeat such quotes as, "trajectory is the path that something follows," as he learned from Blaze and the Monster Machines, as opposed to some silly line from Spongebob Squarepants or practicing the whining he learned from Caillou. Blaze isn't the only amazing show available to preschoolers today. My son and I are also big fans of Rusty Rivets and Dinosaur Train and Odd Squad.
The knowledge my 4 1/2 year old son is absorbing is tremendous. Most of the time, he's playing on the floor with LEGOs or toys while listening to the show and occasionally letting it take his visual attention from his playtime. It would be an honor to shake the hand of the creators and writers of these series, especially Blaze and the Monster Machines. They have played a huge part in the growth of my child's intelligence and I'm truly grateful. They have made tough scientific concepts easily digestible for a very young crowd of eager learners. I'd be lying if I said I didn't learn a thing or two from these shows as well! So thank you, Blaze and the Monster Machines! I'll continue to let my son watch TV!