Kill Your Television, kinda

by | Oct 18, 2008 | Parenting | 2 comments

Those of you who know me (this is a bit of a joke, since everyone who reads this also actually knows me at this point), know that my kids don’t watch television unless they’re sick or getting a haircut. Somehow, though, I have started letting them occasionally watch a vintage Sesame Street snippet on YouTube, or watch animals doing their thing at National Geographic. I’m not sure how it all got started, and I have been working to stop it, because they now bug me a lot to watch things on the computer, which underscores my feelings about why I don’t let them watch TV in the first place, and also makes it hard for me to get schoolwork done, when they’re using the computer instead of me.

Two sites that we do love, though: Bembo’s Zoo, which is an offshoot of the book, has cool Flash animation showing each animal word becoming the animal (that is, the animal is made out of the letters that make up its name, so each letter in “peacock” is used to make a picture of a peacock), and Jan Brett’s site. You all know Jan Brett from her books like The Mitten. Her illustrations are very detailed and lovely, and her site has rougly a gajillion different activities. We like the printable coloring pages and books. There’s so much stuff to do there you can get lost in it all, which is nice, because it means there will always be something new for us to print out.


  1. Anne

    Yeah. Sam’s been obsessed with buffalo lately, so I’ve taken to showing him buffalo/bison videos on YouTube. I’m all conflicted about it. He’ll walk over to my computer, point to it, and say “Buffalo?” with this adorable look of great expectation, so of course I cave and show him a few YouTube videos. I’ve been limiting our buffalo screen time to about 5 minutes or so, tops. And we talk the whole time, so I can reassure myself that starting at YouTube videos is an interactive activity. “The buffalo is crossing the street! There’s a baby buffalo! The buffalo are stampeding!” etc.

  2. Julie

    Well, it’s hard to argue with the buffalo videos. Eli is all about the “freestyling bobcats” on YouTube, and Henry likes any variety of animals. And I guess two to three minute snippets, commercial-free, with parental involvement, might be ok. But I agree, I’m totally conflicted.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.