Summer TV Shows You Can Feel Good About Your Kids Watching

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When you think about summertime, you might think about swimming, camping, bike riding, and other outdoor fun. The reality is that summer also means lots more time in front of the TV.

According to a study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, kids watch about 20 more minutes of TV a day in the summer than during the school year. Of course, kids need their downtime, but all that sitting around isn’t great for kids’ bodies – or minds. Here’s an idea: Combine their favorite shows with cool activities to get them moving and thinking. We get you started below with some fun and smart ideas.

Preschoolers

Julie's Greenroom

Dot. (STEM)
Activity: Have kids follow in Dot’s footsteps by combining technology with nature. Use your phone’s camera to document birds, butterflies, or other outdoor creatures, then come home and research your favorite finds online.

Julie’s Greenroom (arts)
Activity: Kids can write and perform their own short play or concert. Turn the living room or backyard into a theater using sheets as curtains, and invite friends and family to serve as a supportive audience!

Peg + Cat (math)
Activity: Ask preschoolers to help with simple cooking tasks, including sorting and counting vegetables or dry beans or measuring sugar and flour for cookies.

Dino Dana (science)
Activity: Press small dinosaur toys into clay or Play-doh to create “fossils.” Slightly older junior paleontologists could also use that clay to create their own dino skeletons.

Wallykazam (literacy)
Activity: Walk around the house or a park together and come up with words that rhyme with what you see — for example, “cat” and “hat” and “tree” and “bee.”

Ready, Jet, Go (STEM)
Activity: Visit a local planetarium, or stay up a little later and take a look at the stars and planets before bedtime.

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