Your television set stopped being an idiot box almost half a decade ago. It’s gone smart to being smarter and now has taken on the role of a coach.
It’s now your TV’s turn to teach your kids. Specialist apps made for children are on the rise and as children including, pre-school babies have started spending more time watching TV, companies are gearing up with apps that not just attract the kids but which parents could encourage their kids to play with.
Samsung for example says it has introduced 50 odd specialist Android apps on its Smart Hub which it says will help your child learn up to 40 words for animals, foods and vehicles in just 15 minutes; English is brought to their fingertips and your child moves closer to solving puzzles and what’s more your child’s social skills, health habits, numeracy and even vocabulary are improved.
Its Baby Channel service contains 200 hours of programming for babies and toddlers. According to the company, the channel introduces and builds on social skills, health habits, numeracy and vocabulary through verbal and non-verbal programming.
The English Kindergarten is an animated flashcard game for children of all ages. “In 15 minutes, your child can learn up to 40 words for animals, foods and vehicles — just by engaging with bold characters and fun drawings,” the media note claims.
The bouquet of apps includes much more like the ABC Puzzle that helps kids recognize English alphabets and correctly pronounce them. The Best Kids Songs app even lets you download some classic nursery rhymes and replay it without WiFi.
It is not just Samsung that is aiming to target the TV that was once called the idiot box into a smart companion for your baby.
LG, the other South Korean giant and a strong competitor to Samsung, has its own series of educational apps among more than 100 other apps that are part of the LG bouquet.
Those owning 3D TVs can even enjoy 3D story-telling pop-up books such as Snow White. The Animal Farm familiarizes kids with all the sounds and names of animals.
Panasonic has its own Viera range of smart TVs and has introduced close to a dozen local apps with some of them specifically aimed at kids.
Now for those of you who think that you can stop sending your kids to kindergarten and instead ask them to watch TV and save about Dh15,000 to Dh35,000 annually should think again.
Debate is still on about allowing toddlers to watch TV at all. From No TV policy to some TV policy parents still wonder how much TV time is ideal for a kid.
Amidst a long list of studies that have already warned that excessive time in front of the TV is harmful, a new study among Japanese children has shown that TVs have although become smarter, too much of it can actually change the structure of a child’s brain, crucially damaging them.
The study titled, “The Impact of Television Viewing on Brain Structures: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses,” points to a negative effects of TV viewing on verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) and linked to previously known effects of TV viewing on verbal competence, aggression, and physical activity.
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