How Cartoons Influence Children's Development
Fri, December 3, 2021

How Cartoons Influence Children's Development

Before the internet took over the world by storm and most eyes glued on the screens of their smartphones, young children used to gather in front of their family’s television set, eagerly awaiting their favorite cartoon show to come on / Photo by: Tazrian Khan via Flickr

 

Before the internet took over the world by storm and most eyes glued on the screens of their smartphones, young children used to gather in front of their family’s television set, eagerly awaiting their favorite cartoon show to come on. Sometimes, they will even invite their friends to come over their house so they can watch together those Saturday afternoon cartoons and then afterward role-play on their favorite cartoon characters, recreating the scenes they had seen on TV earlier. It was a great bonding time that allowed for face-to-face interaction.

Watching cartoons was a very entertaining pastime for children around the world. Almost everyone has their favorite show while growing up. Some might even say that their favorite character shaped the way they are today. Particular decisions that one has made throughout their lifetime can sometimes be traced back to their fondest childhood memories. 

Watching cartoons on TV nowadays might not be a common thing for children anymore, what with all the toys and gadgets that are at disposal and made more interesting by their connection to the internet. But parents should not stop encouraging their children to absorb healthy and nurturing content. Fortunately, cartoons of today, still airing on TV, may have struck the balance between truly entertaining and educational.

 

Agents for Information Dissemination

Socialization during the early stages of life can be carried out through so-called agents such as peer groups, church, family, and school. However, since the modern world is now overrun with advanced technology and gadgets that occupy a big chunk of the time of young kids so that they are not able to socialize with their friends, old-school television-watching might prove to be effective in the dissemination of certain ideas and information. After all, modern TV sets are also high-tech now.

Since young kids are naturally curious, they are always thirsty for knowledge. Children spend more time watching TV than any other platform, especially two- to five-year-old kids, who watch cartoons 32 hours a week, according to a report by Enlight Public Research Center, a research and consultation company that is focused on public policy, economy, and culture. 

It also stated that cartoons can be a more effective learning platform compared to traditional and academic sources simple because kids are more attracted to them. Since kids tend to memorize and imitate the behavior of the characters in cartoons, it can be a powerful teaching medium with the right approach and content. 

These vibrant and attractive cartoons are also capable of exposing kids to different languages. They help children develop their linguistic abilities. For example, if kids are watching cartoons set in their native tongue, it enables them to learn the language even better.

Fairy Tales Are the Best Escape

Not all families have the most perfect dynamics. Complicated and hard events in life can also affect the developing brain of a child, especially if they are not handled very well. In an article published by FirstCry Parenting, a website that provides information about parenting, it was mentioned that when children find cartoons, especially those that present fairy tales, very amusing and they make them laugh out loud, it gives the young ones an avenue to escape their life’s difficulties. 

Getting a kid to laugh through a stressful situation will lessen the impact of a difficult situation. It is also said to be a confidence builder, and the act of laughing actually helps in boosting the body’s immune system as it causes the release of endorphins that cause one to have a positive feeling. 

Maurizio Brasini, an expert on child psychology, explained in an article published by Mash&Co., an app that contains cartoons and mini-games united by a single narrative thread: “Fairy tales face problematic aspects of the child’s life and suggest solutions symbolically. For example, a stepmother represents the ‘bad part’ of each mother, that is, the relationship difficulties, misunderstandings, the feeling that the child feels that he has suffered injustice, fear of punishment, etc.” 

 

Fairy tales face problematic aspects of the child’s life and suggest solutions symbolically / Photo by: KELLEPICS via Pixabay

Great Cartoons for Your Kids

Here then are some of the better cartoons that young kids, especially, will enjoy and get valuable lessons from.

Wonder Pets

The show is a pretty good one when it comes to values forming. Babble, a magazine and online community site, said that since “Wonder Pets” features an operatic element (there are musical numbers), it also allows kids to absorb the great benefits of classical music, which is said to be great for developing brains. 

Elena of Avalor

Since its pilot episode, Elena of Avalor has been teaching kids the importance of family and hard work. It also lets children of color to see themselves as Elena as she’s the first official Latina Disney princess. 

Peppa Pig

The best part of this show is that each episode is only five minutes long. It is perfect for quick screen time before the little ones go to sleep. Peppa Pig is a preschool, energetic pig who gets involved in a lot of fun activities with her family and friends. The cartoon provides a lot of useful information for its young viewers.

As cartoons continue to evolve from merely an entertainment source for young children to an effective educational tool, parents would do well to choose the best one for their kids as there’s practically a myriad of them now available on TV and online.