What video should I show my toddler? There are so many out there that teach shapes, concepts, math, music, etc.
– father in rural Andhra Pradesh
No video can teach a baby more than free exploration of the world. There is no such thing as educational video for toddlers. In early childhood, when senses are rapidly developing, kids need to experience the world live. While a little staring-at-screen may be harmless, you will have to ask yourself at what age you can introduce TV / video without it becoming a habit. The topic keeps coming up in various forms, e.g. a recent article “Parents Urged Again to Limit TV for Youngest.” (My comment: 228).
Fortunately screens were not in everyone’s pockets when my child was little, but today it is harder to limit exposure to these. Even if parents keep them away, friends, visitors, even bystanders on a bus find it entertaining to show babies funny things on their latest gadgets. Little ones in turn start expecting it, as if these devices were made for this purpose. Whatever happened to silly songs, funny faces and peek-a-boo? Now there is an app for that??