Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why, Discovery, huh? Why?? WHY???

After Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network, a good next step for your child's TV viewing is ...not MTV.  Not for my kids anyway.  Tired of The Little Einsteins and sick to the stomach of Barney, they set their peepers on Discovery Channel.
Sounds too old for you?  Not really.  You know when your child is ready for the said network transition when he or she has fully entered the dreaded WHY Stage.  Why is the sky blue?  Why did the dinosaurs die?  Why aren't there any aliens in the back yard?  Oh you've heard all of that and you haven't heard the last of it.

This inquisitive stage really has no age range to it.  As long as your child has reached the age of discovery, then it's time for Discovery.  So if you have no idea how Pluto lost its planet status, a huge possibility is that Discovery Channel does.
For my feisty, bloodthirsty, little Kenji whose favorite questions play around "Why aren't the dinosaurs coming back?" and "Why can't I have a shark as a pet?", there's Discovery season specials like Clash of the Dinosaurs which talks about the life and times of these extinct giants in full, highly-impressive CG.
And then on it's 20th season, there's Shark Week.  More realistic and more PG because of the graphic show of shark attacks in some episodes, but still educational in the sense that it tells you the good and the bad sides of these water monsters.  Ok, more the bad side.  But that does not kill Kenji's love and fascination for these beasts.
For my mini-mad scientist and walking, non-stop-talking brain, Miro, whose favorite questions are those aimed at pushing me to the brink of either insanity of stupidity, there's How It's Made --a show that takes one through the step-by-step process of creating and manufacturing day-to day objects like pencils, violins, drums, and such.
Another one for him is How The Universe Works.  A Discovery season special that talks about anything and everything outside of Earth.  Something Miro is very interested in --being a child who plans to harness the powers of the galaxy someday for universal domination.
Mythbusters, a Discovery staple, is a common favorite to these 2 boys.  It's the show that blends brains and brawn in one sitting.  It answers all the whys and hows as well as explodes things needlessly. Uh-huh, that's one of the few things my boys agree on.

These are just a few of Discovery Channel's plethora of educational offerings that have nothing to do with text book learning.  This is extreme education with a generous dash of entertainment and engagement.  If you think it's still too much for your kids, think of it as nothing more than a hyped Jimmy Neutron cum Dexter's Lab cum Phineas and Ferb.

Or, think of it as a smart way of getting the WHYS out of your hair for a few hours.  There you go!  Boom-de-yada... boom-de-yada...

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