Some people think that TV is all bad but after witnessing my own son memorize 26 names of some pretty hard to pronounce dinosaur names I am a believer. See the video here.
The cartoons I had as a kid were Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny and Wile. E. Coyote. In both cases they were constantly chasing one another and devising different ways they could drop an anvil on each other's heads.
Cartoons have definitely changed. Most kids shows now have pauses in between questions that they pose to the viewers. My son, who is now seven, takes these opportunities now to direct Dora to her demise often telling her to head down the wrong path directly to the crocodiles.
But, can cartoons be helpful? They were to my son, who learned his song via The Dinosaur Train when his teacher used it as a visual aid to learn dinosaur names. Check out the real video here.
Of course I am not saying plop your kid in front of a TV all day. Everything in moderation. Kids need healthy meals, excercise, plenty of sleep, stimulating games and puzzles and reading, reading, and more reading.
But, in defense of today's TV most of it is educational save for Spongebob Squarepants whom my kids find annoying thank goodness. However, there are awesome shows like Team Umi Zoomi which teaches math, Octonauts which is science based and even Dora which teaches basic problem solving and the three step method. I can't say that I haven't used Dora's three step method to explain what we are doing for the afternoon I just wish she would stop asking my kids to say everything louder.