In trying to keep my child both entertained (mom talk for not clinging to my leg and crying) and mildly educated, I was having him watch the Doodlebops every morning. He liked the music. Sometimes he would even dance. We would watch them on CBC—a Canadian television channel. While we live in Michigan, our cable system still offers us the channel out of nearby Windsor, Ontario.
After the Doodlebops, I would switch over to The View on ABC. But after a week of them showing reruns, I got annoyed. So I would just leave my TV on CBC. At 11:25AM is a cute mini show that has kids visiting different areas in the world. I got to see what the stairs inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa look like, learn why people believed that pyramids were cursed, and what a baby black rhino looks like. Then at 11:40AM is a great show called Artzooka.
Artzooka is a show that is aimed to get kids interested in Art. It encourages kids to make Art out of household or recycled objects. Some projects turn out looking cuter than others. It is similar to a cooking show in that the host will start a project, then set it aside and pull a completed one out from under the table. It is also great because the host is cute, in a your-best-friend’s-younger-slacker-brother kind of way.
I would have absolutely loved a show like this when I was a kid. Heck, I love it now. My 17 month old son is indifferent. He likes the music. Artzooka also features kid-friendly photography and stop-motion mini movies. It really makes me regret not trying to make my own animation in college when I had access to video and editing equipment. Unfortunately, I did not have any free time to do it. The kids who are hard-core about this show must drive their parents nuts. They encourage you to make art projects out of anything and everything, including staplers and kitchen utensils. I wonder how many parents go looking for the stapler and find it has been turned into Barbie’s snowmobile.
When I was a kid, I drew and made things all the time. I even had my own set of sharp scissors from an early age (…which I may have misused to carve my name in the leg of a table and attempt to cut my mom’s hair with). I think it is important for kids to learn Art (and music, for that matter). Not everyone is going to be good at sports or math or science. It helps a kid get through school if they can find their niche, what they are good at, even if they won’t grow up to do it as a career. But some will. My friend and I used to turn every project we did in high school into an Art project. Now she is an elementary Art teacher, just as she always said she would be. And I..write a silly little blog and draw silly little pictures for it:)
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