Cartoons are essential part of every childhood. They are, certainly, the most popular entertainment for children, but also much more than that. With the help of cartoons kids can learn about the world around us, about new emotions, life issues and other important things.
As a little girl, I enjoyed watching Disney animated movies based on fairy tales. I remember they took me to the world of imagination, where I was a princess, who was waiting for a prince charming to come and rescue me. My favourite fairy tale was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs“. I will never forget how excited I have been while my brother and I prepared to go to the cinema with our parents, to watch this story in animated version, for the first time. Only later did VHS and videotapes come, enabling us to record and enjoy our favourite scenes and episodes. Snow White helped me in many ways. One of them was the fact that I started learning and practising my English, which I continued to study at the Institute for Foreign Languages in Belgrade. Thanks for that!
The Little Mermaid is also on the top of my best cartoons list. This is a symbolic story which tells children about perseverance, determination, love and purity of heart. Today, having children of my own, I always find time to sit with them and watch their favourite cartoons. From Baby TV channel – for the little ones, to the animated feature films. Everything has its value, and in the same time, it helps me remember all these wonderful things that we learn from cartoons. One can never be old enough to watch them.
What Can We Learn from Watching Cartoons
Younger children learn new sounds, shapes and colours with the help of cartoons; they also get in contact with music in a different way (most of the times they are used to listen to songs on CD player or the radio); watching cartoons inspire kids to dance and to talk in a new, imaginative language only known to them… Parents must be trully delighted to see them so happy and joyful. At early age, children usually don’t have patience to listen to long bed time stories and tales we read to them. Instread, they prefer watching short cartoons. In that way, kids improve speech and vocabulary not only regarding their mother tongue, but they learn foreign language as well. Cartoon TV and Dexter Laboratory, for example, helped my younger brother start speaking English when he was only 6! Of course, a sister had her share in that, too.
As children grow up, we use cartoons to show them how things function in real life, explain them more about feelings and relationships in a way they can understand. We also show them how to deal with certain situations and people. Cartoons contain some valuable life lessons. With Peppa Pig children learn about making friends and friendship, how to accept and appreciate our differences, about positive things of playing outdoors. Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony teach youngsters about friendship, telling them it is something very precious and important, and showing how that with the help of friends you can resolve any problem. Bo on the go gets kids familiar with all the charms of physical culture. My second son, who is three and a half, imitates all the exercises Bo and her friends are doing. I find this very useful, especially during long winter months when we are not spending so much time outside. Animated movies based on fairy tales produced by Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks, teach us lying is wrong and that we should always listen to our conscience – a message from Pinocchio. With Dumbo and the Ugly Duckling we learn that it’s okay to be different and to accept and love ourselves. Children, especially boys, are very fond of Pixar cartoon Cars. It is much more than an ordinary car race. If you haven’t seen it, you have to check out this cartoon, which shows that it is not all about winning the race. Some other things are more important, such as the race itself, getting to know the route and the friends we make along the way Up teaches us that love is possible at any age, and that long lasting friendships are the most precious thing in life. It is only thing that counts. Kung Fu Panda helps children discover there is no “secret recipe” that can guarantee success in anything, or rather that they have that recipe inside themselves – it is their inner strength, determination and will to do what their heart and imagination desire and to be what they trully are.
Cartoons are full of positive life messages. We, as parents, have to recognize it, and to show our children how to understand such stories, especially when the kids are still too young to realize their meaning. Also, it is a good idea to watch cartoons together. This will help the entire family to bond and become closer than before. Encourage children’s imagination and creativity. Let them talk about their favourite heroes or help them draw cartoon characters. Find and bring out your inner child. This is the best way to connect with your children and exactly the thing Peter Pan tells us.
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