Today, Aardman the Oscar winning animation studio behind family favourites such as Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep launches Learning Time with Timmy, a fun and interactive learning series teaching English for children aged two to five. The series is in partnership with the British Council and will be available to watch on Youtube from Friday 1 June.
To celebrate the launch Aardman have commissioned Dr Sam Wass (The Secret Life of Four and Five Year Olds) to reveal his top tips to parents on how to tell good from poor quality online video content for young learners.
Dr Wass’ four top tips for parents are:
1. Try to avoid fast-paced content. Young children tend to be drawn to fast-paced, highly stimulating videos. Although they might find these exciting, they won’t get so much from them. Video content aimed at young children needs to be slower, and more clearly structured, than equivalent content aimed at adults.
2. Repetition helps children. Because young children’s brains are much noisier and more inefficient, watching the same thing again and again can help children – because they wouldn’t see everything that we would, first time round. So don’t be worried if your child wants to watch the same thing, over and over!
3. Watch with your child. Of course, parents all need a bit of ‘sanity time’ – and everyone uses videos to entertain the kids while you cook dinner, or clear up. But watching video with your child can be a great way to start conversations. And the more that you can help consolidate their learning by linking real-world objects with what they see on-screen, the better!
4. Young children will often, to an amazing degree, watch anything that is put in front of them – so don’t be afraid to do some research into good YouTube channels, and to point your children to it. Some websites offer sensible guidelines to help parents to find good quality, age-appropriate content for their children.