We just got a little reminder that even a little cartoon viewing could have a negative effect on our kids. In this study, watching brief clips of the Spongebob Squarepants cartoon made 4 year-olds less able to stay on task.
… study provides empirical evidence that watching a 9-minute episode of a fast-paced television cartoon immediately impaired young children’s EF relative to watching an educational television show or drawing. Children in the fast-paced television group scored signiﬁcantly worse than the others despite being equal in attention at the outset, as indicated by parent report. This result is consistent with others showing long-term negative associations between entertainment television and attention. Lillard, P. (2011). The immediate impact of different types of television on young children’s executive function. Pediatrics.
This study is far from conclusive, but for me it as a reminder that my kids should be out playing in the dirt more often.