A cartoon is basically a drawing based on reality but expressed according to the will of the artist. It can be a film, little video or movie as long as it contains animation. Usually, it is targeted at children though there are some targeted at adults these days. Due to research on the educational benefits of cartoons to children, they (cartoons) are being used more and more in the education industry. How do we relate this to Nigerian Children?
Children are drawn to cartoons due to the bright colours which communicate better than words. Children learn via the use of the senses so sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell pass messages. Most of us can still remember important moments of our childhood via sensory inputs. Moving pictures with such bright colours capture the imagination of children and pass across messages.
Educational Benefits of Cartoons to Nigerian Children
Most teachers, if pressed, will relate the difficulty of their jobs, the stress involved, and the burden of unwieldy children. Teaching is a job for the very patient, especially in Nigeria. Due to the difficulties teachers have discovered while teaching young minds, new paths are being explored. Back in the day there were certain prescribed methods of passing information in a classroom. In these day and age, there is available technology. Secondly, the changing mental natures of the next generation require new methods. With this reasons in consideration, these are the educational benefits of cartoons to Nigerian Children.
In the world we live in today, there are so many external distractors. We are barraged with tons of information on a daily basis. Some parents expose their children to television early and that does not help to grow an attention span. Some kids are born with attention deficit problems, but even without these outliers, the deficit curve is still steep. Educational cartoons are a solution to this problem.
Children learn via the senses, so the best way to teach lessons to those at that age is via the same senses. Cartoons are an easy way to help children understand concepts that would be difficult to explain or pass across any other way. A basic understanding of difficult life principles can be cemented early on through the use of cartoons.
Children are sponges, and they mimic what happens around them. Cartoons can be used to create or change the way a child speaks. When applied early, the child will grow up speaking like the cartoons they watched in their formative years.
Many cartoon stories bear moral lessons. Children learn moral lessons via their parents or the intervention of the teachers in school. Cartoons are a great aid to both parents and teachers to plant the ideas that lead to moral education.Educational Benefits of Cartoons to Nigerian Children
Cartoons are an easy way to carry along those too young to be in school. It grabs their attention, thus good use of educational cartoons can pass on nursery rhymes, counting skills, alphabets, and even basic math. Cartoons these days are quite interactive. Such a cartoon can be used to teach physical exercises.
In my last article, I mentioned Jiminy Cricket who was a great influence in my younger years. That cartoon helped foster my growing artistic leanings and encouraged storytelling. Some cartoons can prove to be outstanding examples of creativity and can inspire the children to kindred heights.
Kids need to be taught to think, but this is not a skill that can be taught. Fortunately, it can be induced. A child does not learn a solution to a problem until he or she faces the problem. Cartoons can be used to showcase the different choices when facing such problems and their final conclusions.
In the 60s and 70s, up to the 90s, we had cartoons that showcased action without conversations. This helped the children watching them exercise their mental faculties to figure out what the stories were about. Such cartoons are a beautiful way to induce cognitive function.
One of the reasons mentioned on a previous post for the rejection of spongebob squarepants from inclusion on a watch list for children was the language involved. As earlier mentioned, children are sponges and pick up almost everything they come across. Cartoons with a lot of conversations help children learn new words and develop their vocabulary.
A scientific study has proven that children pick up anything they are exposed to including different languages. Cartoons are an easy way to aid language proficiency without the aid of a teacher. A French cartoon can be used to lay the foundation for French in an English-speaking background. Same can go for any other language and any other language background.
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Once again, this is not an exhaustive list. A lot more can be done with cartoons in reference to education and children. It is clear though that cartoons are an easy route to education for most parents. The choice of cartoon programs has to be made by the parents to ensure the particular interest of education required.