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Parents That Want Guilt-Free Screen Time For Kids Are Turning To BBC's Muzzy

When I first became a mom, I had ideas about screen time that I thought were set in stone: limit the kids to an hour a day so all the TV and iPad games wouldn't have a negative impact on my child's development. By the time I had my second daughter, I realized that screen time is often unavoidable, especially when I'm trying to get work done in my home office and need something to occupy the kids. Sometimes it's easier to appease them than to say no. Still, I wasn't comfortable with how my kids were using screens, mostly to watch TV shows that were numbing their minds or to play addictive games like candy crush that was making them aggressive. When a few moms at school told me about Muzzy, a cartoon based online language learning program for kids created by the BBC, it sounded like it might be the solution I needed. They could keep the screen time, but I could cut the guilt.

I started doing some research to see if other parents had tried Muzzy to avoid mindless screen time. I learned that Muzzy is an award-winning language learning program that uses cartoon stories to teach kids new languages the same way they learned their first. The units build on each other, and you can access them as a DVD set or online subscription to the website that has bonus worksheets and games.

I read on one of my mommy blogs that at a young age, learning a second language is as easy for kids as learning a first. I used to think that my children (3 and 6 years old) were too young to start, I mean I had such a hard time with Spanish in high school! But it turns out, having them start to learn a language at their age would not only open many doors for them later in life but would increase their creativity and critical thinking skills as they grow up. We were familiar with some of the benefits of raising bilingual kids—a higher achievement in school, better memory and recall skills, higher test scores, just to name a few—but we also wanted to make sure that the program was engaging and fun for the kids.

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I felt great knowing that my kids would have the benefit of being fluent in a second language—something I always wanted but never achieved. We paid the $59 (less than $5 a month!) for a yearly online subscription and took the plunge. I was worried they wouldn't like something educational, but after the first day, my daughters were singing the catchy songs and talking about their favorite cartoon characters in the animated stories. Plus, they were really learning. Within a week or two they were already using their new Spanish vocab words at dinnertime!

A few months later, play time is almost all in Spanish! Using Muzzy has helped my kids to learn a new language and think outside the box. Before, I'd feel bad about letting them zonk out on normal video games or TV and become unresponsive, but with Muzzy, my kids are clearly thinking, learning, and having fun. Plus, when I need some time to get house chores or personal work done, I can let them sit with the iPad or computer and know that I'm still doing something positive for our kids. I'm even considering getting them the DVD set to start them on French and curb them of their Spongebob habit.

If you're a busy parent like me struggling with the screen-time dilemma, you don't need to pull your hair out trying to limit screens. Using Muzzy lets my kids play games and watch cartoons while taking advantage of all the cognitive benefits of learning a second language. It's made a huge difference in our quality of life, and it's amazing to watch the kids grow.

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