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It is inevitable, the cinema and television are part of the daily life of our children. On average, a child usually watches more than 10 hours of television a week and they are tremendously receptive to everything they receive through the screens, that is why it is essential knowing how to choose what we want our children to assimilate into their immature little heads.
Movies are a good learning resource, Through them we can instill values, teach different cultures, show distant landscapes, past, present and future events, put ourselves in atopic situations, understand other ways of thinking, learn new ideas and foster empathy with the characters. But keep in mind that many of them can create too strong an impact on their minds yet to be developed.
Children are very impressionable, especially when they are young, and it is clear that experiencing excessively intense sensations or seeing shocking images can hurt them psychologically. On the other hand, movies that are not suitable for their age can cause lack of interest, boredom and, above all, misinterpretations; so having a search criteria on the part of the parents is absolutely essential.
A well-chosen film can be a good ally for your education, or a real nightmare. Tips to be able to choose the most appropriate movies according to your age:
1- Up to 4 years old best cartoon. Simple stories with happy endings and lots of imagination and color are essential to instill simple values in children such as good and evil, or the dangers of life.
2- Watch old movies first. Currently, the aesthetics of the video clip, where the images follow one another in a frenzy and there is no room for reflection or pause, usually makes older films boring to children; they are slower, they are not visually as impressive, and the script is more leisurely. So, if your children are not yet tainted by that sea of images, they will be able to appreciate the beauty of those films. You will be surprised to see how they laugh with the Marx Brothers or the Fat and the Skinny.
3- Introduce children's films with real actors. From the age of five, you can start to introduce them, they give it a different nuance until what they have seen now, since it will seem more real to them. Therefore it is important that you are by their side to be able to explain them properly since there will be things that they will not understand.
4- Choose movies with few characters, since if not they will be lost in the plot; simple thematic (beware of Japanese films or manga that hide adult films behind a children's aesthetic); nor too long, since you will not be able to have them sitting in a chair for more than two hours.
5- Add some historical or educational films from the age of six.
And, if you don't know where to start… here are some movie recommendations that I think are essential in chronological order, although there are always tastes for everything.
- The Kids (1921 - Charles Chaplin)
- The Wizard of Oz (1939 - Victor Fleming)
- The Marx Brothers in the West (1940 - Edward Buzzell)
- Sleeping Beauty (1959 - Disney)
- The Black Steed (1979 - Produced by Francis Ford Coppola
- ET the Extraterrestrial (1982 - Steven Spielberg)
- The Neverending Story (1984 - Wolfgang Petersen)
- The Goonies (1985 - Produced by Steven Spielberg)
- The Princess Bride (1987 - Rob Reiner)
- Eduardo Scissorhands (1990 - Tim Burton)
- Home Alone (1990 - Chris Columbus)
- Jumanji (1995 - Joe Johnston)
- Matilda (1996 - Danny DeVitto)
- Wall-E, Shrek and Toy Story (2001 - Pixar)
- My Favorite Villain Gru (2010 - Universal Studios)
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