I think for a lot of parents, news that SpongeBob SquarePants was hardly an edifying cartoon for young kids wasn’t such a surprise. It’s pretty obvious that not all kids TV shows are on the same level, educationally.
But it was the particular problem found with SpongeBob that alarmed some parents. A mere 9 minutes of a single episode and suddenly my kid can’t do a puzzle? Even worse, we’re going to have to watch Caillou from now on?!
Well, no and, mercifully, not exactly. Heather does a great job of breaking down the study. My coarse summary of her breakdown is that the scenes in SpongeBob just fly by too quickly and kids wind up with sensory overload. The good news is that there are other shows that are just as entertaining for younger kids, but which allow their stories to be told at a slower pace. (They also resolve problems in a much gentler way.)
I relied on the excellent kids media critics at Common Sense and, unscientifically evaluated the pacing and number of scene changes in some others. Here’s what I came up with; be sure to add your favorites in comments.
12 Alternatives to the Frenetic Weirdos from Bikini Bottom