Children’s films as educational tools
As with fables and children’s stories, children’s movies are an excellent tool for educating them. They can be very useful to show children different cultures, to teach them history, accustom them to fundamental values, show them how to think…all in a simple and entertaining way.
Usually, for children, it is considered to be more important to create a love of reading, which in many ways is correct. Movies, however, are an excellent option to compliment a child’s education. Both audio and visual media are great ways to capture a child’s attention and slowly introduce new ideas and contents.
Children’s movies stand out because of the following educational benefits they may bring:
- They educate in an expanded way. One of the main advantages of children’s films is that our young ones are not usually aware of the educational content they are receiving. For them, it’s just playful and entertaining but, whilst they are having fun, they are also learning.
- They are a mirror of the real world. Whilst watching movies, children are rapidly submerged into familiar worlds, that include easy to identify stereotypes (even in movies based on fantasies). This allows them to establish similarities and gives them the opportunity to apply what they have learned into their everyday life.
- They show different behaviors. In children’s movies, it tends to be very clear to them who is good, who is bad, who acts correctly and who does not. Children learn about good behavior and they develop critical thinking, which will be very important in their adult life.
Of course, though, children’s films are just one means, and should be used as a compliment, together with the education that they receive at home, from storybooks… etc.
The best children’s films to watch at home together
When it comes to finding the best movies to watch with your children, to educate them and install them with a love for movies, there are numerous options.
The films that will probably come to mind will be from Disney, Pixar, etc. They are fantastic options and many of their titles will become important references for most children. There are though, many more studios that produce children’s films that you and your children can enjoy together. Here are a few examples:
Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Two relatively recent children’s films that both children and parents can enjoy. Not only are they fun, sweet and very entertaining, but they also demonstrate the values of confidence, friendship, camaraderie etc.
Kubo And The Two Strings. This is an excellent adventure film, set in medieval Japan. Not only does it have a great storyline, but it is made using original animation techniques, with modern updates that consequently bring so much life to the characters that they seem real.
Inside Out. One of the more recent Pixar films and also one of their greats. Inside Out introduces children to emotions that aren’t always present in children’s films, such as sadness, depression, what we gain and lose as we get older etc. All done though in a fun, sweet and emotional way. Both children and parents may shed a few tears with this film.
The Goonies. An adventure film that is an all-time children’s classic. In their search for a treasure chest, a group of children finds themselves on an emotional unexpected journey.
The Good Dinosaur. An easy to follow, engrossing children’s film. Another great Disney movie, which includes dinosaurs, what more could a child ask for?
Hook. This a film that all ages will enjoy, directed by Steven Spielberg, accompanied by music from the great John Williams. Hook tells the story of an old Peter Pan, who has forgotten about his past adventures as a young boy… This film provides laughs, emotions and demonstrates the importance of friendships, all in one. It is simply a must see!
Brave. Another Disney Pixar film that introduces us to Princess Merida. She is strong, brave and independent, a great role model for children. This film combines a fantastic storyline with many great educational values that are highly recommended.
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