25 Things my Kids Have Learned from Watching Scooby Doo

by ChristinaPilkington on August 27, 2011 · 8 comments

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My kids love watching Scooby Doo. They’ve watched all the seasons of the What’s New Scooby-Doo? series as well as dozens of episodes of the original Scooby-Doo series, too. My son watches mostly for the monsters, and my daughter for the mystery.

I’m sure that anyone just casually watching my kids viewing a Scooby Doo episode wouldn’t think any learning was going on.  It’s more difficult to see the value in watching shows like Animal Atlas or Magic Schoolbus than Scooby Doo because it doesn’t seem very “educational.”  But as I’ve watched episodes with my kids and seen them play Scooby-Doo on their own, I’m amazed at the things they have learned from a show that’s often thought of as fluff.

If the majority of their time was just spent watching Scooby Doo instead of getting out in nature, cuddling together and reading, pretend playing, drawing, and other activities, then I believe they would be missing out on a lot of important and wonderful experiences, but I don’t ever want to devalue what things they do learn from their favorite TV shows or DVDs.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if I could come up with a list of 25 things the kids have learned while watching Scooby-Doo that were “educational.”

Here are some of the things they have learned…

 

1. How New Years Day is celebrated in Hong Kong.

2. The importance of dragons in Chinese culture.

3. That some race cars can exceed speeds of 220 miles per hour.

4.  What a crash test dummy is and how it’s used to improve car safety.

5.  Most of America’s gold is stored at Fort Knox.

6.  Military terms like: mess hall, drill sergeant, barracks, & stockades

7.  There are prehistoric creatures living on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

8.  There are international sand sculpting competitions.

9.  Ancient Indian writing is called Sanskrit.

10. Coral can grow as big as an island.

11.  There are endangered animals in Africa.

12. Hatari means danger is Swahili.

13. Herbivores eat plants.

14. An infrared light on a camera allows you to see animals at night.

15. People think its good luck to throw coins into the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

16. Pompeii was destroyed in the 1st century A.D.

17. The difference between dormant vs. active volcanoes.

18. Trained stuntmen perform most of the stunts in movies.

19. A chupacabra is a legendary monster that looks like a small bear with spines on its back and has   allegedly been spotted in Mexico.

20. There weren’t electric lights out west (in the United States) until 1902.

 21. Astronauts eat food that has been dehydrated.

22. Chimpanzees have flown into outer space.

23.  Many people are buried above ground in New Orleans because the ground is swampy.

24. Mardi Gras is an annual festival in New Orleans where people dress up in costumes.

25. A mirage is when the suns’ rays make it look as if something is there that really isn’t.

 

Watching Scooby-Doo has lead us to explore Greece, Pompeii, Sumo Wrestling & Japanese culture, among many other things. The more you’re open to looking for the learning that takes place in everything you do, the more connections you’ll make. And the more connections you make between things, the wider your perspective will be on life, learning and what it means to be truly educated.

*We’ve had some illness in the family this past week, so I was unable to get the next travel post up today. I”ll return to my travel series next Wednesday.

What things have you or your family learned while watching a favorite TV show?

 

Photo Credit: Rob Gallop

 

I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below or send me an e-mail at chris@christinapilkington.com. Sign up for my mailing list (just fill in your info in the box at the right hand corner of this page) to get e-mail updates about new articles and other interest-led news.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Yl1975 Young Lee

    my 3 year old daughter loves saying ‘pesky kids’ ;)

    • christinapilkington

      That’s so cute!

  • http://debbiedas.wordpress.com/ Debbie Jamieson

    Loved this Christina. My son (5) watches a lot of shows (online as we don’t have tv) and I know there are people who think he spends too much time doing it…but the computer is his biggest interest, his most sincere passion (at the moment) and I would never deny him that. I too love to be on the computer…so it’s not uncommon for us to spend lots of time in our office together. What people don’t see is how Isaac takes what he learns from his online shows and games and brings them into his “real life” play – how he takes them and expands on them (making up his own adventures) and develops his creativity and imagination. And don’t even get me started on the actual “stuff” that is being learned. It’s amazing when he comes up to me and says some random out of the blue fact and I’m like…”where do you learn that?” It’s always one of his shows. I myself am not a big TV fan…but I cannot deny that learning that happens when we watch it. And because it’s being learned organically…he will retain it. A lot more than I can say for how learning happens in school. :)

    ps – I just linked here from Twitter where you started following me…and now I’m following you. Happy to find your sweet little space. :)

    • Anonymous

      Debbie,

      I’m glad you found me, too! It really is all about how you look at each thing your child does during the day. My kids do watch quite a bit of shows and movies, but they spend lots and lots of time doing other things, too. It’s just that they don’t have to go to school, so they have more time to explore their interests. I’m also amazed, too, when they tell me something and I ask where they learned that. They’ve just started watching Phineas & Ferb and I’m amazed at how many things they’ve learned from that show, too! It’s obvious to see how kids can learn from shark or insect DVD (which my kids love, too) but they also learn from cartoons as well. We explore many things in our house, and favorite shows are just one part of our full life.

      I agree with you, too, about their play. My son, especially, will take part of an idea he got from a show and turn it into a completely different direction. Pretty cool!

  • Niki

    Great post! It really points out that there is something of value in each and every pursuit. The main thing is that the children are interested and invested!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I think when we can mine each experience, both positive and negative, for everything it teaches us, that is how we grow stronger and wiser. And I agree that with learning, if you are not invested and interested, the learning won’t stick-it won’t change you in any way or give you any real insight. Watching shows like Scooby Doo has allowed my children to connect with other books and facts in personal ways that would have otherwise been impossible.

  • http://dkjsv05.wordpress.com/ Kim

    This is a great post !

    Since I started watching cartoons with my girls (even the newer “more violent” ones ;) ) I am constantly amazed at not only the messages hidden in them but also the creativity, artwork, and sound effects behind them as well.

    Tonight while watching The Simpsons, my 10 year old couldn’t believe the reference to the opera Carmen.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I really believe that when you can see the learning that takes place in everything you do, the more connected you will be to each new idea or thought that comes into your life. You’ll see more value in the simplist things in life that we usually take for granted.

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