Yesterday we visited the oldest theater in the United States of America. As you walk in the Walnut Theater, you see the history throughout the entire building. I started thinking, what do TV, video games or cinema prepare our children for? I could not think of one good thing that consistently improves our children from being exposed to those mind numbing activities. At the theater you can FEEL CULTURE.
We went to see Harry the Dirty Dog. It was an interesting play on the old saying “There is no place like home.” The thing that struck me is the amount of people that were there to see this play. The theater was packed! But I honestly don't think it was the actors or the subject that drew them to the play. There is something more engaging about the theater. The actors interact with the children thus creating a curiosity for the child to see more theater productions. I know that Dora the Explorer did something similar by trying to engage children through a false call and response, but in the theater even fake stage props can seem real.
In some way the arts opens children's eyes to life in a different manner. Children seem to learn more through watching others interact, than they ever will through direct instruction. So by allowing our children to be exposed to video games and TV to teach social responsibility and communication, we could inadvertently damage their future.
I am now thinking that at some point, My Mommy's virtual Neighborhood will need to have an annual cultural summit. We truly could all benefit from collectively exposing our children to the arts.