When I grew up some of the cartoons we got to watch on what limited television there was, was things like Secret Squirrel, Atom Ant and Scooby Doo. There was absolutely no educational component to those shows, they were just pure entertainment and fun. At that time there were no do gooders around then trying to tell us that we would all grow up as social misfits because we watched these shows.
Now with my 3 year olds, they are addicted to the Playhouse Disney channel, as well as some Nick Jr shows. Having to sit through a lot of the shows with them (daddy, put the pewter down, I want a cuddle), I am amazed at the educational value of them. They like, and I am impressed with shows like: Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, WordWorld, Dora the Explorer and Special Agent Oso. They learn a lot from each episode and the stories do teach things. Obviously too much TV has not got to be good for kids, but some of my concerns were put to rest by the quality of these shows. I have even downloaded some of them to my iPhone for when we go out to dinner to keep them quiet.
Now, to my horror, they have started to get excited by SpongeBob SquarePants … aaaagggghhhhhhh!!