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'SpongeBob SquarePants' can make kids smarter, finds new study

The scripts of the show were shown to have 21% unique words that can help kids above the age of 2 have a rich vocabulary.

'SpongeBob SquarePants' can make kids smarter, finds new study
Image Source: Youtube/SpongeBob SquarePants Official

SpongeBob SquarePants is a widely loved TV show and has been a part of all our childhoods. However, it has been recently concluded that this show isn't just for entertainment. SpongeBob SquarePants has the most extensive vocabulary of all the most-watched children's shows, according to a recent analysis by Business Name Generator (BNG), with the scripts having 21% unique terms, per ScaryMommy.

The goal of the study was to determine which television programs, even while children are watching the screen, are the most effective in assisting them in expanding their vocabulary. They gathered material from the most watched children's television programs that have been shown during the 1990s. They looked at tens of thousands of words from the scripts of those programs to determine which had the most diversified vocabulary. The New Addams Family, Pokémon, Anne With An E, and The Owl House were among the top 10 favorites.

According to the study, SpongeBob SquarePants' characters and plotlines "make for a lively narrative with a diverse use of words – a great choice for engaging children," per CBR. The late Stephen Hillenburg's television program centered on the titular sea sponge and his aquatic companions in a fictional underwater city, Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob, who was voiced by Tom Kenny, rose to fame as a well-known and adored figure, playing the witty and occasionally gullible fry chef at the Krusty Krab.

However, a question arises do these shows with rich vocabulary help children learn new things? Studies suggest that it is possible, especially in older kids. According to 2019 research, by the time they start kindergarten, children who are read to every night have a million-word edge over those who are never read to. Jessica Logan, a member of Ohio State’s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy said about this study, "Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school. They are likely to pick up reading skills more quickly and easily." 

It's crucial to keep in mind, however, that studies have also shown that children under the age of two, regardless of their subsequent schooling, are really harmed by viewing television. According to one research, children's language development was slower the more TV they watched. However, older children could gain more from viewing "smarter" programs with more varied word choices and sophisticated phrases. 



So, watching shows like SpongeBob SquarePants can help older children to develop vocabulary, but in a moderated and supervised way. New episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants' 13th season, which started airing in October 2020, debuted earlier this month. There are other offshoot programs for the series, including "The Patrick Star Show" on Nickelodeon and "Kamp Koral: Spongebob's Under Years" on Paramount+. "SpongeBob SquarePants Presents the Tidal Zone," a franchise special, premiered on January 13. The series garnered 88 honors throughout the course of its run, including six Emmys, six Annie Awards, and 19 Kids' Choice Awards. It is indeed a brilliant series that even adults spend their time on and this recent study on its vocabulary gives you another reason to add it to your watchlist.

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