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Which films for which ages?

What content is age-appropriate for children?
What criteria should be used to select films for students?

Children's age as a criterion for choosing a film

From the beginning to the end of primary school, children between the ages of 3 and 11 go through different phases of distinguishing between reality and imagination and create their own representation of the world. Age is one of the main criteria for choosing a children's film, as children's ability to understand is not the same at 2, 4, 8 and 10 years of age.

Why consider the age of children when choosing a film?

Taking into account the age of a child when choosing a film is important because the content, the messages of a film, must be adapted; the child must be able to tell what he has seen. The complexity of the production, the psychology of the characters, the density of the information, but also the quality of the visual and sound worlds and the rhythm of the films must be taken into account.

Classify films and videos according to the age of the children © Marjolaine Rouzeau. The age of children as a criterion for the selection of films

The young child, between nursery school and primary schools, exercises his intellectual, sensory, emotional and relational capacities and if videos or films are not in line with his intellectual development, he will experience difficulties in understanding, he will be bored: his interest, his curiosity and his attention will decrease.

The child should be able to tell what he or she has seen

A film that is not adapted to the age of the child will have the same effect: lack of pleasure and concentration.

Age appropriateness of the films

The films must be an educational support, support the development of the children, leave time for everyone to observe, imitate and give the youngest the desire to express themselves, imagine and invent their own imaginary worlds.

Age appropriateness of the films © Je Regarde. Carlos De Carvalho & Aude Danset : Premier Automne, 2013

From early childhood to adolescence, films adapted to the age of children will be an excellent teaching aid at school, but also a tool to accompany education at home.

A well-chosen film will arouse curiosity, raise questions in the little boy or girl, and encourage family communication with parents or grandparents.

Suitability of films for young children © Marjolaine Rouzeau. Films for children's development

At a very young age, the child is particularly fragile and vulnerable and is not prepared to face the outside world.

Allow time for children to watch

Exposure to images that are not adapted to their intellectual, emotional and sensory development can interfere with their daily need to explore and discover new things. Properly selected films, on the other hand, create a favourable environment for this learning period.

How to choose an age-appropriate film?

It is difficult to judge the appropriateness of a child's age and what he or she is watching. Each child has his or her own learning pace, his or her own capacity for understanding; parents and school teachers are best placed to judge the harmony between the content of a film and the young viewer.

However, the sheer quantity of children's films on television, DVDs and the Internet presents a challenge.

Is this message appropriate for my child? Is this scene too violent for his age? How do I get their attention? How do I find and choose a film that is both entertaining and educational?

Films to captivate the little ones

Are comedy films better suited to the little ones than music films? It is not easy to choose in this audiovisual jungle and there are very few organisations that advise and facilitate the choices that adults have to make for their children.

Entertaining and educational film for young audiences © Carlos Lascano. Short film by Carlos Lascano: Lila, 2014

The films we select have very original stories, scenarios and visual universes that are likely to captivate the youngest. They are not films created especially for children, they are even films intended for older children, but we select and classify each film whose educational content is in line with the age, growth phases and development of children.

Example of age-appropriate films

Films for early and middle childhood are often difficult to choose from, but there is, paradoxically, an example of suitability with abstract experimental films.

Abstract film for young audiences © Yamamra Animation. Abstract film by Koji Yamamura : Anthology with Cranes, 2011

The abstract short films were not made for children, but rather in an experimental context, and yet this abstraction, the importance given to shapes, colours and rhythm is very suitable for the youngest. They arouse curiosity and invite physical expression.
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Do you have your own criteria for selecting films suitable for small and young children? Do you have an opinion on the age at which a child can watch a film?
The opinion of teachers and parents is essential to enable us to continue to offer quality films, according to the age of the children, in complete safety.
UNESCO French Ministry of National Education