TV...toddler style

A year ago, I could have told you what was going on with the Dunpheys, Schmidt and Jess, and what horrendous outfit Xtina was "rockin" on The Voice.

These days, I can explain the latest intern/resident romance at Seattle Grace Hospital. And THAT is it. Because someone has stolen my TV time. Now, don't misunderstand. The child never stops moving...she is not a couch potato. But it seems like we always have the TV on her "oh" (shows), and I am becoming pretty well-versed in the world of toddler television. For those of you who have your own, are going to have some someday, or who babysit anyone else's, I thought maybe you'd like my take on all the stuff that is out there. Because a lot of it is c-r-a-p and I see the effects of that when you fast forward a few years and drop them in my kindergarten room.

So, here are the ones that score well in my (and Larkyn's) book:

  • Sesame Street:  It can't be beat. I spent almost a whole day Wikipediaing this show and did not realize the deliberate thought that goes into the content of this show (each show is planned by a group of psychologists and educators!). I actually love watching it and firmly believe that if kids did NOTHING else with their parents to prep for kindergarten but watch Sesame, they'd come in with a lot of great skills. For those of you who still remember Maria, Luis, and Gordon, they are still on the show. I'm not as crazy about Elmo, now that he' to go to the slammer...but that is Larkyn's favorite part. 
  • Super Why: For some reason, this was the first show Larkyn attended to, and it has always been one of the only ones she actually watches. With my post-grad work being in childrens literacy, this is my dream come true. The show is FULL of letters, demonstrates letter sounds, blending, and fairy tales. Larkyn just likes the predictable songs, but I know that this show is where she began her love affair with letters. Also, Matt and I walk around the house, mindlessly singing "Who's got the power, the power to read? Who answers the call for friends in need?!", so that is added entertainment.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Did you watch Mr. Roger's Neighborhood as a kid?  I adored Mr. Rogers. Well, he's not on anymore, but his wife just helped create this show that is based on the old favorite. You'll recognize the beginning song, some of the characters (trolley! King Friday!), but now it is all animated. And not that ugly animated garbage...Daniel is too cute. I love that the content is based on social skills: dealing with anger, manners, listening to parents, taking responsibility, etc. 
  • Yo Gabba Gabba: OK, don't hate me.  In the airport, I downloaded an episode as I panicked to find something to keep Larkyn interested on the plane. I watched in total fascination, thinking it was THE most bizarre show I had ever seen. I made everyone at the beach watch it too, to confirm my opinion. That being said, the more I watch it, the more I like it. Yeah, the characters look like the scandalized Olympic mascots and DJ Lance is on FIRE, but this show gets the kids up and moving!  And there are more social skills packed in that little show than in almost any other. Give it a try. Or at least watch it for the spectacle of it all. 
What are some of your/your kids' favorites? Which ones do you hate?  I can't take Caillou. It is one of Larkyn's favorites, but his whiney voice and strictly primary-colored world make me want to gauge my eyeballs out with plastic play forks. 


Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

Hi, longtime reader, first-time poster!

My daughter, Cora, is 18 months and we, too, watch a ton of toddler TV.

We're big fans of Sesame Street, but we also like Doc McStuffins on Disney Junior. I'm sort of hoping it helps her get over her fear of the doctor.

Cora likes Special Agent Oso, although I find it slightly repetitive because Oso is really not a very smart stuffed bear.

Yo Gabba Gabba kills my brain, so we avoid it in our house. =)

Schneider 4.0 said...

We are a Daniel Tiger house for sure. And could the songs be any catchier? I am constantly singing "grown-ups come back" and "thank you...for everything you do." I was a huge fan of Mr. Rogers growing up so this is right up my only blah point of the show...I think Ms. Elaina's mom (Lady Elaine?) sounds like Kathy Griffin and it drives me batty.

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