The moment I decided to create a “Review” tab/category for my website, I was pretty sure I would review a book or movie that is very dear to me or something that is the flavor of the season. However, that’s not the case. As I sat down to pen down a review and thought what is it that I watch the most these days I couldn’t come up with anything relevant that grown-ups watch, solely because I spend 90% of my TV viewing time watching kids shows ( more or less it plays in the background while I do my household chores )
Like all parents-to-be or new parents, I had vowed to myself that I wouldn’t let my kid watch television till she was much older but I soon realized how unrealistic a dream that was when I was pretty much alone while taking care of my baby and had the daily chores to do to keep the home running. Initially, the movie Frozen was my go-to movie to keep my daughter still…she would sit mesmerized while Elsa and Anna sang and danced around…however due to playing it at least once every single day my daughter eventually started getting restless and lost interest, which is when 3 other shows came to my rescue.
Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger, and Dave & Ava. My lifesavers literally…for any parent who wouldn’t mind giving their kids some TV time I highly recommend these 3 shows…
Peppa Pig – Is centered around the title character Peppa Pig, her immediate family, and her friends. It’s an amazing show you can let your kids watch with absolutely no qualms. The language used is perfect for a baby or toddler ( to be honest even us cause Peppa speaks perfect English ) It’s highly relatable since it represents a normal family ( A mummy, daddy and a brother – only that they are pigs ) and even extended family like grandpa pig and grandma pig, even uncles and aunts make an occasional appearance. Peppa emotes well…she is funny, sweet, indignant, charming, friendly, rarely moody and quite talkative ( which I guess is encouraging if your child is just learning to speak like mine is ) There is also a good dose of humor. It’s rather charming and I guarantee you that you won’t be exposing your kid to violence of any sort or crude talks. Peppa spends her day playing with her friends, jumping in muddy puddles and engaging in delightful talk about day to day things with her parents who are as normal as any parent can be. Frankly, I think it’s a show that even parents will love watching with their kids just because it’s so relatable even from a parent’s perspective. I for one can vouch for it simply because I’ve watched every single season and episode ( repeatedly ).
Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood – Again as the title clearly suggests is about a Tiger named Daniel. Just like Peppa Pig, this show is centered around Daniel, his family, and his friends. However, the show gives more emphasis on manners and emotions. It covers a range of manners and etiquettes such as saying thank you, sorry, sharing, brushing teeth, using the loo / potty, washing hands so on and so forth and it also touches pretty much every single emotion a child ( or grown-up for that matter ) can feel…like happiness, sadness, jealousy, fear, frustration. The best thing about this show is how it effectively explains to your kid what to do while feeling each emotion, how to overcome or celebrate it. The message is conveyed like a musical which I guess lingers in your child’s mind. So if you want to familiarize your child with various emotions and manners, this show has to top your list. Again don’t you worry…The language used is quite good, However, I don’t really like Daniel tiger’s grring much when he is annoyed.
Dave and Ava – No prizes for guessing…Dave and Ava are about Dave and Ava. This is more of a purely educational show because Dave and Ava go about their day singing nursery rhymes, alphabets & phonetics ( they cover both the UK and US version of phonetics ) or counting numbers. Dave and Ava are both endearing and friendly and the illustrations are beautifully done to match the content. I highly recommend this show to help your kid learn rhymes, alphabets, and numbers easily in an interactive and playful way.
Please be assured that I do not recommend that you let your child watch television 24/7. It should be in moderation and only when required and a word of caution…please ! at no cost or no matter how busy you are, never ever hand over an iPad, tablet or your mobile phone with access to youtube to your child with or without your supervision. There is a lot of thrash and obscene kids videos out there that promote a lot of violence and create a bad influence. You’ll probably put a Peppa Pig or any of your kid’s favorite cartoon and go while the unwanted videos that are camouflaged as cartoons pop up, kids these days are born as tech geniuses…they know how to swipe and push the right ( or wrong ) keys on the screen at a tender age, when you glance at the screen you might see your child’s favorite character on screen but the content can be absolute rubbish.
My suggestion is that you purchase/download ( legally ) / record these shows and let your child watch a couple of episodes at a time ( I personally use Netflix for this purpose, it has tonnes of kids shows ). Do not hand over the remote control…you should be the boss and decide what they watch and not vise versa. I guess if you filter and give them exposure to only a handful of shows, it’s pretty much a win-win situation even if they become demanding as they grow up. You can let them select a show to watch from the options you provide. They are happy and so are you because you are at peace regarding the content they are watching. I’ve come across several articles / studies published stating that children do not really learn much from educational tv shows but I beg to differ ( unless my child is a prodigy of sorts, which I’m pretty sure she is not ) since she’s picked up so much from the shows she watches..there is a lot my husband and I have tried to imbibe to our child as her parents but I must admit I’m delighted when she breaks into a rhyme and dances, does clever stuff we’ve not really taught her, things she’s learnt watching these shows.
P.S: This blog only covers the television entertainment part, there are various ways to keep your child engaged, entertained & enriched. You’ll find more of that here and in subsequent posts.