We’ll be the first to admit it: our kids watch television. Sometimes more often than we would like, but it happens.
The thing about kids’ television is that while it is often educational and entertaining, it can sometimes be annoying. (And if you’ve ever watched Barney more than once, you know what we’re talking about.)
But not all children’s TV programs make us want to pull out our hair. Some are well done enough that when your child turns it on, you may actually find yourself sitting down and tuning in. Here are our favorites:
Yo Gabba Gabba: You either love it or hate it. The sheer trippiness of this show can be an absolute turn-off, which it was for me at first. But when my two-year-old daughter became a super-fan of Brobee and Foofa, I went over to the dark side. If I tell you that our entire family knows the words to every song on that show (and went to the live concert), you might think I’ve lost it. But it’s true. We can do all the dancey-dances. We predict whether DJ Lance Rock (who must seriously be the envy of all his friends for the money and fame he rakes in wearing a fuzzy orange hat and body suit) is wearing his old shoes (white) or new shoes (orange). We rap along with Biz’s Beat, all smiles as we remember when Biz Markie brought the house down in ’09 while us ’80s parents were screaming the chorus of Just a Friend during the live show meant for our toddler — but we’re not embarrased. The show is actually entertaining, especially with its guest appearances by bands that we once considered cool in another context but who have grown along with us to have families of their own. Give it a chance. It’s like the heyday of Saturday Night Live for the preschool set.
Little Bear: This show has been a staple on Nick Jr. (or Noggin as I still call it) for as long as I’ve been tuning in. My now eight-year-old loved Little Bear then, and I still love it now. The main characters are genteel bears who are easy on the eyes. And by that I mean completely opposite my other favorite show above. And maybe that’s why I like it so much. This show’s nap-inducing qualities are like no other. Airing at the end of the afternoon, it only takes me a few minutes of listening to the narrator’s voice and soft music to be in full nap mode. And if I’m lucky, the child at my side will give in too.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Right now my toddler is on a “Gickey Mouse” kick so this cartoon is on our screen frequently. It’s OK, the show itself is visually appealing, the characters non-irritating (I mean, it’s Mickey Mouse and Goofy) and the songs are all written and performed by They Might Be Giants, so how bad could it be. Plus, whenever something good happens, we all now know how to do the hot dog dance.
The Big Comfy Couch: This is a Canadian show that aired on PBS (I don’t think it is in production anymore). Mainly about a little clown girl named Loonette and her doll Molly, it’s a very sweet show that my daughter absolutely loved. There were fun segments like “Ten-Second Tidy” and awesome characters — Granny Garbanzo, Major Bedhead and Snicklefritz (the cat). A. was so taken with it she asked to write a letter to Loonette. She got back a letter and a signed picture, endearing the residents of Clowntown to us always.
Which television shows that your child watches are your favorites?