People get their knickers all in a twist about kids watching television. Television is bad for kids. Television rots your brain, causes attention span problems, childhood obesity, blah, blah, blah, blah. Bah Humbug. I've got a kid who finds it almost impossible to wind down. And the one thing that we've found that can help him unwind and calm down is watching a show. Sometimes two. And if I'm having a rough day, possibly three. I spent considerable amounts of time feeling guilty about it, because, as you already know, television is bad for kids. They say so. You know, them. But here's the thing. There's some really cool kids television shows out there. Fun, engaging, and dare I say - educational kids television. (Yes - I'm aware that's there way more crap than non-crap. But I'm all for censorship, so my kids don't get to watch the former). Here's some of our current top-picks for idiot box fun.
Zoobamafoo - A show featuring two brothers and a lemur who take kids on all kinds of adventures to learn about animals and their habitats. It's real animals, not animation. Pure, kid-ducational fun. There's nothing not to like.
Toot and Puddle - This show is super cute. About two little super cute (and possibly gay) cartoon pigs who live together when not travelling the world, having adventures and teaching watching tots about geography and global village-y-ness. There is also a wee cute little niece pig named Opal who makes an appearance from time to time. It's all very cute. Unobjectionable. And dare I say... educational.
Toopy and Binoo - It's mostly weird. And it's like crack for children. This is a Quebec originated show about a rat (Toopy) who has a pet cat (Binoo). They go on all sorts of little adventures that don't really make much sense to anyone except for kids. But the wonderful thing about Toopy and Binoo is this - Toopy is totally gender nonspecific. That weird (and ugly) little rat goes from being a lipstick wearing princess, to a knight with a cape and I am never able to read "boy" or "girl" from the character. Moreover, the lack of gender specificity makes no difference to kids obvious enjoyment of the show. I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't love Toopy and Binoo. So - it's weird. But it works!
The Backyardigans - Boy-o loves the Backyardigans. They're an animated five-some who meet in their backyard (hence the title) for imaginary adventures. And it's a musical. And each episode has a different musical theme. Bollywood, bluegrass, disco, whathaveyou. Seriously - it's kind of almost fun for grown-ups to watch. (Especially if the grown-up happens to be my wife, who likes the show because she believes it is a gateway to Boy-o's eventual appreciation for Glee.)
Those are the shows Boy-o loves right now. And I don't mind 'em either. So when we're not busy running around, crafting, swinging from the rafters or otherwise making monkey-business, you might find us indoors - chilling with some TV time, happily unwinding and rotting our brains.
What can't your kids live without in the land of the boob tube?