Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my favourite kids tv. yup tv. I'm a bad mama. Whatever.

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?


  1. Ummm. Aidan used to watch ER re-runs with me everyday when he was three. He preferred it to Zaboo.

    Remember: Don't judge.

  2. Dora is big in our house as much as it drives me bonkers. I also love the Backyardigans so I try to make the kid like it too. Also Super Why (on PBS, maybe only in US?).

  3. T, we are all for TV here -- Sam has problems processing information auditorily and I think watching treehouse shows helps him process abstract concepts with visual cues and going on 5 his first choice is still treehouse -- he has a tv that he has full access too and often switches between playing in his room and watching TV -- despite what "they" say, I'm not cutting off my kids' TV anytime soon.

  4. Toopy & Binoo is the FAVORITE!! but Izabel also enjoys Super Why, Curious George, Sesame Street...and some others. we have the television on all day (Treehouse, PBS, Disney Channel, or a music channel.) but it is mostly for background noise. when her favorites come on she will stop and watch but will not watch the entire thing (unless it is Toopy & Binoo!). we will play hide and seek or play with her other toys. we will read. color. practice printing our letters, you know. educational stuff. i too, feel guilty about watching so much t.v. but really, she is not watching it all the time.