Okay so if you are like me at all you battled with yourself about whether to let your kids watch television afraid that it might rot their brain or lessen their already extremely brief attention span. You thought if I let them watch tv then I am not doing my job as a parent. If I let them watch tv especially when it comes to things like Yo Gabba Gabba (thank God they have no interest in that show) I may be raising future axe murderers (this according to my husband). If I let them watch tv then I am a quitter and a sorry excuse for a mom because I have given up on finding creative and fun things to do with my kids. If you are like me you may have had these thoughts and then you thought if I do not let them watch tv I will never ever EVER have a much needed moment to myself and may wind up in a rubber room or a room with padded walls. I will not have time to do the dishes and the laundry and clean the house (the playroom mostly as the rest of the house other then forming cobwebs seems to be self cleaning-at least in my deluded sleep deprived mind it is). So if you are like me then you took the big plunge and decided to allow your children to watch the boob tube. What a weird name. Boob tube. I know it’s about being an idiot right. A boob is an idiot. Why give boob such a negative connotation. I think that is unfair and unkind to the boob. Afterall the boob or our boob(s), for many of us, was or continues to be the lifeline for our children. But I digress. This is not about boobs this about what to watch if you are going to let you children watch tv. So I have compiled a list for you of what has worked for my children. Please bear in mind that some of the shows received only 2 stars, but my kids could not get enough of them.
- LeapFrog– Pretty much anything LeapFrog they stare in awe at. It teaches kids ABCs and numbers and shapes and the preschool basics. A complete hit with my kids.
- Peppa Pig– My kids are practically obsessed with the show. The animation appears to be hand drawn and the colors are simple and rich and it’s British. And the stories are short.
- Dora the Explorer-I think almost every kid loves this show. She is an adorable girl with an even more adorable monkey friend named Boots who wears, yep you guessed it, red boots on his feet. I think their favorite thing however is the music.
- Sesame Street– Elmo. Enough said.
- Masha and the Bear- A little Russian toddler girl who is befriended by a giant bear. The bear is constantly getting her out of mischief. It is mostly music with a couple words from the girl. It received terrible reviews on Netflix but my girls LOVE it!!
- Trotro-A French donkey. It is done with very simple hand drawn looking animation and the stories are short. It also received terrible reviews on Netflix but it is another HUGE win with my kids. And it is done with British accents.
- Kazoops – Australian kid named Monty and his pet pig Jimmy Jones. It is also done with a British dialect.
- Doc McStuffins– I think they are a bit young for it but they love the little girl and they love the fact that she is on their pull ups. They really only watch about one episode though and then they both do the hand sign for “All done”.
- Bubble Guppies– They are toddler mermaids (or mergirls) and mermen (or rather merboys). Let’s call them merpeople. They go to school and learn about things from Mr. Grouper their teacher. I think their favorite thing on this show is the music.
What is nice is that some of the shows are free if you have Amazon Prime or Netflix but you can probably find them on you tube or other sites. I have concluded the longer television programs (like the LeapFrog videos) have actually helped them with their attention spans and they have reinforced everything that I am teaching them. They actually know all of their letters now and some of their numbers, colors and animals and I am sure I owe some of that to the tv they watch. The boob tube doesn’t have to be a scary thing when watched in moderation. Now as to how much I watch after they’ve gone to bed well no need to discuss that because it’s alot and always accompanied by some form of chocolate. But I am an adult so it’s okay. I read too. I read big 800-1,000 page books but I like to veg as well.