Okay. I am going to just get the disclaimer out of the way. We try to avoid TV as much as we can…I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love that it gives me time to clean up, have time alone, get dressed, etc. I hate that my son is hypnotized by it and that it becomes a babysitter for me. So, I try to limit it to certain times of day. However, since my daughter is a virtual sponge, I am also trying to be pretty wise about what she sees during those times. This is hard to do unless I am right there watching with her- which I do sometimes to talk her through things. So, I thought I would share some go-to shows that I can trust to help me educate AND entertain my daughter while teaching valuable lessons. PLEASE SHARE YOURS TOO! Cuz there are only so many times we can watch something…or so I thought before I had kids. 😛
So, our schedule goes like this: wake up/get dressed/eat with Daddy before work. B then goes down for a nap and L has learning time. We might identify letters, shapes, or numbers, or we might draw them and spell words. To be honest, it may be all of 5-10 minutes. This is followed by a learning show. Our fav for this used to be Blue’s Clues. It is great! I get unnerved by all the eye contact with Steve and Joe, but she loves it. We often do more learning time by becoming shape detectives, mathstronauts, kite-makers, and doctors ourselves. That was before we discovered Two by 2.
Two by 2 is my all-time favorite! It was made by one of the Wiggles (you know, “Fruit Salad, yummy, yummy!”). It is Australian- which is great for us as Andy is Aussie and L now says “Hammah” for hammer. I feel like I am doing right by her heritage with this show. 😉 Anyways, the show is Christian; each show has a theme (forgiveness, creation, etc.), catchy action songs, life application, trivia, and Bible stories. It is super age-appropriate for preschoolers. It also has a letter and number of the day with creative ways to teach them. I love it! No attitude-loaded kid characters (cough-Caillou-cough-Angelina Ballerina-cough,cough)!! And it’s super entertaining for her. She did take a full episode to warm up to it (real people do not usually hold her attention too long), but now she loves it! She does the actions to the songs and asks to do crafts to make the letter of the day like they do on the show (pretzels in the shape of letter P, paper glued into letter T etc.).
Here are some of our crafts inspired by shows.
Next, we usually try to get out for while and come back for lunch. If we do, we sometimes watch a super short show (10-15 min.) for lunch. Her fav for this is THEO. It is all cartoon with two cheeky mice and an older widow in a cottage who teaches us theological truths about church, being born again, the armor of God, etc. Her favorite is the Good Samaritan (called Loving Your Neighbor on the show). I don’t know why she loves the show, but the messages are often super convicting for me. I love the English accents, and I hope she is absorbing some of the truths. We have watched every episode over 20 times.
In the afternoon, right before Andy comes home, we may or may not watch a longer “just for fun” show. It depends. If we do, it may be a couple of episodes of If You give a Mouse a Cookie, Guess How Much I Love You, or Curious George. For full films, we like Lady and the Tramp, Ferdinand, or Toy Story 2 or 3. Yep. You can judge me for the last ones. Tons of fighting and attitudes and name calling. I just love them. And she has all the Toy Story characters. I mention “He’s not being nice” to show that I am not supporting their behavior.
Well, there they are. Some of our favs. Let me know what you like too! If you like the sound of THEO and Twoby2, they are on JellyTelly. Do a free trial week to see if you like it (just do not watch Superbook if you have kids under 5…super intense).
Trust me, we have been through our fair share of show fails- bad quality, attitudes, slightly too mature themes. I sometimes see really great shows turn her into a little gremlin afterwards. She tends to the dramatic and can be a perfect mimic. I often have had to explain her behavior with “Oh, sorry. She is just quoting ______.” So, this list is our crème de la crème, just in case you want some super cute innocent options for your very own walking sponges. If you don’t like my list, feel free to judge me- I judge myself all the time. 😀