Now that I’m a full-time stay-at-home dad, I realize there’s more to taking care of the girls than turning on the TV.
But you know what? A lot of times, the TV comes in handy to calm the girls down, or to distract them while I get their lunch ready (especially on days when they’re clingy).
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t watch a lot of TV. Over the course of a full day, it might be on for a total of 40 minutes, max. And that includes days when they’re fussy. Most of the shows they watch, it doesn’t keep their interest long enough, so I turn it off if they’re done watching. They usually watch about 15 minutes in the morning, and then 15 minutes in the late afternoon.
But I’ve quickly come to realize there are a lot of bad shows out there. But when there’s a good one, it usually turns out to be great.
I’d like to hear what other parents think. Are there any shows that your kids absolutely love?
The following are the girls’ top favourite cartoons:
A fun show, but it on comes on at an inconvenient time when we’re not watching TV, so the girls have only seen it once or twice. But it’s fun to watch that not only teaches lessons, but teaches words. Most of the objects is made up of the letters that form the word of that object. For example, a barn will be made of the letters B-A-R-N. A dog will be made of the letters D-O-G. And so forth.
4. Rob the Robot
Three robots and an alien go to different planets on a mission to have fun. While on the mission, they learn valuable lessons. My girls like the beginning of the show, but they usually start to tune out halfway through. Which is fine, because that means they would rather play than watch a lot of TV (this show comes on right after the girls’ favourite show). But they do enjoy it, and is one of their favourites.
3. Dinosaur Train
A fun way to learn all about the different dinosaurs. Lots of music and songs, with a focus on learning specifics about a dinosaur. A different type of dinosaur is featured in each episode. And it’s not like they learn about common dinosaurs. I remember is school learning about the Brontosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. In this cartoon, you learn about Pteranodons (the main family on the show), Corythosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Elasmosaurus, Cretoxyrhina, etc. So basically, a bunch of dinosaurs you’ve never heard about.
2. Charlie and Lola
A cute story about an older brother and his younger sister. Lola speaks in the cutest way, while Charlie tries to teach Lola about things that happen in the world. For example, one episode is called “I Do Not Ever Never Want My Wobbly Tooth To Fall Out.” Lola has a loose tooth, and she doesn’t want it to fall out. But when Charlie teaches her about the tooth fairy, Lola is in a rush to have the tooth come out. It sounds silly, but it’s pretty good.
1. Small Potatoes
Easily the favourites of my two girls. No matter what they’re doing, they stop and run to the TV to watch. A group of four (sometimes five) potatoes sing about different things. One episode could be about getting a haircut, or about punk rock music, or farming. There’s a wide variety. Each episode is about three minutes long, and at the end, the potatoes explain why they like what they’re singing about. Very cute.