Kids TV is a double edged sword. On the one hand, an hour of TV can help out kids unwind, and give us enough peace to get a load of washing done or have a coffee in peace. On the other hand, it’s mind numbingly annoying, full of adverts designed to have our kids pester us and some of the shows are, well… Terrible.
So here I’m listing for you my 5 best and 5 worst shows – based on what my daughter (5) watches.
The 5 Best:
- Charlie and Lola. I love Charlie and Lola. With short episodes, kid-targeted humour and a lesson embedded into each story, I think this show is wholly appropriate for my daughter. I also don’t mind watching it!
- Peg + Cat. Peg + Cat is a new show I have come across recently. Last I checked it’s available on Netflix, and centres around a little girl (Peg) and her cat (Cat) while they use maths skills to solve problems in the context of the story. There is a lot of repetition, but I do think that helps the children learn the simple maths problems being taught through each episode.
- Dragons, Riders of Berk. New to CBBC, based on the recent films How to Train Your Dragon & How to Train Your Dragon 2, my daughter loves these short episodes about Hiccup and Toothless. They usually involve a problem-solving theme, and the good guys always win, plus the dialogue and storylines are coherent enough that I can sit through the show without wanting to scratch my eyes out.
- My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic. Brightly coloured, high pitched, anthropomorphic magic ponies. Every little girl’s dream! While I do find this show grates on me a little bit, my daughter loves it and often relays to me the importance of helping others and being a good friend after watching an episode. I feel like she is picking up good messages from it, so I will put up with Pinkie Pie’s annoyingly high-pitched voice.
- Littlest Pet Shop. While the Littlest Pet Shop toys have been popular since the 90’s, I have only recently stumbled across the show, which can be found most days on the freeview kids channel, Pop. With half hour long episodes, lovely colourful animation and occasional upbeat songs, I thoroughly enjoy this one. Like MLP, it embeds lessons about friendship and helping others, as well as covering problem solving and the important message of ‘just being yourself’ which I think all kids need to be encouraged to do.
So that’s my top 5 favourites, based upon my daughter’s viewing habits. Let’s see which ones I don’t like…
The 5 Worst:
- Horrid Henry. I agree that Henry is, in fact, horrid. While I have been advised that he usually understands and apologises for his bad behaviour by the end of the episode, we have never made it that far. My daughter is easily impressionable and within the first ten minutes I feel that Henry’s ‘horrid’ behaviour is being glorified. Five minutes atonement at the end of the episode isn’t as good as an episode of something that promotes good behaviour – in my opinion.
- Dora the Explorer. I just can’t stick Dora. I know the show is educational and friendly, but it is just so irritating that I avoid it at all costs. My bad!
- Caillou. Having only ever watched one episode of Caillou, I don’t really get the gist of the show. It was flat and irritating and my daughter wasn’t all that enamoured with it either. I googled it afterwards to see what sort of age group it is aimed at, and instead was met with TONNES of forums full of other Mums who also dislike the show. We don’t watch Caillou anymore!
- In The Night Garden. My daughter (I feel) is a little old for this show now. Still, she does sometimes ask to watch it. One episode of ITNG lasts an eternity. None of it makes any kind of sense to anyone, in any language or on any planet, and for some reason I find it a little creepy – though I truly can’t pinpoint why.
- Swashbuckle. Swashbuckle shows on Cbeebies at around 5 every weeknight (I think) and I just despise it. It’s irritating, the jokes aren’t even funny to my daughter, let alone me, and my daughter point blank refuses to sit and eat her tea when she could be marching and saluting and whatnot in the middle of the living room.
So while they aren’t all serious reasons to dislike these shows, they are my reasons. I just can’t find anything of substance in them.
What do you think? Do you have any favourites, or is all kids TV beyond you? Do any of us think that kids TV just ‘ain’t what it used to be’? Let us know in the comments!