Wednesday, February 19

our favorite shows for babies and preschoolers.

Around the time Iris was born, Marius and I made a decision to cancel our cable and basic television subscriptions. We switched to streaming from Netflix and buying any of the other shows we wanted to watch. Part of our reasoning for this was because in our opinion, much of what is on tv these days is junk. It's loaded with commercials, so even watching a good show or two at night was tedious for us.

Like most parents, we are choosy about what shows we allow Iris to watch. The lack of regular tv has allowed us to research and choose exactly what media Iris ingests. Below is a list of  the shows we feel are the most educational and emotionally intelligent shows for kids to learn from and enjoy.

Harold and the Purple Crayon was Iris' first television show when she was a baby. The main character, Harold, is easy for small children to relate to. Harold is a young boy who imagines "what if..." scenarios and draws them out with his purple crayon. Each short episode is full of fun and song, while still being unflashy and simple to understand. The show teaches that it's a good thing to ask questions, and that exploring the world is a wonderful experience. Harold creates his own adventures while learning about life - just as we all do!

Based on the books by Maurice Sendak, Little Bear follows the simple and heartwarming experiences of the main character, Little Bear. The show focuses on Little Bear's personal relationships with his family and friends, each of whom has a unique personality.  Iris has always gravitated to Little Bear's soft music and gentle way of walking through emotions and situations. Serene, is the best word for this show. Little Bear is actually more like reading a book, than watching a tv show.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood intends to continue the legacy of the beloved Fred Rogers. Daniel is the son of characters in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and the show takes places in The Land of Make Believe. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood continues to spread the messages that Fred Rogers is so well loved for. Iris has learned all the little "jingles" each episode provides to explain feelings and ideas to children. For example, "when we do something new, let's talk about what we'll do!"  This show encompasses a great deal of the gentle, honest way of life taught by Fred Rogers.

The Magic School Bus, paves the way to a love of science. An eccentric teacher called Ms. Frizzle takes her fourth grade class on field trips to explore the world in depth. Each episode focuses on a new aspect of science, during which the kids are learning by experience. I'd say the show targets age 5 and up, though Iris still loves this show and she grasps a basic understanding. From tide pools to outer space, to the digestive system - the magic school bus can go anywhere! It's never too early to start learning!