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  • Writer's pictureHannah Pearson

Toddler TV That Won't Have You Teetering on the Edge




REC/RANKING


Spoilers For: Nothing. That’s your kids job.


2021 wasn’t promised to be a better year but there was hope. There was hope that 2021 would light a torch in the darkness 2020 cast and guide the huddled masses of broken, traumatized, bone-tired souls to a brighter day. The new year has been underway for a little more than a week and spoiler alert: it still sucks!


But there are still resilient little buds of good news that are popping out of the concrete chaos. Georgia’s election results were inspiring, and Stacey Abrams should be sainted; there is a vaccine on the way that feels like a life raft in a raging storm at sea, and Callilou, the PBS show about a little shit who indoctrinates your children into his bratty ways, has finally been cancelled.


I am a parent of a clever little three year old, who is an apple fallen close to the tree. That is to say she loves watching cartoons as much as I love bingeing a new Shonda Rimes show (I’ll get to you Bridgerton). Now, before I get flack, my child has limited screen time (1 hour max a day) and I monitor what she watches closely. She also loves reading, playing, and other non-screen time activities.


Something all parents know is that once your kid finds a show they vibe with, it’s damn hard to get them to stop. So it’s so important to be a part of the viewing selection process because if you hate the show or how your kid acts after watching the show, then life becomes a nightmare. I knew about Caillou before I became a parent because of my days as a Pre-K teacher, and I kept my daughter far away from the bald headed little fucker.


I like to think I’ve curated a safe, educational, and palatable selection of kids shows for my child to watch, and what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t share my finds with others? We are comrades in the same war, after all.


So here are my picks for toddler shows that don’t make me hate life.


Daniel Tiger (PBS)

Daniel Tiger is the scion to the beloved Mr. Rogers and he does papa proud. The show focuses on teaching kids emotional intelligence and social skills to help them in life. A motif of the show are the little songs Daniel and his pals sing to help remind them to be kind, keep their cool, or rethink their situation. I strongly urge parents to take note of these songs and use them in real life. I have found it works wonders.





Word Party (Netflix)


This was my daughter’s first show when she was around two, and frequent flying had me loosening up my “no screen time rules.” Word Party is about four toddler sized animals living in harmony in a strange and eerie white void. There is also a big brother narrator voice that talks to the diaper clad animals. Getting past the THX 1138 aesthetic, the show is cute and really focuses on introducing your kid to new vocabulary.


Peppa Pig (Nick Jr.)


This one is controversial. If you hate British accents than maybe skip it but if you find it delightful than this will be your show. The show has been on for 16 seasons it’ll be a while before you watching the same story over and over again. Heads up: Peppa loves jumping in muddy puddles (she is a pig) so invest in some cute wellies for you young un now because it will become a favorite past time.





Mickey Mouse ClubHouse (Disney)


This one is contested in my house. My partner is not a big fan of Disney, and he comes up with valid reasons. The show doesn’t land heavy on the lesson side like other shows. But my kiddo loves the gang and their leader Mickey Mouse. I’d say it's her guilty pleasure the same way I love watching trashy Netflix dating shows. It’s fun and whimsical and at the end of the day it’s nice to just escape into a fun story.


Shows I don’t recommend:


Cocomelon


You’ll never get those songs out of your head


Super Monsters


I don’t get it.


Teletubbies


Creepy.


John Dillerman


Okay this one could use its own article. It’s outta Denmark and to put it in a nutshell… it’s about a man named John, and he has a big dick. Yeah you read that. It’s a kid show about a man’s penis and what he can do with it. I’m not a prude, or maybe I am, but I think this one might be too much for me. I’m all for body positivity but isn’t there already too much focus on giant dicks in this world?






What Shows Make you Love your Kids a Little Less?

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