In order to keep my son entertained and my sanity intact I occasionally let him watch some television. Aaaand by occasionally I mean at least once a day, for about half an hour. Or more. Let’s be honest here, I like daily showers.
A would like to share with you some of his favorite shows. Now keep in mind we don’t actually have television and he watches things streamed from the internet. Which is good, because we’ve managed to avoid these shows. I’d rather he get into Ni Hao Kai-lan than Dora as I think Mandarin would be more useful than Spanish this close to Toronto but also because Dora drives me NUTS. Why do cartoon kids have to have such high-pitched, squeaky voices?
So without further ado I give you BabyBean’s List of Awesome Videos For Busy Toddlers (That Don’t Drive Mom Mad)
#1) Pocoyo – This show (originally in Spanish and then re-dubbed for British television) is adorable. Pocoyo is a spastic toddler living in a world of imagination. The backgrounds are white with only the characters and whatever they are interacting with on screen at any given time. The show is seven minutes long and full of fun and lessons on friendship, sharing and learning. There is little speaking from Pocoyo or the other characters (who are animals) and instead relies on a narrator to interact with the characters and tell the story. A narrator named Stephen Fry. Who is a brilliant British comedian with a lovely voice.
Bean loves this show. He gets very excited when it comes on and if I want him to go to the living room I say “What’s Pocoyo doing?” and he’ll run to the television. I managed to scrounge up some board books on Amazon and his favorite for bedtime is now about Pocoyo going to sleep. He’s also started to get up and dance when Pocoyo does. The only downside is because this is a British show it’s hard to find it here other than online, and “stuff” is even harder to find. Or expensive because they have to import it. But it’s free and official on youtube so look it up and you’ll laugh right along with Pocoyo and his friends.
#2) Thomas – I tried to avoid this one. I mean, the weirdly expressive faces on the trains creep me out. But they have Thomas trains in Chapters and Toys R Us that he plays with – so I was doomed from his first toy train experience. Now he sees Thomas on backpacks and other things and gleefully points at them saying “Vrboom Brboom”. Needing a break from Pocoyo I decided to look up a few episodes on YouTube and found it to be a relaxing and pleasant show. Bean gathers up his trains (he has two now) and runs them along a pretend track while the show plays. He is still young for it but he likes the music and the voices are calming – not annoying.
I’ll also admit that I enjoyed an episode about Hiro, a Japanese train that had broken down and Thomas and his friends were trying to save from scrap by fixing him themselves. I just…why do they have drivers? Are they actual people that ride around in these living trains or are they human-ish puppets psychically controlled by their train masters? I also find it mildly disturbing that these sentient talking trains could be sent for “scrap” when they are deemed by sir toppemhat (obviously Sodor’s overlord) to be no longer really useful engines. Sodor is a land full of mysteries that this mother cannot comprehend. But it’s narrated by Ringo so there’s that.
#3) Finding Nemo – Bean loves fish. He gets very excited by aquariums. And since Finding Nemo is pretty much a one and a half hour animated aquarium with talking fish – this pleases my wee guy very much. Also jelly fish are apparently HILARIOUS. I love Pixar and this movie in particular too. Plus I love Dory. Just keep swimming!
#4) Adventure Time – Admittedly this isn’t for everyone. But I’m a huge nerd and I love this show so it’s on this list. Bean is too young to “get” it but it’s full of brightly colored characters who prance around in a brightly colored world and say silly things. Toddler heaven. Also he loves the “Dah” (dog) Jake and has a doll of him which is his favorite stuffie. He sucks on Jake’s arms when he’s upset.
So there you are. That is the list of shows I will put on for Bean when I need to occupy him while I shower/make food/do laundry/feel sane. Some honorable mentions are Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and Muppets but the ones above – those are the ones that get the adorable squeals, the jumps for joy and the spastic pointing and gesturing.
Someday it will probably be Dora, Toopy and Binoo or (shudder) Max and Ruby but for now I’m going to enjoy the fleeting time of shows that don’t make me want to stab my eyes out with a fork.