An Honest Review of Kids TV

If the multiple lockdowns resulted in you binge-watching more telly than you thought humanly possible, then you have been in good company here. If I hadn’t escaped the house for a run, we re-watched every Friends episode, were, and continue to be, mentally scarred by Hand Maid’s Tale, and I watched the American Office all the way through for the third (or fourth?) time. Despite the world opening up again, Netflix is still a comfort blanket in my life. I sometimes have it on in the background to add some more life to our house on a working day or stare vacantly at during the peak of lockdown to kill the many hours between the four walls of our house as I waited for my daily walk, like a labrador.

When it comes to living with a 4-year-old, the battle for the TV is an interesting one. It’s like living with a dictator. Not so much an evil one, but definitely one the majority of the time you don’t want to cross, and has CocoMelon high on their agenda at all times.

When we were parents-to-be, which feels like a lifetime ago, we were of the opinion that iPads, TV etc. wouldn’t factor much in our lives and our child’s life. I find myself doubled over with laughter at that statement now. Not that our answer to everything is to put a screen in front of Ivy’s face, but there are moments where it really comes in handy. It just so happens that toddlers get bored of activities quite easily and we found we’ve got through days worth of ideas in the space of a couple of hours. That’s when my old friend Netflix is useful to have at the ready.

With a variety of kids’ shows on over the last 4 years, I’ve come to appreciate them, be shocked by them, and downright hate some of the whiney little characters that come to grace the screen. I’ve also learned not to get too immersed in any films we watch as we end up changing a quarter way through, or going back over the same song again, and again. If you ever need a karaoke partner for ‘You’re Welcome’ in Moana, I’m your man.

The following is an honest synopsis of some of the shows out there. If I was to ask Ivy, the response would be that they’re all brilliant. They’re not.

Peppa Pig

This squeaky-voiced pork scratching is a household name and probably doesn’t need an introduction. Anyway, in short. A little piglet named Peppa lives with her brother George and Mummy and Daddy Pig, she spends a lot of time telling her dad he’s overweight, and her grandparents they’re old. They have random adventures and Peppa revels in asking annoying questions when things go wrong. That last part feels familiar to real life.

CocoMelon

Have you ever been in a shop when they don’t have the license to play official versions of songs over the speakers? Cocomelon is the nursery rhyme version of that. Dodgy baby shark and traditional nursery rhymes. Sadly it’s a hit in our house.

Masha & The Bear

I’m pretty sure this show involves a small Russian girl whose main aim is to irritate the bear she lives with. I’d like to know how a housemate situation like that is formed. Between waking him up before his alarm, messing with his food, and pestering him while he’s trying to sleep, I’m surprised he doesn’t just eat her. Considering the audience though, it’s probably for the best.

In the Night Garden

I’ve never tried acid. But I imagine this show was created after a cocktail of mushrooms, acid, and a large joint. If character names like Pontipines, Ninky Nonk’s, and Haahoos don’t point to a production team of hallucinogenic loving junkies. The squawking blackbirds, or Tittifers as they are formally known, certainly will.

Barbie

This is like Keeping up with the (bastard) Kardashians but for Toddlers. Absolutely not on board with the format of this show. Ken’s a space cadet and so are the other characters.

Bing

Life with a toddler is often filled with some whinging about dropped ice creams, bumped elbows, or poorly tummies. If you’d like to double your dose of that, but in the form of a little bunny rabbit, then Bing’s your guy. Never fully happy with his situation but usually learns something at the end.

Daniel the Tiger

Daniel, believe it or not, is a Tiger. He’s actually incredibly useful to have around and he overcomes new challenges like trying new food, going to school, and being kind to others. I like Daniel. Be more Daniel.

Waffle the Wonder Dog

I spend my whole time trying to work out whether the family can actually understand him or whether they’re fluent in ‘bark’. Waffle is a dog with a voice who causes a bunch of trouble In between cheesy songs that the dad plays on guitar.

The Wiggles

A group of very eccentric Australians who play songs on instruments and teach different dance moves. Can’t lie, the Australian accent softens the blow, and “I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas” is a popular tune in our house.

Little Lunch

Back with an Australian cast and set as a reality TV programme in a school. There are fart jokes and practical jokes. I’m a fan and so is Ivy.

I’m blown away by the sheer quantity of kids’ TV that is available, so I’m sure this list could have been twice as long. I sound critical of most of these programmes, when in reality I’m grateful they provide some entertainment in our house when we need it the most.

I like to moan about other things as well. If you fancy a read my other posts can be found here.

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