The little dude loves watching videos. He gets 30 minutes in the afternoon when bub is asleep, my downtime, and then whatever else I feel like allowing depending on weather, my tiredness levels, etc.
When selecting videos, my criteria are simple:
- Am I able to watch this without being irritated?
- Does he enjoy it?
Here are our favourites shows:
1) Puffin Rock
Puffin Rock sets a new standard in kids entertainment. Puffin Rock is everything you could possibly want in a children’s show. It is charming. It is beautifully animated. The storylines are simple and pleasant. It has nice little asides to adults, but done in a very subtle way (“puffins and seagulls don’t quite see eye to eye”). Puffin Rock is my favourite.
2) Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
This has been the little dude’s top pick for a while. I give it big points for narrative pacing and interest, and good comedy value for adults. It could definitely be better on gender – it’s a mystery how there are so many more girl fairies than boy fairies and more boy elves than girl elves, when most species have fairly even ratios. But I like the boy/girl friendship pairing of Ben and Holly and the child-friendly introduction into fantasy lore.
Mouk and his friend Chavapa are slightly indeterminate humanoid animals with massively oversized heads. They are backpacking around the world on their bikes. One gets rather the uncomfortable feeling they’re trust fund kids seeking cultural enrichment without leaving their upper middle class bubble. But if you compartmentalise that adult critique, it is a pretty cool show. Though I don’t know how they manage to avoid overbalancing on their bikes, given the size of their heads.
4. Peppa Pig
Sticking with humanoid animals, we come to Peppa, the little pig changing our expectations about bossy girls. Peppa has been a favourite for a while. I’m impressed by the level of character development they manage in a show compiled of five minute episodes, and I have a real soft spot for Pedro Pony. My husband likes it because Mummy Pig is patient with Daddy Pig’s foibles.
5. Sarah and Duck
Sarah is a little girl who lives alone with her pet duck. It’s a bit strange, and the premise is absurd, and it has a slight air of melancholy (where are the parents? Is a duck her only friend?). But if you want your kids to watch off-beat film festival movies with you when they’re teenagers, this is probably good training material?