Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Five Speed Posts in Five Days: #1, PBS Kids

It's no secret that my kids watch a lot of television. I live in a climate where the air hurts your face one quarter of the year. So judge me if you'd like, but TV is part of our winter survival and I'm not ashamed of it.

PBS Kids is a large part of my shamelessness. PBS Kids is the only channel that plays at our house. Ever. Even when we resort to Netflix, I have a fairly strict PBS Kids only policy.

Media has power, too much power. It can alter the mood in a home, and because I am very protective of the mood (ie Spirit) that resides in my home, PBS Kids is the only media source I fully trust. It's Educational programming has earned that trust, and I rarely have to worry about it teaching my kids naughty behaviors (Peg splashes in the tub a bit too much, but that's about as wreck-less as it gets at PBS Kids).

At the close of my fourth winter here in the-air-is-so-cold-it-hurts-to-breathe land, I unofficially dub myself a PBS Kids expert. I know all their shows, and could give detailed reviews of each one. But I'll spare you, and just review my (current) five favorites.

1. Daniel Tiger. I've raved about Daniel Tiger more than once (okay more than a dozen times) on this blog, so I don't think there is much more I can say. Let me just list our five favorite Daniel Tiger catch phrases.
1. Take a step back and ask for help (when you're feeling frustrated).
2. It's okay to feel sad sometimes, little by little you'll feel better again.
3. You've got to try new foods cause it might taste good.
4. Take a deep breathe and count to four (when you're feeling mad and you want to roar).
5. Thank you, for everything you do.

Oh my gosh, that was so hard. There are at least a dozen more strategy songs we sing daily at our house, thanks to Daniel Tiger. I love him. I really, really love him.

2. Wild Kratts. This show is so educational, and the characters (even the villains) are a lot of fun. Reid has learned so much about habitats and food chains and dozens of creatures -- ranging from huge hump back whales to tiny termites. The Kratt brothers have no limits to their creature explorations (they even go back in time and explore some extinct animals, so yeah, no limits).

3. Magic School Bus. This is not a current PBS Kids show, but I'm putting it on this list anyway. We've watched the whole series (just this winter) through Netflix, and it exists because of PBS -- the PBS I grew up with. I actually remember watching it every afternoon as a 7th-8th grader. I loved it then and still do now. Like the Kratt brothers, Ms Frizz has no limits and Reid has learned many random facts thanks to her antics. His love of science has deepened thanks to the Magic School Bus.

4. Sesame Street. Another classic from my own childhood, Sesame Street is as captivating as ever. Elmo now performs musicals, Grover is a super hero, Cookie Monster is a detective, and Big Bird and Snuffalufagus are as lovable as ever. Sesame Street continues to educate and entertain in simple, safe styles. Both my kids enjoy it from time to time.

5. Word Girl. Becky Botsford (10-year-old girl) and her pet monkey, Bob, fight crime as Word Girl and Captain Huggy Face. This is a recent PBS find for us. Reid really wanted to watch a super hero show, but Super Why is too babyish for him and I don't trust the tales of Spiderman and Batman just yet, so I gave Word Girl a try and we are all hooked. Nell runs around the house pretending to save the day and Reid loves playing the harmless villains (Dr Two Brains steals cheese, Victoria Best is a narcisist, Toby makes giant robots -- all pretty simple crimes). The shows Educational point is vocabulary building, so it's a nice break from the other more science and emotional intelligence heavy PBS Kids shows. I'm already dreaming up a Halloween where Nell can dress as Word Girl and Coraline goes as her sidekick, Captain Huggy Face. Word Girl is not currently running on our PBS station, but several seasons of episodes are up on Netflix.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Granted, I got hooked on PBS Kids when I was in WI. Good stuff.

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