Monday, October 21, 2013

Montessori: Best TV Shows for Toddlers

I do realize that it's a contradiction of terms to have a Montessori post about the best television shows for toddlers. 

It's true. So let me explain. 

We did our very best to keep Coco away from screens all together before she turned two. But now that she is two, I find it really unrealistic and unnecessary to make her life completely screen-free. It was actually starting to stress me out! So we decided that some TV time now and then is not a problem for us. Of course, we limit the amount of time she watches TV to not everyday and for shorter stretches, 20-30 minutes normally. And we also really limit what she watches. Children's shows with fast, flashing images and crazy music make me sick, so I can only imagine what they're doing her developing brain! For that reason, we steer clear of all the usual shows and stick to a select few. 


Miffy and Friends is an adorable stop animation show covering everyday topics that toddlers love. Miffy goes outside with her friends, goes to preschool and to the park and zoo, she helps her mom clean up or cook. What I love about Miffy is that the movement and storyline are slow-paced. Another aspect that makes it particularly toddler friendly is that the scenery is simple and clean, without a lot of clutter and distraction from the plot. Best of all, the show is narrated, so it's almost like watching a storybook being read aloud. Snap these DVDs up while you can because they're no longer being made and getting pricier by the day on Amazon and e-Bay. Be forewarned that the theme song will get stuck in your head for days and days. ;)

Kipper is a British television show about a little dog and his friends. Kipper does not behave at all like a dog - he talks, uses the telephone and dresses up in costumes. But, even for all that, it's the calmest, sweetest show we've found. The drawings are simple and the scenery is very minimalist. Kipper likes to go on picnics or attend friends' birthday parties. His best friend, Tiger, is a bit of a gear-head and know-it-all. Tiger always has the newest gadget and bosses Kipper around, but Kipper accepts Tiger as he is and loves him. Isn't that a wonderful lesson for toddlers to absorb? I would be lying if I said the Kipper theme song isn't catchy as well! But Kipper is so darling and entertaining, J and I often find ourselves watching it with Coco, too.

Hello Kitty Stump Village is another stop animation show. It is super cute and has the catchiest theme song of all.  I swear I sing it in my sleep. Stump Village is definitely zanier than Miffy and Kipper, but it's still a sweet show and age appropriate. However, this candid review on Amazon made me laugh! You be the judge. In our house, somewhat odd humor makes the cut.

And while she hasn't really acquired a taste for it yet, I know that one day soon, Coco will come to know and love Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as my siblings and I did when we were little. I'm thinking this one goes without explanation. Am I right? (If not, click the link;) That Mister Rogers. What a guy!

Do you let your toddler watch TV? What are your favorite television programs for toddlers? And which ones do you avoid?

(top photos from 1, 2, 3 and 4)

7 comments:

  1. We still stick to no TV time at all (our middle is also 2). Catherine

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  2. We managed to keep D relatively screen-free until she was about 22 months. Now she will happily watch full episodes of Sesame Street (which I noticed did not make your list.) Now I will let her watch Sesame Street a couple times a week, but I make a point of not letting her watch it every day, and not letting her watch more than one episode. Sesame Street must be doing something right since it's been around for so long. She's definitely learning songs and she's using things from the show in her imaginative play. Some of the songs are so catchy I find myself singing along.

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  3. Have you heard about PBS's new animated spin-off of Mr. Rogers? It's called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. We are in the US and C is sick, so we watched an episode this am. I think it's pretty cute and like these little short melodies they build in throughout the episode.

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  4. If you are looking for something similar to your favorite show. Check what others are watching now that the show is over. You might be surprised at the answers you get from others around the world.

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  5. Check out Tumble Leaf, an Amazon original show. It's very gentle and sweet for toddlers. Hope you like!

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  6. Check out Tumble Leaf, an Amazon original show. It's very gentle and sweet for toddlers. Hope you like!

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    1. We will check that one out! We're in the midst of a two week screen fast for Coco, but when it's over, she will get half hour per week of TV. We'll try this one!

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