When our first little Rhooster came along, like many parents, we swore our little one would be television free for as long as possible. After all the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television for children two and under and no more than 1 to 2 hours of screen time a day for children two and above. So we set the rules with our child care providers and family.
But life has this annoying habit of getting in the way of best intentions. We realized being TV-free was not exactly realistic.
But what to watch?
We set some criteria. We wanted our choices to be commercial-free, educational, and something we could stand watching again and again…and again. While we grew up with Tom and Jerry and lots of other cartoons, we felt that they weren’t the best choice for our little Rhooster. So here are some recommendations from our experiences.
Mister Rogers – We like this show just the way it is. The sedate pace, gentle tones, and thoughtful topics still resonate, even if the reruns are peppered with VHS tapes and other old technology. And it’s a hit with our little ones who enjoys the songs, puppets, and special visits. Plus – there’s something really cool about our kids watching the same shows we did. You can still catch reruns of this classic early Saturday mornings on most PBS affiliates, so set your DVR.
Caillou – I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors. Caillou is whiny. Caillou is a brat. Caillou has no hair. Despite all this it’s a program we’re happy to let our little Rhoosters watch. Caillou does have his moments, but no more than any other toddler. The little guy is unfailingly polite and espouses positive life lessons including helping, sharing, practicing, and patience. His experiences make a great reference point when we’re heading into new situations. “Remember when Caillou…?” has been often asked in our house. And for us, the lack of a strong merchandising machine behind the show is a bonus. And did we mention our little ones love the program?
The other thing we love about both shows – and frankly anything on PBS Kids – is the great educational content online that will occupy your little one for hours on end once they discover your iPad!
Stay tuned for more programming picks from our Rhoost Moms.