My toddlers know the PBS line up by heart because in this family, we wake up when the babies wake up, and that can be any time from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. We have a morning routine here. We get dressed for the day, have a glass of milk, then the babies watch some quality programming while my husband and I eat breakfast, and he gets ready for work. I’d like to go through these briefly, in the order in which they appear on our television screen on any given morning.
8:30 a.m. – The Cat and the Hat – I really dislike this show. My babies disagree. I often here them singing “go, go, go, go” which is the refrain to one of the songs, and the show never fails to keep them entertained. I don’t know why. I find the animation rudimentary, the dialogue annoying, and the actor playing the voice of the Cat irritating. Also, I don’t expect the TV to teach my children anything, but, really, the lessons those two children learn with the Cat are just too stupid to merit review. The babies would probably give it an 8 out of 10. I give it a 1.
9 a.m. – Super Why – This show is about a boy and his fairytale friends who magically travel into books to find the answers to such pressing questions as: I want to keep my tooth from the toothfairy, and I want Little Bo Peep to stay and play with me. I think my babies like this show because of the contrast in animation between the main characters (who are super colorful and multidimensional) to the animation in the stories in which they visit (which is a bit more drab and two dimensional – meant to look like pages in a book, I assume.) The babies would probably give it a 7 out of 10. I give it a 7, also.
9:30 a.m. – Dinosaur Train – This show is about a family of flying dinosaurs that go on adventures time-travelling through all the dinosaur history periods on a train. The babies hate this one. We switch to Nick which is playing Dora the Explorer if we need 9:30 a.m. entertainment. I don’t mind Dinosaur Train. I find the landscapes interesting. Babies: 1 Me: 5
10:00 a.m. – Sesame St. I can always count on a full hour of silence if Sesame St. is on. The problems I wrote about in my critique of the show in August hold no weight with the babies. They love it. They eat it up. They sing the theme song, for heaven’s sake. Babies: 10 Me: 8
11:00 a.m. – Sid the Science Kid – Thank you, PBS, for changing your lineup to include Sid the Science Kid! I think the subject matter is a bit too advanced for my babies, but they are entertained by the many songs throughout the show. They also like that the show is repetitious. The same types of things happen at the same times every show. Many kids’ shows do this, but with Sid the Science Kid, it really works well. Babies: 8 Me: 9
11:30 a.m. Word World – I love Word World. I find myself watching along if this is playing on my screen. I’m always curious as to how the animators are going to turn a word into the object it represents using the letters. What a creative and awesome idea. What loveable characters. What great songs. My kids like the show, too, although, if they’re still watching TV at 11:30 in the morning, they’re usually sick, or really cranky, or tired so they can’t give it their full appreciation. Usually we’re outside by then. Babies: 7 Me: 10
And there you have it. Three hours of television shows I never thought I’d ever watch in my life. I hope it helps you decide which one is right for your kid.