Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Five Favorites

Today I'm going to do a little something different and link up with Moxie Wife's Five Favorites. Don't worry, I haven't given up on style posts! Recently, I did a guest post on tips for dressing postpartum, and another yesterday on the mom uniform for This Felicitous Life. If you missed them, please head over  to the respective sites and check them out!

I'm going with a theme for my five favorites: kid shows. My parents very wisely restricted the amount of television my siblings and I watched as children. I firmly believe that was a critical factor in our eventually becoming raging geniuses... Whatever the case may be, I try to limit the amount of tv my kids watch, but they do watch some. There are just those times when you need ten minutes to shower, or make that call to the doctor's office. And then there are those days when everyone is sick and miserable, and mom's mental state is sick and miserable. You catch my drift.  Let me tell you about our five favorites.
From the Left, Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Word World  
This educational show is equally clever, fun, and visually stimulating. It really helped my son identify letters even before we formally began working on the alphabet together. For awhile, Word World was available on Netflix, recently I have only been able to find it weekdays on PBS or via instant streaming on HuluPlus.

This stop motion claymation show was created in the 80's for Swiss television. It follows a lovable family of penguins who make their very humanlike life in the South Pole. Everyone in my family finds this show funny, from the 16 month old to me, it can elicit out loud laughter. And the craziest thing? There is no discernible dialogue; the characters speak a blend of babble occasionally smattered with a recognizable word from an actual foreign language. It sounds ridiculous, but trust me, somehow it just works. You want to know what is ridiculous? In 1993, David Hasselhoff released a rap song based on the series. Oh, David. If I have piqued your interest, you can find Pingu on Netflix.

This show is for preschool age children, and hales from Spain, though the version available on Netflix has English narration. The simplicity of the bold animation against a stark white background is visually pleasing, and the music is pleasant, but my favorite thing is the episode length. Six minutes. Yep, that's it. I find that Pocoyo is perfect for when I need a few uninterrupted minutes to accomplish a task but I don't want to commit to 45 minutes of television. I don't know about you, but it's so damn hard to turn off an episode of anything if it hasn't reached it's conclusion. Let's peg it on my ingrained Christian understanding of history as linear and the subsequent desire for narrative finality, or on the fact that I love peace and quiet. You choose.

The Adventures of TinTin (the 1991 cartoon series)
These shows bring Hergé's classic comic series to life. They are set in a realistic world beginning with the late 1920's and follow the title character as he solves mysteries and foils villains. The series might be a little too action packed for some young viewers. One episode involves the honest and brave hero taking on the corrupt mob in Chicago. Appropriately, there are gun fights and moments of intense suspense. This and other renditions of TinTin's adventures are available on Netflix.
Tinga Tinga Tales
Tinga Tinga Tales are twelve minute episodes based on African animal folk tales. The animation is done by East African artists in the style of tinga tinga, a mode of painting that involves bright colors and complex and varied patterns. This is the most gorgeous children's show I have ever come across. Even if you don't have children, but are simply interested in art or design, check this out! You won't be disappointed!


  1. thanks for this! sometimes you just NEED to do it. :)

  2. Thanks for these examples! It's nice to find recommendations for non-creepy/ weird kiddo shows.

  3. I have added all of these to my cue. Also the Rabbit Ears Children's Classics on Amazon streaming to Pime members are good.

    1. I'll have to check that out! I have amazon prime, but I don't take full advantage of it. Thanks you for the suggestion!

  4. My favorite for Will is Curious George. Its so sweet - and I think it has a certain beauty to it, a happy little life in Central Park and the country too - I like to go for the Beautiful when it comes to kid shows, not The Most Educational According to Some Random Magazine. ;)

    Baby Einstein? Give me a break. TV is TV. I think the best choice is one that is still lovely and not obnoxious or tacky.

    I really like the looks of that African one you mentioned...


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