Elyse Lalonde has always called Saskatoon home. She started on the motherhood journey in the Summer of 2015 when she had her son. Elyse is a working mom, always seeking a fine balance in life with a busy toddler. As a MommyConnections “alumnus,” she enjoys socializing with moms and babies her son’s age. Elyse has always enjoyed writing and journaling, and hopes to share her experiences (good, bad, and sarcastic) with the online parenting community in Saskatoon.
We try to diversify our screen time shows, and when we’re not watching the mindless drivel of Paw Patrol or PJ Masks, we try to balance our time with some of the shows below. They’re not totally annoying, and they have an educational piece to boot! Note this is simply my opinion and there are more shows out there that could’ve very well made the list. But here it is, my fave 5 toddler and pre-school friendly TV or Netflix shows:
- Super Why – Whyatt and his storybook village friends take you into a book each and every episode to help solve a problem that one of the friends has encountered. The problem in the selected story mirrors the problem that the storybook friend is experiencing. At the end of each episode, they put two and two together and voila! Problem solved. I like this show because it breaks down letters and words in the story and asks the audience members for help solving the problem. The graphics aren’t the greatest, but the content of the show is still solid.
- Wild Kratts – Do you remember the Kratt brothers from “Zooboomafoo?” I was not a fan of the original show, but this show is sort of a re-vamp featuring the same energetic brother duo, only with more adventure! It’s part cartoon, part real life, where the brothers explore the natural world, and encounter villains and problems along the way, with a team of scientists and futuristic technology. Adventurous and informative! Also, you’ll be signing the theme song all day. You’re welcome.
- Octonauts – Similar to Wild Kratts, this British cartoon is set in the deep sea, with cute little characters (including a turnip!) who are both scientists and super-heroes monitoring the activity on the ocean floor. Each episode has the team solving a problem, rescuing an animal or two. “Creature Report!” is a summary at the end of each episode where they show the audience the real-life animal equivalent. Educational, fun, and cute!
- Magic School Bus (and the Magic School Bus Rides Again!) – This was a favorite of mine as a kid; curious elementary school students embark on new adventures with their school bus each episode! Their adventures take them on educational outings that are fun and exciting. I feel good letting my kid watch this one, new or old episodes. As for me, I’m always enamored by Miss Frizzle’s calm and quirky demeanor. That lady has a lot of energy….
- Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Because the development of a child’s social skills are so important… there’s Daniel Tiger! My favorite feel-good show for my kid. This cute and relatable Tiger brings you along in his neighborhood, and encounters many types of social “problems” that your young child will be sure to experience, in one way or another. And he solves these problems in a fun and relatable way, which includes a little rhyme or song. For instance, “Try to solve the problem yourself, and you’ll feel Prou-ud!” or, “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away…. Flush and wash and be on your way!” We watched the episode where Daniel goes to get a vaccine, and his mom explained that yes, the shot will hurt a bit. But there are ways to distract yourself from the discomfort. My son applied this situation when he went for his flu shot this year. It worked like a charm! This show is inspired by the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and my favorite feel-good toddler show. Try it, and you will not be disappointed!
A big shout out also to Big Block Singsong, the 1-minute distraction between TV shows on CBC. You are awesome.