My son is not yet two; there is a lot that he doesn’t always understand or do. There is a lot that he does understand and does anyway, but that isn’t the point.
We have a bedtime routine. When we had cable, I knew the Disney Jr. schedule. I knew when Jake and the Neverland Pirates was on instead of Doc McStuffins, when Sofia the First would be coming up, what the movie of the week was. Disney Jr and PBS and sometimes Sprout were the channels to know.
We have since cut the cable cord and use Netflix and Hulu, some shows were lost in the transition, but we have found new ones.
The old bedtime routine involved Daddy reading to him around 7:15 while he drank his milk, so that at 7:30, we could cuddle on the couch to watch Doc McStuffins. He would still and relax and watch his show. We have changed the show to Tinga Tinga Tales, which works because we can add the Tinga Tinga blanket to the routine.
And I was looking up Tinga Tinga tales because Hulu is missing two episodes and I want to know which two. And I found some reviews; one reviewer commented that the episode “Why Hare Hops” promotes cheating and injuring others in order to win. Really, the Tinga Tales are the African tales such as “Why Elephant has a Trunk” and “Why Monkeys Swing from Trees;” they are twelve minutes; they are cute and brightly colored with funny characters. The characters generally have one major characteristic because that’s what children understand. And most of the stories have a moral.
And having seen that episode, I can see where the reviewer is coming from, but most of the episodes are good.
And really, if you look around, I’m not sure what else you are going to find. My son still likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates; he also likes Super Why and Dinosaur Train. Another BIG favorite? Thomas and Friends, and Hulu and Netflix have the newer CGI versions and the older shows.
And the older shows and the books are not what most would consider “good.” The trains in the older shows are mean and petty towards each other, always making fun of the one another. Something happens and the train that is being spotlighted is humbled at the end of the episode, but for the most part, the older Thomas shows would not be something that I would advocate for my son.
And I know that I watched them when I was younger, but I don’t remember any of the attitude or the bullying between James, Thomas, Percy, Henry, Gordon and all the other trains. I just remember George Carlin and that there were trains.
So we will continue to watch Thomas and Tinga Tinga and all the other shows. I hope that Doc McStuffins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse eventually come to one of the streaming platforms because he does miss those shows. And maybe “good” children’s television is relative.
And right now, he is happily dancing to Choo Choo Soul which I am playing through Youtube.