Since my children are so young, I have a lot of control of what they watch. I pick the shows and one of my standards is: do I want to hear this? I will admit Thomas the Train drives me nuts, so does Daniel Tiger. So my children remain unfamiliar with the otherwise beloved characters.
Topping the list of shows I can tolerate in the background is Curious George.
Ethan's absolute favorite show is Curious George. And he has learned a lot from the busy monkey, impressing his father with knowledge about car washes and rockets, as well as special dance steps (quick, quick, slow). I appreciate the shows upbeat nature and the encouraging of helpfulness and admiration of what is right under your nose. Fostering a love of animals, interest in nature, eagerness to learn, and exposure to a variety of interests, i.e. the symphony, gymnastics, magnets, are all regular parts of this darling show. I have no idea how many times Ethan has seen every single episode, but he sure does like it!
Another favorite show is Justin Time. The shows focus on history and cultural geography is really neat. The main character's imagination takes him from ancient China, Egypt, and Greece to building skyscrapers in New York, visiting the Eiffel tower, and traveling through various parts of the North American continent. As a history buff, I love introducing my son to the past through this simple, yet exciting show. Ethan's developed an interest in Vikings and sailing in general from this show.
You can't have a fireman in the house and not watch firefighter shows. Fireman Sam is a courageous hero and helpful neighbor. I love watching Ethan get excited about danger and hear him yell advice to the characters in this British series.
Although Saoirse has yet to develop any particular interests, I enjoy the Tinker Bell movies and hope she will too. Not quite the same fairy as J.M. Barrie originally created, she is none the less a delightful character. She often learns things the hard way, but is ever ready to admit her mistakes. The realm of tiny creatures holds great enchantment and fascination to me, and I have a feeling Saoirse will readily enter into the charm of fairy houses and grass dolls when she gets a little older.
The list would be incomplete if Winnie-the-Pooh were absent. Call me nostalgic and old-fashioned, but I enjoy the classic tales of A.A. Milne very much. I recall my own childish imaginings of The Hundred Acre Wood and how I wished to roam it. I should like to think my children are beginning their own imaginings in this classic setting.
So this is what I have given my children to watch. The is filled with simple, wholesome education. Shows that hopefully teach them about the excitement in the world around them. I want to have curious children, I want them to travel around the world and through time, I want them to be brave and ready to help others, I want them to love the beautiful Creation we are surrounded by. I think I have chosen the right shows to encourage their growing minds.