Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your Backyard Friends

If you have small children, you probably already know what this post is about. Yep. The Backyardigans. This show is a favourite of Charlotte's, and my admiration for the writers is growing. At first glance, the show is about a group of kids who use their imaginations to create elaborate stories in their giant shared suburban backyard.

Upon closer inspection (with your music nerd glasses on) you see that this is a great show to introduce kids to different genres of music and dance.

We have been watching The Underwater Adventure DVD a lot lately and now my kids have an understanding of how Bollywood Musicals work thanks to some mermaids and Cousteau-esqe submariners. We moved into old-skool hiphop with some Coast Guard rescuers and then went back to the classics with a ballet dancing entemologist. I love seeing the characters bust out real dance moves. I also love that since Charlotte has been in ballet and tap lessons she is now dancing along with the characters.

Polka Palace Party is another favourite of mine. Uniqua's ode to her clarinet makes me giggle every time I hear it.

I also like how they don't shove the lessons down the kid's throats like they do on Little Einstiens (another show that we watch a lot) Of course, that in your face style of teaching does sink in. One day Charlotte was running through the house and telling me she was going allegro!

So what is my point? Do you watch what your kids watch? Do you really pay attention? You might be pleasantly surprised. (On the other hand, you might be shocked and appalled too. I sat down and watched a Land Before Time video once. I won't allow it in my house anymore. Those dinosaurs do not teach lessons I want my kids to learn--follow the crowd, listen to your friends instead of your parents, do whatever you need to do to fit in with the cool kids......)

What is in your DVD player right now?


Imcombobulated said...

We are also huge fans of the Backyardigans. As you say, there's great music, stuff to be learned, and it's really smartly written. Everyone in our family loves it (parents included.)
The kids like Dora but I find her insipid and banal. Likewise Little Einsteins. We watch a little old school Sesame Street online (remember when Cookie Monster ate everything, not just cookies?!?!) Since we're abroad, we don't have tv, just DVDs, so our choices are limited.

Unknown said...

Charlotte loves Dora, but she makes my ears bleed. Did you notice they always yell on that show? I can't stand it. Sesame Street rocks. I often pull up videos on YouTube for the kids--there is a DVD boxed set that I keep eyeing up with all the good Sesame Street segments on it.

We don't have cable, so my kids watch DVDs exculsively. It is a real treat for them to go to someone's house and watch "real" TV. Life is a lot simpler around here without the constant barrage of ads in our faces.

Ashlee Rose O. said...

I think that Fraggle Rock is in our DVD player. Now THAT's oldskool. ;)

Anonymous said...

We have ET in ours. Well, actually, in our VCR! How's THAT for oldskool! :) Our dvd player is broken so I pulled out our old VCR and hooked it up. And that is the film of choice of Blair (even over Disney princess options). I'm surprised at the cursing in it, though. It's fairly limited, but it's just enough for a keen 3 year old to pick up on one of these days. I keep waiting for it.

Reid is in my room watching Land Before Time as we speak. I've never actually watched it...I'm thinking I shouldn't offer that choice anymore! Thanks for the head's up!

Anonymous said...

A little late on this, but I love Backyardigans for the kidlets I'm around. Also Jack's Big Music Show. It's great when kids are encouraged to be clever and creative!