Toddler TV: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Series

This is the easiest Toddler TV review I'll ever do, mostly because...in our house, Daniel Tiger is Life.


The re-boot of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger is a pre-schooler who leads a pretty average life and learns how to deal with the everyday problems that each of our kids face in their young lives.

Where To Find: You can watch 6 seasons of Daniel Tiger for free on Amazon Prime. You can purchase individual episodes on YouTube or iTunes (as well as full seasons on iTunes).

Timing: Each episode consists of two 10-ish minute standalone stories that are connected by an overarching theme/lesson. After each standalone story there is a short interlude that reinforces the theme with a song, a live-action lesson, or both. Each complete episode is 26 minutes long.

Story: Daniel Tiger is learning to navigate the neighborhood of make-believe. He and his best friends (Katerina Kitty Cat, Miss Elena, Prince Wednesday, and O the Owl) learn to play together, deal with challenging emotions/fears, handle differences in the way each other looks or thinks, or manage big life changes (like welcoming a new baby to the family)...all with easily remembered songs.

Why I Love It: I have zero complaints about this show. The show is inclusive, showing a multicultural neighborhood where everyone has a role to play and a viewpoint that is uniquely theirs. The jingle-like theme-songs for each episode give parents a simple way to remind their children of a coping technique or lesson in the middle of trying behavioral outbursts (counting to 4 when angry, finding ways to play together, finding the best in a disappointing situation, thinking things through when faced with a choice, resting when you're ill, etc.). We use the "It's almost time to stop/So choose one more thing to do" song at least once per day.

Post-Show Activities:

1. Talk about the episode theme. Questions to get the conversation going:

  • What was the song about today?
  • Who needed help/learned something? 
  • What did they learn?
  • Do you every feel the way [that character] felt?
  • What should you sing to yourself to remember how to solve the problem?
2. Play pretend. Encourage your child to think of a situation where the song of the day would apply, then act out a solution using the song. Take turns, so your child has to help you, instead of you only helping your child as they act out. Put them in the driver's seat of emotional support--it helps build empathy!

Lindsay

Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

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