Monday, November 15, 2010

Kids TV

My dear husband pampers me in various ways…one of them being, leaving behind interesting articles from newspapers that he comes across.  We realize that with all the work I pile on myself, with my hand in so many pots..its just not possible for me to skim through stuff to find interesting reads..He, being a voracious reader, and knowing my taste, is able to find those articles that I would love to read.

So, recently I was reading this article in the Personal Journal of Wall Street Journal. It was about Kids TV and where it has come to be, spanning from the days of Disney. Most of the Disney channels are not able to compete with the new channels today, that even have a curriculum to boast about. Especially, NOGIN (now called NICKJR). image

The punch line, that the channel uses “Preschool on TV”.  I consider myself a perfect candidate to vouch for this. I, for one have watched this channel for the last 8 years now and still see no signs of stopping.

Starting with the triplets and now with Richa, this is the only channel I get to watch freely without any interruptions. Its a channel without any annoying advertisements. Now that the kids have taken over the TV from us, I cannot find a reason why I should deny them this, other than being fed up of subjecting my ears to those squeaky excited sounds, that goes..

”Now we need to cross the seven seas…Can you count with me?

“One, Two….Seven” (,Never had realized it was so easy crossing the seven seas).

“We have crossed the seven seas, Where do we go next?”

With the triplets having outgrown this channel, watching other channels with them is a very nervous affair. What could pop up either in the form of an advertisement or message!. I know we are in the age of TIVO and DVR receivers…where one can record their program of choice and watch it when they want to. Still, Indian channels have no concept of planning a program for a wider audience. The English channels are no better. What with those advertisements that span drugs for “Herpes” or for more loan…

The soaps on the Indian channels are so disgusting. The reality shows, like Indian Idol, Sa Re Ga Ma Paa, and other Indian versions of “Dancing with the Stars”  and Kitchen Championships etc are decent. Some of them are inspiring to young learners of music and dance. But, with their activities and school work, the triplets hardly find time to watch any TV.  So, currently Richa holds the TV remote at home. As expected, she is not going to let us watch any other channel other than her favorite, will she?!

Her channel of choice, NICKJR!. Most of the shows that have managed to stay on for the last 8 years, we’ve almost learnt the script verbatim. So has Richa!  As usual, Dora and Diego rule as the favorites as it had been for the triplets too. When Nick took over NOGIn, I had wondered if it would turn this beautifully scripted channel into a box of advertisements.

Instead, a lot has improved on this channel. So many of the shows have stopped while other shows have taken over them.  Actually, I feel the level of knowledge that’s being dispersed on this channel has taken a turn upwards, like an exponential curve.  Now, there are shows like Olivia and Wow Wow Wubbzy..The triplets used to love this show and Richa got hooked on to it. I used to wonder if she understood anything at the time. (But, one can’t know with the kids of this generation. They always take you by surprise.) Its a show that encompasses emotions and childhood habits like attention span, and science.  image

Even the characters are named Widget, Daisy, and the main character Wubbzy, who is a drawing made by joining a bunch of lines. He even deals with superstition in one of the episode.


Another show that Richa has gotten hooked on to is Olivia. Oh my! It makes me wonder if this channel is even catering to the Pre-schoolers or elementary school kids. This little piglet cartoon, who often calls her little brother as her “little bother” is dealing with projects like creating a new planet, or new cuisines. In one episode, I overheard her discussing “moderation”.  She boldly mentions that anything done in excess is called moderation, when her parents try to stop her, unable to deal with her excess in “Recycling” and “Saving the Planet”.

There used to be this cute show “Little Bear”. It used to feel so laid back and peaceful watching that show. It was the time when the triplets were going to pre-school. I was a working mom then. They would be dropped home in the afternoon and after their nap, their grandparents would wake the kids up to “Little Bear”. It was such a nice calm way of waking them up. I don’t see the show now-a-days.  Its been taken over by so many newer shows, like Olivia, Dino Dan and the cute Ni-Hao Kai lan. image



Another of the kids favorite is the show called “Back Yardigans”.  Its an amazing show that showcases the  vastness of a kids imaginations. The way the backyard of these 4 friends either, turns into an amazon forest or the iceage or a swamp or a desert.  Their characters change from being a Viking explorer to a Pirate finding a treasure to being a arrogant queen in the desert asking her subjects do all her work for her.  The show explorers phonetics, inventions or discoveries. The musical numbers are so awesome and the dance steps of the characters are choreographed so well.

Cannot forget the “Wonder Pets” and their favorite line “We’re not too big and we’er not too small but when we work together, we’ll find the right way, Go Wonder Pets Go!!”

Its been so rightly named as “Preschool on TV”. Lots of stuff to learn for the kids, except the kid would end up glued to the TV, loosing out on developing social skills which forms a big part of growing up. Considering that Richa is doing that part at school, no reason why I can’t let her watch this channel for a while each day.

The other day, Richa was doing her potty and she was calling out for me so I could clean her up. When I didn’t move, she started instructing me..

“Mama, I don’t hear you walking..”

After about 2-3 more calls, I said..

“Ok..Richa hear me walking”

And I walked to the bathroom and looked at her and called her

“Restless girl” trying to be funny.

She looked at me and told me something that took me off my feet.

Treat people, like you want them to treat you”.

I was left speechless. But, luckily now for me, I try to use that line back at her whenever I find it convenient. I know I can’t push my luck more than I should, what if she decides to ignore and move on!



Catch the Kids said...

My girls love all of these television programs. I love the ones from the BBC. I wish you could see "Sean the Sheep" (apparently it's not shown in the States). Hilarious. I sit down to watch it even if the kids are missing!

gayatri said...

@Catch the Kids, Nice to hear from you. I should check if that's true. I know of the PBS channels and the Disney. Hadn't heard of "Sean the Sheep". My youngest always feels so proud that I'm watching her channel with her, that she was able to lure me it.. :-)