The politically correct thing would be to say, “my 4-year-old kid lives in a screen-free household”. But that would also be a blatant lie.
On days when I need a breather of 30-40 minutes, on days when I can do with a power nap, on days when my daughter finds every toy we ever bought for her, “boring”, on days we would rather not spend time in “imagining” or “coloring” or “building” things, on days, when quality time spent only forms a fraction of the quantity of time we need to keep our daughter engaged, we give her the blessed gift of “TV time”.
Sometimes I am in the same room as her, because she wants me to watch cartoons, with her. But sometimes, I want her to be completely engrossed in TV because I need to take bath, make my bed, do laundry or make the house generally look like a place where three human beings are living.
For both the possible scenarios, I have come to one conclusion. I feel much better when the show she is binging on, (because sometimes, it does end up getting more than 30 minutes. I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry) I want her to at least watch a cartoon show which either- teaches her the manners that my husband and I have failed to teach her, or have some plot/story to it- especially on the days when I am supposed to watch the shows with her.
Most of these shows are available on NETFLIX, God bless them. Some of these shows are on AMAZON, as well.
No matter where you gather them from, be rest assured that they are not only parent-tested and child-approved, they are also age-appropriate.
So much better than the videos YOUTUBE shows my child where all they are really teaching her is how to open a box with unrealistic glee and almost perfect articulation.
So. Yeah. (At least she’s not watching this garbage, right? Right? Ok you don’t seem impressed)
Here is my list of go-to videos, for my daughter. I let these shows babysit my 4-year-old daughter from time to time (every afternoon from 3:30 to 4:15 pm).
- BEN AND HOLLY:
When push comes to shove, this is one of my favorite shows to watch with my daughter. It’s a story about an elf called, BEN, and a fairy princess called HOLLY. The show also happens to have a wise-cracks provider, NANNY PLUM and sarcastic, WISE-OLD ELF, among other prominent characters. The storyline is fun, creative, entertaining and filled with interesting happenings, and nobody is falling in love with anybody, which I think is always a plus when you are making cartoons for a 4-year-old.
- PAW PATROL:
It’s a very popular show amongst kids. Pretty sure you have heard of it. I love the show. It has a proper story, driven by adorable pups. Who wouldn’t love that, right? Did I say it has a story? Which is such a rarity in kids’ shows! Watch it together with your kids, I say!
- DORA THE EXPLORER:
Another famous and popular kids’ show. It not only has a decent storyline, but it also keeps the kids involved. And the Spanish words they make your kid learn just, by the way, is not a bad fringe benefit either. The show is currently available on Amazon.
- JUSTIN TIME:
Another fun show. Nothing too complicated or hard to grasp, but not made under the assumption that kids just want cute stuff, either. In the show, Justin imagines visiting a new country and kind of accidentally explores its culture along with his imaginary toy turned friend Squidgy (very Calvin and Hobbes) and his neighbour, Olive. The animation is beautiful and stories end up giving your child a sneak-peek into other countries- bite-sized info. Sounds great, right!
- WORD PARTY:
Cute animals trying to learn and teach easy words while they splash a lot of pink and pastels on the screen. I may not want to watch it with my daughter. But I would have no problem in letting her watch this clean, entertaining show while I take a power nap or a much-needed bath after 3 days.
- DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD:
Daniel Tiger clearly loves to sing. But the grownups- his parents, his teacher, tend to teach him useful lessons via songs, as well. For instance, my daughter kind of sings this song while going to the bathroom:
“When you have to go potty,
Stop and go right away.
Flush and wash and be on your way”.
And since this wisdom, didn’t come from one of the two evil parents with ulterior motives, it tends to stick. Because Daniel is a cool cat, who sings cool songs. So he got to be right.
7. PEPPA PIG:
George Orwell’s Animal Farm did a lot of damage to the image of pigs. Enters, Peppa pig along with mummy pig, daddy pig and her little brother George for damage control. No problem in this world of cartoons is big enough that a little jumping up and down in muddy puddles, cannot solve it. Also, Peppa’s friends, Suzy Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit, Danny dog, Emily Elephant make the show colorful and super-fun with simple storylines & relatable “kid troubles”.
8. MAX AND RUBY:
Bye-bye pigs, welcome rabbits! The series is about a kid brother, Max, and his slightly older sister, Ruby. Their parents are precariously always away. However, it gives both of them a chance to solve their own day-to-day problems. You might get bored out of your wits, watching the episodes again and again, but my daughter tends to get all the jokes and chuckles often.
9. CARE BEARS- WELCOME TO CARE-A-LOT:
Ok, there’s nothing for parents, here. If you happen to watch it with your kid, good luck! But it’s a sweet little unrealistic world where every bear, cares a lot. Like seriously, what’s up with that! Perfect for kids. I have heard kids shouldn’t be introduced to hard-hitting, realistic cinema before 10, anyway, right! (totally made that one up).
10. MOTHER GOOSE CLUB:
My daughter loves the show, sometimes. I mean it has dancing, singing, colorful and lot of unbelievably happy preteens and teens. But you can tell by her expressions that this show is on its way out by the time she would be 5. Until then, a clean, joyful, sing-song afternoon is guaranteed. All you as a parent need is, to be in another room with earplugs because the wheels of the bus are going round and round, again.
Happy Napping, yapping, drinking, cleaning, sweeping, weeping, for the next 30 or whatever time your conscience allows you to do this “crime of the century”. Plus, no one needs to know. *wink* *wink*