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Favorite Shows For Kids

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow unschoolers, world schoolers and free schoolers!

 

I am trying to get some new ideas for shows and movies my 2 girls, ages 7 and 3 (almost 4), can watch. We only have access to Netflix, the internet obviously, and the library. 

 

What do you like? What do your kids like? (since sometimes they're different!wink1.gif)

 

I thought of asking in a different forum but since we are world schooling, I figured I'd ask in a crowd of folks living similar lifestyles. I use the term similar loosely.love.gif

 

I'll start by offering what they are into now that I like:

 

Electric Company (the new version. Wow I didnt even know there was a new version!)

Word World

Busytown Mysteries

 

And what they are into that I like less: (especially since 3 yr old is watching with 7 yr old)

 

I Carly

Sonny With A Chance

 

Looking forward to hearing your ideas and talking TV. blahblah.gif

 

 

post #2 of 26

We have two girls with somewhat different tastes.  We do a video (library) in the morning, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours a day, and the girls switch days.  The age spread is not nearly so wide.

 

DD6 loves nature videos (anything carnivorous: sharks, whales, crocs, dinos) but she also loves "King of Camouflage" about cuttlefish.  She likes scary things.  Kung Fu Panda is a favorite (Skedoosh!), and anything mischievous like Snoopy or the short "Jack Jack Attack" from The Incredibles DVD (movie: boring!) or "Boo" from Monster's Inc.  Babies are, thankfully, a sweet retreat from her fearsome tastes.  (Peanuts specials are offered on DVD in 1960's and 1970's, etc., and they both liked the Mayflower special included with Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.)

 

DD4 loves sweet things best.  And if it's good once, it's good a bazillion times!  Bob the Builder is annoying in a cute way, and since we shop at local toy stores instead of big box retailers, they don't see the commercialism.  (Plus, as a library video we avoid commercials).  Movie-wise, "Babe" is a big hit.  "Bambi" was a favorite for a long time (they knew the mom died, but we skipped it anyway).

 

Both really love "Magic School Bus" episodes, and the books, too.  They don't like the Curious George series, but I've seen it, and its nicely done.  Their aunt gave them a DVD of "Animal Atlas" which they both really like.  Another I used to like, but they won't give it a "go" is Bill Nye the Science Guy (Bill! Bill! Bill!  Sorry...)

 

It's always a joy when they both pick something they both like, instead of (usually DD6) choosing one specifically to annoy the other.  We have rules about complaining about videos: one is that they cannot complain about the other's pick, at least not more than once.  They will lose THEIR day  if they persist, but they never do.

post #3 of 26

I just love the Backyardigans (animated). I am not big on kids' TV at ALL but we came across a video of these guys once at the library and took it home. First of all they are just so sweet. The 4 little characters (animals that are human-like) basically use their imaginations, playing in their yard, to "go" on all these adventures, and at the end of each episode they of course "return" to the reality of their backyard and go in for a snack. But even though I like that it is sweet and harmless and non-snarky, I like the music even more. Each episode has songs built in, with different musical styles and even dancing! Yes, the cartoons dance, which sounds silly but they do a great job and it exposes kids to different styles of music. I think the whole thing is well done and the stories are funny, and I defy you to get the tunes out of your head afterward.

 

My son liked it when he was younger, of course. Now he's 8 and into Power Rangers....but we still like to watch Backyardigans together! Go figure. (that's what is great about being unschoolers....there's no sense that now that he is 8 years old, it's "not cool" to watch "babyish" shows like Backyardigans. If we like something, we watch it, end of story.

 

He also loved the "Really Wild Animals" nature videos from National Geographic for kids....they were narrated by Dudley Moore (who played a cartoon version of Earth called "Spin"). Here is the URL:

http://www.amazon.com/National-Geographics-Really-Wild-Animals/dp/6304475772


They are informative and funny and they, too, have great music. We also loved the "There Goes A...." series of tapes from the library. A guy named Dave basically introduces the kids to various vehicles in a really funny way.

http://www.amazon.com/There-Goes-Dump-Truck-VHS/dp/1568328443/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

 

I know you have girls and these tapes seem sort of boyish but I don't want to be sexist.  :-)  I find them funny and informative and they are always so easy to find at yard sales, library, Salvation Army, etc.

 

And of course, there's Thomas the Tank Engine. :-)  Gotta love Thomas & the gang.

 

post #4 of 26

We're watching through library, internet and stuff sent over from the US by my family.  Always looking for new ideas, but series my LOs have loved (and which don't make me cringe) include:

 

For littles:

  • Peep and the Big Wide World
  • Postman Pat
  • Pippi Longstocking (1970s Swedish/German tv collaboration with dreadful dubbing but so much fun)
  • Magic School Bus
  • Charlie and Lola

 

For a bit older:

  • Jane and the Dragon
  • Wild Kratts
  • Cyberchase
  • Avatar (my youngest loves this one too)
  • Faerie Tale Theatre

 

And as for movies I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE Hayao Miyazaki's stuff which I had never seen before.  Recommend starting out with Totoro, but I think we've watched them all by now.  The original Winnie-the-Pooh is also lovely.

 

post #5 of 26

Right now dd (7) loves Beakman's World and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Also, anything Scooby Doo!

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions mamas. I found myself shaking my head "Yes" to a lot of them.

 

We also love Peep and The Big World. I wish there were more of them. Magic School Bus are great too. I will be checking out all of the suggestions Thanks! As with all of them, I'll need to keep up with renting from the library.  It's when I don't and they want to put on Netflix and watch these teen shows that is making me uncomfortable. My main issue with the tween/teen shows offered today is that they all seem to live without parental supervision, and their main redeeming quality is their stardom. I've also seen lying and manipulating by one of the main characters. All of these things counter the values I'm trying to model!

 

So, yesterday I bought the first season of The Partidge Family. (Remember, they had a mom they actually respected and asked advice from!?) I hope they like it!

 

More suggestions if you have any welcome. :)

post #7 of 26

As far as educational material, my kids love anything that Schlessinger Media produces (The Way Things Work, Physical Science for Children, Earth Science for Children, Science Clips for Children...) These are Awesome!!!! We also love Bill Nye!

 

Entertainment material includes Cyberchase, Martha Speaks, Clifford, Curious George, WordWorld, Between the Lions, Reading rainbow...

post #8 of 26

My girls, 5 and 2 both really enjoy the Wonder Pets! right now.  Curious George is always a favorite.  DD1 also likes Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (I think there's video on PBSkids.org)

 

And also, many of the shows listed above.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyhippy View Post

 

So, yesterday I bought the first season of The Partidge Family. (Remember, they had a mom they actually respected and asked advice from!?) I hope they like it!

 

More suggestions if you have any welcome. :)


           I lived and breathed Little House on the Prairie!  I also loved Get Smart! Gilligan's Island (groan!), Abbott and Costello, Our Gang comedies (I just asked DH what he watched as a kid, he said "Sanford and Son"!   I told him that it's, ummmm.... a little inappropriate....)  I know many old shows were filled with some violence and unquestioned sexism.  I previewed old Bugs Bunny for the girls, and it was kind of painful and unfunny, except the most famous classics (I didn't offer it to them).  Haven't seen Lone Ranger for decades, but I loved it.

          Star Trek and Next Generation were favorites as I became a teenager.

          DD6 got a kick out of some silent dinosaur movie, and is asking about King Kong, so black and white isn't a big issue video-wise.  She is also fascinated, but a little scared of seeing Harry Potter and LOTR, even though we have read them (1st HP book, currently Two Towers in LOTR). 

          Meltdown, gotta go.  GOOD LUCK!

 

post #10 of 26

Simpson's and Futurama.

post #11 of 26

 Martha Speaks, Martha Speaks, Martha Speaks!!! NOT because it's educational, but because it's hilarious, witty, and clearly does not talk down to kids (they KNOW adults are watching this one too). I LOVE that show.

 

And the old Scooby-Do cartoons, oh the memories they brought back.

post #12 of 26

I have found that my daughter and my stepdaughter do not seem to get much from television shows and I think this may be because they are too fast and there is too much going on. After the show is over, I can ask them a simple question about it and they rarely are able to answer it.

 

If I choose a show, it's because it's SLOW and gentle and because it has good moral lessons, not necessarily school-type lessons. My 3yo likes Kipper and Berenstain Bears. Sometimes she will watch Max & Ruby, but that one isn't particularly great.

 

Mostly, I find she does better with things she can interact with. She plays Starfall.com (free) on her computer and it has helped teach her to read. My husband also got the app for his iPhone for her, but she has grown out of it now that she can read words and doesn't need phonics lessons anymore.

 

She likes Olivia as well. I also go to the library or get on Netflix and get all of the National Geographic and other nature/history programs for kids which she adores. Anything with animals is a big hit.

post #13 of 26

About the only one I don't see mentioned is Little Bear.  It's animated and based on the books.  It's really sweet and simple.  Little Bear spends his days playing in the forest with his friends, using their imaginations.  Mother Bear and Father Bear are perfect parents.  They're always calm and understanding, and never talk about time-outs or other random punishments.  They are always patient and playful.

 

DD likes plenty of other shows, but they're mostly really obnoxious.

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddle View Post

About the only one I don't see mentioned is Little Bear.  It's animated and based on the books.  It's really sweet and simple.  Little Bear spends his days playing in the forest with his friends, using their imaginations.  Mother Bear and Father Bear are perfect parents.  They're always calm and understanding, and never talk about time-outs or other random punishments.  They are always patient and playful.

 

DD likes plenty of other shows, but they're mostly really obnoxious.


I forgot about Little Bear. DD loves that show! Also, "Old Bear Stories" which is British and SO SO cute if you can find it.

 

post #15 of 26

We love to watch CBC especially because the kids programming completely lacks sponsorships and commercials.  We watch Artzooka and Gofrette.  On PBS, Curious George.  On Netflix, Kipper (love Kipper), Caillou and sometimes Shaun the Sheep.  We also do a lot of Youtube videos, usually of robots.  DS is robot-crazed at the moment.  

 

Where can we find Little Bear?  I adore those books.

post #16 of 26

Love Little Bear!  Found some inexpensively in the "bulk" video bin of a Toys R Us.  Also, I've ordered them from Amazon.  The videos are calm, sweet, enjoyable.  My girls smile so much when they watch these. 

 

Other faves:  Wild Kratts (now on PBS).  My mother introduced the girls to Annie, Music Man and a few other musicals (which she did earlier than I would have--she did at 3.5...I would have waited 'til 5+).  No lasting negatives other than crazy acrobatic dance moves off the sofas and beds (remember the Hard Knock Life scene in the orphanage?).  I've watched Sound of Music with the girls up until the time where they have to flee (we just turn it off...we rarely make it that far...).

 

Things I dislike:  Disney.  Somehow it finds its way into our lives anyway???!!!  Too scary for the under 8 crowd in my opinion.  We have let them watch some with friends and we do own a few.  I try to have an adult with them/nearby when they are watching 'cause it is so intense.

 

Also, on a separate but related note, I'm often able to lure the girls to listen to a book on tape vs. watch tv.  I like the audio books much more...we often borrow from the library too, which saves a bundle!

post #17 of 26

I don't remember it being mentioned, but we love Maisy around here as well.  

post #18 of 26

Sorry if I am repeating anyone else's response...

 

My three children LOVE Phineas & Ferb which we watch on Netflix.

My hubby and I really enjoy it too -- not always the case with kids' programming.

 

Intelligent dialog -- great music -- very witty.

 

Plus I think that the title characters would be awesome unschoolers -- or maybe just autodidactic (which is a word they use in one of their songs.)

 

My 7yo has picked up so many 'big' words from watching the show and he's been using them correctly too. :D

post #19 of 26

We only get to watch tv on the weekends when we visit my parents, but here are the favorites:

 

My 3 year old son loves all of the PBS Saturday afternoon woodworking shows!  He loves any show that uses tools, actually.  He'll watch knitting and crochet videos with me and pretends to knit too.  My 6 year old loves Wild Kratts and any show about space exploration.  We only rarely let them watch movies, but they loved The Borrowers when we let them watch it.

post #20 of 26

Recently I've been thinking about The Hardy Boys, but I watched that decades ago.  (Sigh!  Shaun Cassidy..... )

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