28 February 2008

Top 3 Strangest TV Programs For Pre Schoolers

Everyone has an opinion about little ones watching TV. In our house the TV goes on when the adults want some peace and quiet. My girls will watch TV and other times it is just there as a background when they are playing. I have to sit down and watch this stuff from time to time and at times I find myself scratching my head wondering what's going on.

The TV channel of choice in our house is CBEEBIES. For those of you who don’t know this channel, it’s supplied by the BBC and is a range of programs aimed and small babies, toddlers and pre school children. Most of it is good educational stuff but there are some very weird ones out there.

The following are three of the strangest TV programs I have had the pleasure of watching. For some of you parents out there who have seen this stuff, you will agree and sympathise with me. For everyone else, I tell the truth (honest). If you don’t believe me Google it:

What’s it about?

Adventures of a child penguin and his family in the South Pole. They live in a house shaped like a whale and speak a language that I’m sure doesn’t exist on this earth. Little Pingu is usually either in a temper tantrum or is playing practical jokes on his poor family which includes, a mother, father and small toddler penguin who he is always tormenting.

Educational Value

Dos and don’ts, rights and wrongs maybe. Things are a little sketchy for me. I have noticed they had put some English narration in there to try and make more sense out of it.

Number Of Episodes Made


Strangest thing I have seen?

Pingu missing the toilet and peeing all over the floor. I guess there is a lesson there, don’t eat the yellow snow!


What’s it about?

Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. Yes 4 very fuzzy purple, red, yellow and green people who have a TV on their stomachs. They live below ground in this dark futuristic like dome that has a big column in the middle that has loads of buttons that make animal noises and raspy sounds. They talk like 2 year old toddlers and most of the time run around in their underground lair or above ground with lots of green hills and rabbits, trying to amuse each other.

I believe that this one is very popular and has won awards but how would you critique something like this?

“Yes I like the green one, he reminds me of a young Sean Connery in the first Bond days in his sophistication on the screen”

Educational Value

In each episode one of the Teletubies’ stomachs glows and plays a video of children doing something educational like going to a farm etc. This video is repeated straight after it has finished. I didn’t that fact for a while as most of the time I would be distracted with the girls, so for a while I thought I had strong déjà vu.

Number Of Episodes Made

365 (one for every day of the year, one day off on a leap year)

Strangest thing I have seen?

The Noo-Noo, which is the teletubies live in “maid” that looks like a vacuum cleaner sucked up Tinky Winky’s hand bag and Po’s hat. They all laughed about it at the time but I'm sure the Noo-Noo got a telling off afterwards as this is not how the hired help should behave.

In The Night Garden

What’s it about?

Consider the dreams of a toddler who hasn’t fully grasped the reality of our world. There are shapes and people that resemble humans. Characters that are larger then life that that cruise around this forrest on their own and together. At the end of it all there is a big sing song and everyone goes to bed.

That doesn’t explain it well but without going elsewhere on the internet for inspiration that’s all I’ve got.

The characters consist of:

A blue chap that squeaks a lot and carries a blanky around with him. He is a visitor to the garden and hangs out with Upsy Daisy.

Upsy Daisy
Dances around a lot and kisses everything she sees. Her and Igglepiggle are “Close”.

Makker Pakker

A small rounded chap who is obsessed with arranging stones in a certain way. He is also the resident cleaner and goes around washing everyone’s face with is soap and sponge.

The main characters have their own catchphrases (that they use over and over and over again) and their own song as well.

“Makka Pakka, akka, wakka, mikka, makka moo”

Yes my spell checker underlined every word in the above apart from moo.

The first time I saw this, I had no idea what was going on at all. Now though, because I have to watch it EVERY day before bed time I don’t give it a second thought if the Tombliboos decide to ride in the Pinky Ponk and Makka Pakka's trumpet is making a funny noise.

Educational Value

Some how unless the BBC is going in a whole new direction with education, it is there for entertainment purposes only. The children however love it and repeat the catchphrases over and over again. There are toy figures in all different sizes. It’s a merchandising heaven.

Number Of Episodes Made

50 So far, another 50 will be made (joy).

Strangest thing I have seen?

It would be like trying to pull a strange needle out of a strange haystack.



Becky said...

My kids love Pingu, although they watch it in Norwegian ... not that the language choice really matters. Because you're right. It makes little sense no matter what language you watch it in.

Linda said...

When we lived in Germany, we got some BBC channels, so I've seen these programs (although Teletubbies is quite popular in the US as well). We have some strange shows here too...there was(is?) and offshoot of Teletubbies that is called BoohBahs...they are HORRID little creatures that make "passing gas" noises all the time. I am so glad my son didn't get to see them (we moved to Europe just in time!).

Michael said...

Hey Linda

I just went to the BoohBahs website. Very weird!

Michael said...

lol Becky. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

damon said...

We've only seen that teletubbies show. Luckily my kids didn't take to it. Seemed like those strange little "things" were always doped up. (The teletubbies-not my kids!)

GeekMom said...

I've never seen the night garden one. My kids like Pingu, but I can't stand the noises they make when they imitate it. Another strange one we've seen recently (in the US) is Yo Gabba Gabba. It took a while to win me over, but I can handle it. The music is pretty engaging, but the characters are strange.

Michael said...

Hey GeekMom

Im sure In The Night Garden will end up being a global thing just like Pingu.

Meredith White said...

I remember watching Pingu when I was a child, its a good show cause the animals aren't speaking english. When I was younger I though that humans could talk to animals because of how some shows had talking animals. I'm 16 now so I definantly don't think that anymore.