Videos for toddlers: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

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Even before we gave Harley her own tablet, we were looking for video content for her. The reality is that screen time isn’t 100% evil, and honestly, sometimes we all need time to zone out – her in front of a video and me without a two-year-old demanding my complete attention. That said, I still like to encourage her to watch things that expand her mind, teach her something, or are generally worthwhile. I’ve found a bunch of awesome shows for kids, and I thought I’d share them with you. This week, it’s Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

What is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood?

The show follows Daniel Tiger, a young boy as he explores the neighborhood and day-to-day struggles and adventures that happen to all toddlers and kids. Much like Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood that many of us grew up with, it is sweet and takes children’s issues seriously. This is essentially Mister Rodgers for a new generation, with the same song and a lot of the same messages.

Yes, every episode includes some kind of moral or life lesson, generally with a song. These can be pretty basic, like “if you have to go potty, stop and go right away” or more emotional like “When you’re mad, stomp three times to help yourself feel better”. Covering everything from what to do when you feel scared to how to cope with potty training and even advice for how to be a good friend, Daniel Tiger has many seasons under its belt. Not that it matters – if your kid is anything like Harley, they’ll probably watch the same 3 episodes over and over again.

Why do I like it?

It breaks down some difficult things into easy to digest pieces. I like a lot of the things Fred Rodgers did on his show, and a lot of the lessons are things I remember from when I was growing up. I’ve already seen how they can help, with Harley happily walking off to “brush your teeth, wash your face” because of the song, along with stopping to go potty (yes, she’s started doing that!) and holding my hand when she’s scared.

She clearly adores the show and gets enthralled by whatever is happening. I like that the episodes usually include two mini-shows, lasting a total of about 30 minutes. It’s long enough that it stretches her attention span, without being so long that she loses interest.

What’s not so great about it?

I don’t always agree with the messages. It could be because we are watching shows from some later seasons, but they seem to be covering things like “if there’s something you need, try to make it yourself” or “whatever you do, think about what other people need too”. It’s not that these are necessarily BAD concepts, but I don’t think they are quite as useful to ingrain in young kids as stuff like cleaning up after yourself or how to cope when you get mad. I guess, like any show, some episodes are better than others.

Where is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Available?

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger is on PBS. This means that you can watch it on your local PBS station when it’s airing, or else access the videos online over here. Amazon also made a deal to get all the PBS programming through Amazon Prime Video, so you can stream it through that service when you sign up with prime.

Is your kid a fan of this series? Which show are you being subjected to on repeat?


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