Kids' TV

Archived Q&A and Reviews

TV Fare for 1 year old

July 1998

Hello, everyone. Can anyone recommend good, educational television programs for a toddler? I would like to let my 1 year old start watching an hour or so a day and I 'd like to know what my options are other than Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, and Barney. (I work full-time so I'm never home to see the programs myself.) I'm especially interested in shows with lots of singing, dancing, and/or movement that a toddler could easily follow and non-violent nature shows. Thanks! Alison

From: Mitzi (7/98) I regularly tape the following PBS morning shows (all on channel 9) for my one and half year old while she is at daycare. So, we can watch them after we get home around 6:30pm before dinner and for a few hours on the weekend. My husband and I hardly watch any more tv for ourselves any more. 1) Mister Rogers (6:30am) 2) Barney (7:00am) 3) Puzzle Place (7:30am) - colorful, but geared for 3-5 year olds 4) Big Comfy Couch (8:00am M-F and on Sundays) - My daughter's favorite show! Colorful, with music and morals. Regular characters to relate to. 5) Teletubbies (9:30am) - Air in US beginning April - produced in UK. Geared for one to one and a half year olds. Lots of action and music. Will take some time to get use to for parents, lots of repetition, but great for kids. 6) Wishbone (4:00pm, I think) Geared for older kids, but the little ones will enjoy seeing the dog all dressed up. 7) Theodore Tugboat (am - Sundays) Geared for older kids, but may appeal to little ones 8) Shari Lewis' Charlie Horse's Music Pizza (AM - Sundays) Has music. Take-out the monkey character is a bit scary looking, but my daughter hasn't notice, yet. 9) Kids Song (6:30AM - Saturday, I think), Lots of songs and color 10) The Reppies (AM - Saturday or Sunday, can't rememer which, sorry). Singing and dancing. Music is up to date and geared to older kids, but one year olds can enjoy it too. The shows are addicting to parents too, so don't be surprised if you catch yourself humming the themes on the way to work. If any of you find any more that I may have missed, please let me know.
From: Letitia (7/98)

Rather than TV, you might consider videos, a medium where you have absolute control over the content. Our son's earliest favorites, at age two, were the Winnie the Pooh series and Shari Lewis. (Age 1 might be a little young for anything except Babymugs types). Also, don't forget your public library: We check out as many as four at a time (rotating them several times a week) from the Berkeley Public Library -- it's free.

From: Helen (7/98)

Try Blues Clues on Nickolodeum (sp?). I've watched it with my 6 year old daughter and it seems like a great show for a one year old. I'm not sure why she likes it so much, but she does. You have to see it to understand the charm - I won't even try to describe it.

From: Anita (7/98)

Regarding tv for a one-year-old: my 13 month old is a big fan of Teletubbies. It's on PBS at 9:30am. It features 4 ugly but cute alien toddlers, the Teletubbies, who live in Teletubby land. They do things like dance, roll down the hill, play with a ball, eat Tubby custard, etc...very toddler-like things. They have televisions on their tummy upon which a short video clip of real children is shown, always twice. (the clips change from show to show but each clip is shown twice in a single show). It's very gentle. This, by the way, is the way I get to have an uninterrupted shower in the morning... I tape Teletubbies and pop Zoe in the playpen while I shower.

From: Dawn (7/98) My 1 1/2 year old loves Teletubbies, a recent British import. It's on channel 9 in the mornings, right after Sesame Street. Sesame St is at 8:30, and TT at 9:30. (She really loves SS too!). TT is actually DESIGNED for kids 1 to 2 or so, and she will sit and watch it for hours if I let her. It's really weird (you'll have to tape it and watch it to see what I mean; it can't be described), but she adores it. Other shows that she will watch some of include: *Wishbone (cute dog plays various roles out of classic literature), Channel 9 at 11 am *The Magic Schoolbus (Lily Tomlin does the voice over for a wacky teacher with magic powers; the bright animation will hold her attention, though the subject matter is way too old), Channel 9 at 10:30 am *Reading Rainbow (LeVar Burton hosts, showcasing several books which are often animated, with passages read aloud; again, the subject is too old, but the action and animation interests her) Channel 9 at 10 am *Wimsy's House (cute monster puppets of pre-school age at a daycare run by Wimsy's grandma. Lots of stuff about manners, sharing, etc. Really aimed at the 3 to 4 year old set) Channel 54 at 2 pm (I think) *Arthur (after the popular children's book series. Antrhopomorphic animal kids get into two situations each day, with comments from real live kids afterwards. Again, it's aimed a little older, but she likes the animation, and I like the messages). Channel 9 at 5 pm. *Kratt's Kreatures (two brothers host this show about animals. Great info, great action, and I've never seen them get anything wrong, to the best of my knowledge) Channel 9 at 5:30 pm *Bill Nye the Science Guy (classic nerd teaches science in a whole new way. This show caters to the short attention span of the TV generation. As a result it has a lot of action, bright colors, and sounds that will interest babies. And it's fun for adults to watch!) Channel 9 at 11:30 am.