Children these days spend most of their time captivated by television shows, refusing to eat and sleep before their favourite programme ends. As a parent, giving children the best head-start in life is top priority. Here are 5 television programmes kids are bound to love, tried and tested, that imparts knowledge and values that are key to their upbringing:
- Barney and Friends
Barney is America’s favourite purple dinosaur, well-known in every household, adults and children alike. Alongside his dinosaur friends, Baby Bop, BJ and Riff, and a cast of children, Barney goes on adventures, shares experiences and makes memories with them featuring songs, dances and games.
Barney and Friends is a television series that first aired in 1992 and its popularity has not died out over the years. Through a series of songs, dances and games, morals, values and interesting educational facts are passed on to viewers, making it a top television programme for children to watch. This series focuses on the importance of caring, sharing and never-ending learning, something every child should have etched in their being as they prepare to start school, and serve as a reminder on the importance of thinking for others and a curiosity for knowledge as they go through the school year.
- Dibo the Gift Dragon
“Diding Boding Dibo Dibo Ding” This catchy theme song attracts the attention of every child when it’s heard. Dibo the Gift Dragon captures the essence and importance of gifting, where it showcases the happiness it brings to the giver and recipient. Through the show, Dibo goes around, giving gifts to his friends, and friends’ friends, for no apparent reason but to simply spread a little joy and happiness to the people around him. Many Singaporean children are brought up under the impression that gifts are bought on occasion, Christmas, birthdays; but Dibo brings an alternative insight to the concept of giving that should be instilled in Singapore children, as it is in Western countries.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
This revamped series revolves around a bookish-unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, and her five newly-made friends – Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Flutter Shy and Rarity, each with their own spirits of magic, honesty, loyalty, laughter, kindness and generosity. Through various unexpected happenings and circumstances, this group of friends gain important life lessons and experiences that every child should take-away; the things they can achieve when they work together in harmony. These values are passed onto viewers through various common life occurrences like stubborn-ness and a reluctance to compromise, and insensitivity at another’s shortcomings. This television series subtly showcases these values in a way that captures the attention of children and enables them to remember these key takeaways.
- Phineas and Ferb
“There’s a hundred and four days, of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it; but the annual problem, of our generation, is finding a good way to spend it…”
The Phineas and Ferb theme song, well-known by all, captures the spirit of this television series. While subtly encouraging siblings to work together despite a vast difference in personalities, it also rouses the adventurous spirit inside every child, whether substantially visible or not but nevertheless, present. The many things Phineas and Ferb sets out to do in their summer vacation inspires children to step out of their comfort zone, do the things society tells them they cannot do. It emphasizes the importance of knowing their limitless possibilities, disregarding people who set restrictions on them due to age, height and/or assumed intelligence. In a competitive society like Singapore where the first 20 years of a child’s life is dominated by the pressure to perform academically, this television series attempts to empower children to break away from this rigorous education system and perform far beyond the limits set by society.
- Winx Club
This 7-season television series, while fictional, brings across an important point through Headmistress Faragonda; the importance of a never-ending learning. In this case, this is conveyed through the many various fairy forms where upon achievement of one fairy form, they come to realise that there is a next level of fairy form waiting to be achieved.
Despite being fictional, and occasionally deemed irrelevant, it emphasizes the importance of a life-long learning and the advantages of achieving the next level of learning. It shows viewers the importance of constant upgrading, and how a higher education level can empower you, and opens more doors to new opportunities and experiences.
Yes, many parents have the inherent fear that allowing their children to watch television is harmful to the child and this will have adverse effects on their intelligence. However, many kids programmes have storylines that subtly convey educational messages that the child will absorb sub-consciously. This June holidays, let your children take a break from the stress of their hectic school schedules, and submerse themselves in their favourite television programmes!