Toddlers and TV: Do You Allow It?

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I’m not a fan of the boys watching television.  I’m not against, but I don’t allow it real often.

And the boys definitely know that daddy is more likely to turn it on for them than mommy is.  They’ve gotten pretty good at the manipulation of it too.  If I run to the grocery store I’ll ask if any little boys want to come along and Ryan will immediately say “I’ll stay home with daddy!”

That means he’s going to convince daddy that a TV show is in order while mommy is out.

And I don’t mind.  Like I said, I’m not against it.  I just don’t put it on very often for them. I’m not entirely sure why even.  I could care less how much you do or don’t allow your kids to watch TV.  It’s not a judgment thing.  Honestly.  It’s just what works in our house.  It’s the same as cloth diapering versus disposable.  Or breast feeding versus formula.  I’ve always had the opinion of do what is right for you.  It doesn’t matter what other people think or do.  Do what is right for you.  I know that is what I do.

But back to television.

I will admit that I have actually become slightly more lenient lately about this rule because we found a show that I don’t mind them watching at all, Word World.


It’s educational, but in a fun way.  It teaches children the sounds that each letter makes and how you put the letters together to build words.  And then the letters form the words and then it becomes that item such as a tractor, a truck, a house or a dog.  And I have to admit it’s actually pretty funny.  The animals all have funny little characteristics about them and Jim and I tend to laugh through the shows along with the kids.

The start of the show has the animals dancing and singing and the boys jump up off the couch and dance and sing right along with the animals.  Then the sit very still watching the entire show.  Each 30 minute show that we DVR has two episodes and one intermission dance skit.

Ryan has gotten really good at his letters, sounds and how to spell.  I”m actually impressed.

And with the holidays around the corner, I cannot wait to order and watch Happy Holidays WordFriends!

One show that is super cute, but not often allowed in the house (anymore) is Curious George.  I learned my lesson with this one.  Ryan loves George.  His birthday party last year was even Curious George themed down to the birthday invitations. And last year for Christmas we bought him the whole book series from Costco.

So why am I on the verge of banning that cute little monkey?

Well because one day Ryan took the end of the toilet paper from the roll and ran through the house.

When I asked him why he would do that, I was told this by my oh-so-cute 3 year old:  “Well, because George does it and he doesn’t get in trouble momma.  He’s just curious.”

And there you have it folks.  Banned.

Well, almost.  I do still allow him once in awhile, but I always watch it with them and we talk about why George is naughty for doing the things he does.  And I do think Ryan is understanding it.  I hope he is anyway.

I mean, what monkey can get away with letting all the puppies out of their cages to run wild only to be told, “Thank you George.  If you wouldn’t have let those puppies out we never would have found the missing puppy.”

Another show the boys enjoy a lot is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Who doesn’t love Mickey?!  The songs are fun and it teaches kids problem solving.  Or in Owen’s case, guessing.

We also have Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That on the DVR along with Sesame Street. We will also have family movie night with popcorn on the weekends now and again and will watch Disney movies such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars and Up. We also love Horton Hears a Who.

But the one we watch the most of is Word World.  Grandma Marge even enjoyed it while we were at the cabin in Wisconsin over the summer.  And I do find daddy quoting the Word World frog now and again. And wouldn’t you?  He’s cute and has some funny sayings!  Or at least they are funny to daddy.

It’s a good show.  Give it a try and see what you think.

By the way, these are my personal opinions and I’m in no way being asked to do a review of any of these shows by Disney/Pixar, PBSKids or Dr. Suess. Well, unless you include my cousin asking for some advice on kids shows.

So now I’m curious…. How much TV do your kids watch?  What shows do you or don’t you allow?

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  1. I love Word world! so do my boys, and the kids I watch in my home. We have unplugged our TV from the cable which was only basic cable, but we did get PBS. We ended up buying a word world movie which has 3 hours of fun, and 3 word world books. They are so easy my 4 year old can spell out the letters to form the words.

    I used to let my kids watch 2-3 hours of movies every day, because I was so busy getting things done that I didn’t have anything for the kids to do while my baby slept. But now, I’ve limited it to 1 movie a day. We now play more games and such. I love the educational TV shows that I can also find online, (like, but have tried to get my kids interested in other ways to learn: like games on the computer, on the wii, board games, and a child computer I bought for $4 at Kid to Kid. I fear my kids will be too sucked into the tv to want to learn from other sources which will effect their desire in school. But we’re working on it.

  2. My girls watch too much!! The absolute max is 2-hours a day, but I still feel like that is too much. The programs are educational though: They learn Spanish from Dora, how to read from Super Why (which they prefer over Word World, though I like both… think it has something to do with Princess P), and about animals from Diego. The latest favorite is Dino Dan. As long as the program teaches them something, has appropriate language and zero violence, I’m ok with it.

  3. Word world is great! Pretty much any PBS show is awesome- the kids can learn a lot from them. Right now my boys love the veggietales movies and I love the lessons that they teach on the shows.

  4. I haven’t heard of this show before…we’ll need to give it a whirl. I try so hard not to let Ava watch tv, but it’s so darn easy to turn it on. She loves the Disney Channel, too…but I’ll have her avoid Curious George. 🙂

    • Typical Suburban Family says:

      The boys definitely entertain each other so it’s a little easier with two of them to have them play together versus watch tv. They only get about 30 minutes worth of tv maybe 2-3 times a week if that. We really just don’t watch much tv while they are awake. Not sure how long that will last though. Eventually they will figure out the remote on their own 😉

  5. We’ve started to do a TV detox at our house. I will admit, our kids watched WAY too much TV. Now, we make sure that we have quiet times where the kids have to do other things and they enjoy that time. When we do have the TV on, it’s typically either PBS Kids or Nick Jr. My daughter used to want to watch some of the older kids shows on Nick and Disney, but I’ve diverted her away from those because I really don’t like the role modeling of the shows.

    • Typical Suburban Family says:

      It’s so hard to break the habit once it starts so kudos to you for detoxing! We go in spurts where we watch more tv than other times and it’s definitely hard to change back.

  6. Thanks Jean! Kids’ shows are so over my head at this moment and I’m just like you. Max pretty much watches fishing on Saturdays with Daddy if we’re home, or watches movies while with his cousins. Otherwise, I never turn the TV on for him. So finding stuff that he can watch since he’s now asking for it is important for me. Of course, he can’t watch anything in front of Rory, I have a no TV until 2 rule. 🙂

    • Typical Suburban Family says:

      Have you watched Word World yet? We just bought the Halloween one and it’s great! So cute! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it when you do watch it.


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