Nowadays when you want to watch an age appropriate educational show with your toddler or preschooler, you have a lot of options. When I was growing up we had two options. Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers.
I grew up watching and loving both and just the mention of them bring back the warmest, most nostalgic feelings for Big Bird and Fred Rogers. I am sure when my kids grow up they will have the same feelings for Curious George or Dora the Explorer. And as awesome as the shows of today are, it is always cool when you get to share something meaningful from your childhood with you kids.
Enter Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS. Last week I had the chance to talk with Angela Santomero, co-creator Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, about the show she created to pay homage to her childhood idol, Fred Rogers. Filled with nods to the show we all grew up with an loved, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood brings all that we loved about Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood to the next generation.
It was very important to the producers to maintain the nostalgia from the original series as they reimagined it for today’s audience. Angela stated she knew they could never find anyone to replace Fred Rogers so they decided to animate all the beloved characters from his land of make believe. Both shows open with the characters put on signature red sweaters and shoes. And you can see miniature models from Mr. Roger’s Land of Make Believe are seen in the background.
After its premiere a year ago, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is among the top 10 highest rated programs for preschoolers and is among the top 5 highest rated programs among Moms. If you watch the show, you will quickly see why.
Every half hour pair of shows is focused on a strategy preschoolers need in their everyday life. And before making each show, the producers will take the script in to a preschool audience of 2-4 year olds to make sure they understand and grasp the concepts and stories.
Silas and I immediately began watching the show and we were both hooked. He has been asking to watch it every day since. And how perfect it has been for us. This week I am on a trip for a few days and we had just watched several episodes about how hard it is to be separated from your parents. Silas and I were able to sit down before I left and talk about Daniel and how he handled things and we even sang the song he often sings on the show, “Grownups come back!!”. It seemed to make him smile and feel comforted which is the whole point of the show!
As luck would have it, the day before I left Silas got a very special package in the mail. His very own Daniel the Tiger plush toy!
Sold exclusively at Toys R Us, the line of Daniel the Tiger’s Neighborhood toys have been developed to inspire creativity and imagination and encourage open-ended play.
The quality of these toys are exactly what you would expect from the people who brought your Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and should be at the top of any preschooler’s Christmas list. And if you haven’t yet discovered this gem of a show, I would encourage you to snuggle up on the couch with your child and tune in. I think you will amazed at all the warm feelings that come flooding back for that special show we all grew up with and the man who invited us into his home every week. “Won’t you be his neighbor?”
Disclosure: I participated in this program on behalf of The Fred Rogers Company and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.