Why the BLEEP do toddler shows insist on the illusion of interaction?

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Dora The Explorer

Little Einsteins

Do you like to ride on planes?
Great! I do too!
Hey kids do you know what time it is?
Right! Its time for fun!
Absolutely moronic and irritating trend in children’s programming, faux interaction that the kid will quickly catch on to and sour them at being manipulated. They take so fucking long to get on with it too, does the kid need ten seconds to say yes?

Little Einsteins is even worse in that they mix fantasy with actual fact in a way difficult to seperate for small kids. Hey kids we’re going to Russia, look a Bolshevik riding a unicorn! He wants us to bake cookies! :smack: Seriously they do this all the time, it drives me nuts! My son only watches for the ship anyway, they could have a full episode with nothing but shots of the ship flying around and he’d be happy.

It’s time for lunch!

I don’t mind interaction so much as long as they follow two rules. One, make most of the interaction cognitive. That is, ask the kids a question that requires them to think about what’s on the screen and answer correctly. Two, do not ever use the word “louder” in an interaction. My house is enough of a zoo without my kid getting louder and louder at your direction. I’m looking at you Dora and Einsteins :dubious:

It teaches talking to your TV, which we all continue to do as we get older. Especially during sports events.

I personally shout at the TV when some stupid ad for a stupid Reality Show comes on.

You are not the target audience.

Because toddlers enjoy the illusion of being interactive with their favorite TV shows.


I was dubious about the content of shows for very young children. Then I noticed that my 2 1/2 year old nephew shows a lot more interest in them than in ones aimed at even slightly older age-groups. I guess the programme-makers do have some idea what they are doing after all.

It’s not even new… Many of us remember Romper Room in the 60s and 70s, and eagerly hoping she would see ‘our name’ in her mirror. Hardly something to get so worked up about.

I don’t mind the interaction but Little Einsteins does strain credulity. “Oh no - we need to get through this gate which is ten feet high!” You’re in a freaking rocket, kids - fly over it!

But then I’m not the target audience either. Frankly I’d rather watch Backyardigans - those guys are awesome.

I may be stating the obvious, but it prompts children to speak which helps develop language skills and vocabulary. It also, helps them with cognitive skills such as deductive reasoning and memory.
Annoying? Yes, but much more beneficial than sitting mute and lifeless watching some of the other shows.

I don’t mind the fantasy thing except can someone explain how kids can watch In the Night Gardenwithout being on stoned or on acid?

Because it allows parents to believe their kids aren’t just mindlessly staring at the TV? If they’re interacting with it, they must be learning something from it, right?

This, again.

It’s not trying to be engaging to you. Does the kid find it engaging? If so, that’s enough. Stop overthinking the thing, sheesh!

If you were enjoying the show that would mean you have the mind of a toddler. Ask yourself whether that’s a good thing.

I really don’t understand the complaint here. Didn’t Mr. Rogers do this all the time? And you’re not going to tell me Mr. Rogers was doing it wrong. :slight_smile:

shakes watch I have “Howdy-Doody time.” Must be slow.

Also, inserting fifteen second pauses once per minute pads the show, and means you have to write less content.

Say what you want about how annoying children’s programming is, but it really can teach kids all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t expect. Each show has it’s “angle” - Little Einsteins is music, Diego is animals, Umizoomi is math - and I’ve noticed my 5 year old daughter spouting out all kinds of knowledge she picked up from these shows including knowing fairly deep musical terms and obscure animals.

I am actually not annoyed by and have actually laughed about Aquanauts, british animals under the sea. I laughed because I wondered if they would explain how that cat got that bad ass eye patch, who took his eye? Then in one episode he just lifts the patch to reveal he has his eye.:stuck_out_tongue:

I believe that show was made as much for recreational drug users as it was made for children. Similar to Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting”, which is enjoyed best completely drunk at 3 am coming home from a night out.

As opposed to Boohbahs, which was made by recreational drug users. Igglepiggle looks tame by comparison.

I think the main reason these shows are like this is because it appeals to parents to think the kid is watching something more stimulating than normal TV - although a few years ago a study came out that said that parking a kid in front of Baby Einstein actually might harm their language development.
Let’s be honest: It’s appealing to think that you can have the kid watch a video and still get the benefits of face to face interacton without having to take the time to interact with the kid yourself.