It's kinda sad: I opened up the Netflix disc that arrived and got excited because it was The Backyardigans. I love this show. My seven year old says it's a baby show, but still sneaks in to watch it with the five year old twins. I love it because they don't have annoying voices and they have good music. The kids go into their normal neighborhood backyard playground and make up fantastic adventures. They don't get bored. They don't whine or tattle or make fun of each other. They don't use potty humor (so they differ from me there - I love a good fart joke). They think creatively and keep themselves entertained.
I have found that most kids these days don't know how to do that. Helicopter parenting has killed the creative juices in little ones by telling them over and over, "Don't do that. Don't go there. You might get hurt." I've had other moms act like I was a terrible parent for letting my kids climb trees and jump on a trampoline with no net. (Pffft. Who needs a net? When I was a kid, you would have been laughed into hiding for having a net... or a bicycle helmet. Sissies.)
I'm the kind of mom that watches from a safe distance to stop them if they're doing something really dangerous, and I'll even warn them if they're trying something risky. But it's not because I want them to stop; it's because I want them to figure out the best way to do it. To have fun without an ER trip.
I was the kid who was afraid of heights (well, no, I was afraid of the inevitable abrupt splat at the end of a fall), so I wouldn't climb up on the roof, take a running start, and leap over the patio into the pool like the other kids. That eight feet of concrete between the house and the water was scary. So I pushed the trampoline onto the patio so I could jump from the roof to the trampoline and bounce into the pool. See? Creative thinking made it more fun and no one broke any bones.
I was the kid who fell out of a tree house (er, tree platform) and got knocked out, so I said, "Hey, lets screw on some rails." No adult had to tell me that it wasn't safe. Figured that one out on my own.
But kids will come over to my house to play and not know how to climb a tree or anything, because their moms have kept them "safe" inside, watching TV and playing video games. These are kids who don't know what to do with themselves if someone is not entertaing them. And they irritate the crap out of me. They stand there and talk to me like I'm supposed to talk back! Like they're there to be entertained by me! Pshyeah, right! Go outside and let me watch Nathan Fillion interviews on Youtube!
So, I love the Backyardigans. I wish kids would see that and then go immitate them. Go outside. Pretend it's an ocean. There are pirates and mermaids and whatever your mind can come up with. Just because you're a kid doesn't mean you're not capable of thinking for yourself! (Another thing helicopter parents disagree with.)
Something else I love about this show: the music and dancing. They play music of all types from all different eras. It's awesome! And the characters sing and dance. Now, I hate musicals like the Kardashians hate respectability, but these characters are awesome. They were doing the Charleston. And the waltz. I just got to teach my 5 year old how to do the cha-cha.
This is the child who cried during YMCA because she couldn't do the hand motions fast enough to keep up. But she was just doing the basic cha-cha!
I love ballroom dancing (I've got some kick-ass 4" Beckett heels for dancing), and I think this is so cool. Even my 5 year old boy got up and tried it. 1-2-1-2-3.
Fun stuff all around.
(And I probably would have watched it even if the kids weren't home.)