Toddler H, TV and Teletubbies

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If you had told me 20 years ago* I’d be letting my daughter watch Teletubbies, never-mind recommending it, or writing a post about her love of Teletubbies, I’d have laughed in your face. I’d have said ‘yeah, right’. However, if you’d have also told me that I’d be a stay at home mummy, or I’d be typing this on a thing that looked like a book, never-mind that?we can watch yesterday’s TV at the touch of a button, and?that we don’t need go to the library to learn something new, I’m not sure if have believed you. I grew up in a time where, yes, we had a computer, but we were a rarity.

So back to the Teletubbies. My daughter is 18 months old, and doesn’t really like to nap. Since around 10/11 months she’s often gone few days a week without a nap. Obviously, that’s not enough downtime for an active non-stop cheeky monkey. So, I resorted to a bit of sit on the sofa TV time as some down time. By the way, don’t get me wrong, the TV would be on CBeebies in the background too!

Anyway, I stuck away from Teletubbies for a long time, I had that image of craziness and funny ‘aliens’ making odd noises from the 90’s in my head. I was too old for the Teletubbies originally and so had never watched?it. Anyway, we got in the habit of watching Hey Duggee (her 1st Birthday theme), the sedate muted tones of Sarah and Duck (what a bonkers world they live in!), and the occasional Baby Jake (yes, she’d squeal at Jake!). With time we also ended up watching the occasional Teletubbies and I was shocked, H was transfixed, she giggled, laughed and pointed. She ‘got it’.

Teletubbies New Mummy Blog pointing toddlers just get it

As I could see how transfixed she was, how she pointed at the screen and laughed, I began watching myself. And, I realised Teletubbies isn’t what I thought it was: they do speak! What really struck me though was it could actually be teaching H?important skills. Skills which hubby and I try to teach her. Crucially Teletubbies uses the same techniques we use.

1. Keywords

Hubby and I don’t always say full sentences when trying to teach H words we say ‘Look, bird. Bird.’ We repeat the word we’re trying to teach, we point, and the Teletubbies do exactly the same. There is repetition throughout.

2. Dancing

Movement is great for little ones and H loves to dance and run about. She also loves pointing at the screen (another sign it’s teaching her something new or something she recognises)

3. Real life

There are real life sections which transfix H. They’re also short and repeated within each episode which is brilliant for little ones.

Teletubbies New Mummy Blog real life

4. Kindness, cuddles and manners

The Teletubbies are genuinely nice! They are polite and say hello and bye. It’s great when programmes reinforce skills we try to teach.

Teletubbies New Mummy Blog kindness

5. Colours

It’s bright and colourful to capture both little ones and the occasional adult! I think they’ve chosen brilliant colours – perfect for helping teach H her colours. I’m always saying to H “look at the red car”, “can you hand me the blue ball, please?” and likewise with Teletubbies teaching counting as they each appear on screen, they also teach colours.
Teletubbies New Mummy Blog

See! There are lots of reasons we love the Teletubbies (despite my original misconceptions)!

Definitely check out the Teletubbies if you haven’t, and their website:

Lynne x

* Teletubbies actually came out 19 years ago (in 1997)

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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  • Reply
    Leanne Cornelius
    June 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    My fifteen month old loves the Teletubbies, I think she relates to them! I’m more than happy as I get some peace & quiet, and as you say, it is teaching them a lot!
    Leanne Cornelius recently posted…Teletubbies… Babysitting Since 1997My Profile

  • Reply
    Honest mum
    June 17, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Aw not seen this show in years, it’s a good un huh! Fab post x

    • Reply
      June 26, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Thank you Vicky! I didn’t manage to say hi yesterday, at BML but will do next time! Well done you!

  • Reply
    Rhyming with Wine
    June 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I remember being shocked and stunned by the Teletubbies when they first came out 19 years ago (Seriously? 19?) and I clearly remember uttering the words “There’s no wonder kids are daft nowadays” (Yes I’m from Yorkshire). Yet here I am two decades later quite fancying a bit of tubbie custard and thinking that the vacuum thingy is actually quite cute? I still get them all a bit mixed up to be honest but I can definitely see why my tots quite enjoy them.
    Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter x

  • Reply
    the frenchie mummy
    June 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Such a classic for all toddlers #TheBabyFormula
    the frenchie mummy recently posted…Une photo, une histoire #2My Profile

  • Reply
    Kim (sisterkin)
    June 21, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Yes, weird as ti may seem to adult eyes Teletubbies is a great programme for little children, and as you say it is actually very clever and carefully crafted to be so. When my two were tiny they were fixated by the Night Garden – that show hurt my head so much. Lotta love for CBeebies. #fartglitter
    Kim (sisterkin) recently posted…Bernard’s Bad Hair DayMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      Oh gosh, yes, we have to watch in the night garden too. It’s crazy-scale-tastic!

  • Reply
    June 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    L is a bit non plussed by Teletubbies but he does really enjoy the tubby TV in their tummy’s #TheBabyFormula
    Briony recently posted…This Plus That Equals…. Things My Toddler Has Taught MeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bridie By The Sea
    June 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Fab post- my little girl loves Teletubbies too! I have to say that she’s been watching TV for a while now, and absolutely loves it. I agree that there are many educational aspects to the show, as well as lots of others on CBeebies now. Emma seems to love the colours and also the real life bits too…thank you for hosting #thebabyformula, great to join in xx
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…Over-Thinking #BML16 + My 2nd Vlog!My Profile

    • Reply
      June 26, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you, and for joining in. It’s great to know others see these points now too (now I’m not in my 90s bubble!)

  • Reply
    Silly Mummy
    June 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    My youngest quite likes Teletubbies. I like Ben & Holly myself. But I do agree with you. It always amused me that people made a fuss about how the Teletubbies speak. Partly because there have ALWAYS been children’s TV programmes where they speak mostly gibberish. But also because, as you say, it does work. Actually, they are communicating in a way that is relatable to small children and encourages them. #fartglitter
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Are The Toddlers (*Gasp*) Brexit Supporters?My Profile

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