Friday, October 26, 2012

A Date with Daniel Tiger

PBS Image
My Lil Love Bird has a serious obsession with Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood so when I saw there was a special event last week to meet Daniel and hear more about the program I decided to take Nia.

She absolutely loved it! All day she had been talking about the "Daniel Tiger party" and once we entered the doors she was on high alert trying to find him. After a few moments he appeared and from there she really didn't want anyone else but her to spend time with Daniel. 

UPDATE: I forgot when I first published this post that I took a video of Nia and Daniel so here it is (I'm still learning my phone and now realize I have to hold it horizontally to get the right orientation so sorry for the narrow view!):


We're a big PBS household stemming from the retro Sesame Street DVDs Nia started watching when she turned 1. I never thought I'd let Nia watch TV before 2 but when I let her watch an episode, saw her immediate fascination and asked her dr. she assured me it was fine especially because it was educational. She just advised to use moderation.

We started noticing Nia could recognize letters, shapes, colors and started counting after watching Sesame Street and me working with her. It was amazing! Growing up I was very much a PBS kid myself and when I saw the previews for Daniel Tiger a few months ago my curiosity was sparked. I remember Daniel from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this new program carries on his legacy with the characters being the children of the ones my generation grew up with. This video is great at showing just how the show continues Mr. Rogers' legacy:


I'm so nostalgic and literally watching this clip at the event made me teary eyed (I still remember where I was when I heard Mr. Rogers passed away) and even more emotional was seeing how Nia's eyes lit up when Daniel came on the screen.

The panelists (and yes, that's Lil Mogwai's disgruntled face in the background!) {Photo provided by Grand Communications}
The creators of the show were present as well for a panel discussion including VP Children's Programming Linda Simensky, creator and executive producer Angela Santomero and executive producer Kevin Morrison, however Nia loudly announced to the entire theater that she needed to go to the bathroom so unforunately, we missed most of it as Nia saw the trolley in the lobby and wanted to play:

Thankfully, I was able to get the transcript. This particular Q & A really resonated with me as I see Nia struggle with her emotions a lot - even Mr. Love Bird's watched a few episodes and says he really appreciates the sing-a-long coping strategies it provides:

Fred Rogers was a musician and music played an important part of the original series. Angela, can you tell us how music is being used in the new series?

One of our main goals for the show is to use the solid pro-social curriculum as the foundation of our series.  But we wanted to create active strategies that kids and parents can use in their lives.  So, what better way to teach how to deal with disappointment, mad feelings or what to do when you’re scared, than to sing about it!  We also cover many of Fred's classic songs.  There is not a dry eye in the house when we play "It's You I like" or "There are many ways to say I love you!"

I highly recommend checking out Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with your toddler - both you and your child will love it!

One last point of cuteness to share: the following morning Nia woke up still remembering the event and exclaimed, "Daniel Tiger loves me!" and she kept saying it for several days.

Be sure to visit PBS Kids to learn more about the show, experience fun games with your toddler and watch video (this segment to help get through tantrums is our current favorite that we sing a lot in our house).

Did you watch Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood when you were a kid? What fond memories do you have of the show? (The crayon factory visit was my favorite!)

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post - it was a free event open to the public and all opinions expressed are my own.