The geekdaughter, like all the other toddlers I know, loves CBeebies. I love CBeebies too – I haven’t yet found a show on that channel which I wouldn’t want her to watch. Excellent quality programmes, entertaining and educational.
The challenge of course is balancing the official advice that toddlers should not watch too much television with the geekdaughter’s desires (given the choice I think she’d watch television all day). We try to monitor and ration her television watching, and one of the ways that we do that is to only allow her to watch shows that we have pre-recorded. She never watches “live” shows, and that way there is a defined “end” to the activity, plus we can ensure that she’s only watching stuff that we approve of. I’m sure I’ll talk more in future posts about our geeky home television setup, but for now suffice it to say that we have a good library of Peppa Pig, Charlie & Lola and similar shows for the geekdaughter.
Sometimes she talks about something that she’s heard about at nursery, or we hear about a new show and want to check it out, and for that we use the BBC’s iPlayer. This is a website accessable from computer or selected other devices (PS3, Wii, smartphone etc) where the BBC make available recent television shows from all their channels for streaming. Apologies to my non-UK readers – this service is only available in the UK.
I only discovered recently that the BBC provide a CBeebies-specific version of iPlayer. You can find it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/cbeebies. It’s easy to navigate, and much easier to find shows suitable for the kids, as the only content available are things that is shown on CBeebies. You can of course still get at the same shows through the standard iPlayer site, but as the geekdaughter is generally sitting next to me watching what I’m doing, I like knowing that with the CBeebies iPlayer the shows highlighted on the home page are all things I would let her watch. Well, except for In the Night Garden (that may be a subject for another post!).
Another nice feature of the CBeebies iPlayer is that it will remember where you got to in the last three shows that you watched, so you can pause viewing, and pick up where you left off later. Shows are removed after a period of time, so don’t wait to long to finish watching something or it may not be there any more!
It’s a really useful service, the geekdaughter loves it, and I love that the BBC is embracing new technology like this.