I love CBeebies, the UKs dedicated television channel for pre-schoolers from the BBC. Both my kids have grown up with such gems as Octonauts, Gigglebiz, Old Jack’s Boat, Tree Fu Tom and more, all thanks to this channel. I have always taken the attitude that my kids can watch anything that CBeebies shows, with the exception of “In The Night Garden”, which I’ve always told then our TV doesn’t receive. Don’t ask me why, I have just never got on with that show! We’ve even enjoyed some great experiences with the CBeebies team thanks to my blog. But viewing habits are changing in this family, and I am slowly coming to the realisation that we are saying goodbye to the CBeebies world.
The geekdaughter is almost 8, and she has discovered CBBC in a big way. Her absolutely favourite show is Blue Peter, and she has started insisting on watching it “Live” at 5pm every Thursday – for a family who watch almost exclusively “on demand” this is a real novelty! She also enjoys Ultimate Brain, So Awkward, The Next Step, Operation Ouch, Officially Amazing and The Dog Ate My Homework. I allow her to watch anything she likes on the CBBC section of iPlayer – we are discovering the same quality we have been used to in the CBeebies programming flows through into CBBC. She also enjoys watching YouTube videos, which I’m a bit more cautious with. Her current obsessions appear to be videos of other kids opening Kinder eggs, or makeup tutorials (I despair, I really do!)
The geekson, at 5, is a big fan of Netflix. He has discovered a range of shows that appeal to his interests. The latest favourite is Dino Trux – a program featuring robot dinosaur vehicles – all his favourite things rolled into one! He also just found The Adventures of Chuck & Friends and Hot Wheels: the Skills to Thrill and very much enjoys Transformers: Rescue Bots. There’s a definite vehicular trend happening there, isn’t there?! He sometimes chooses to watch some of the more educational programs on offer, with Team Umizoomi a big favourite and Yo Gabba Gabba and Word World also proving popular. I like that Netflix has a dedicated “Kids” section, and we have set up separate user names for both our kids, meaning they simply load the app, select their name and are presented with a selection of (mostly) appropriate content.
I still keep the CBeebies Radio podcast loaded on my phone in case the kids want to put it on in the car, but they haven’t asked to listen for a while. I really wish the BBC would produce a CBBC podcast, because that would definitely be of interest to my two. I guess I’m going to have to start researching podcasts for older children, or move them on to audiobooks (I do already have a few kids books bought through my Audible subscription).
The only CBeebies show my kids have shown any interest in recently is Swashbuckle, which they still enjoy. But apart from that, I think I have to accept that they are growing out of CBeebies, and graduating to CBBC and beyond. Which makes me sad.
Thanks CBeebies. Thanks for entertaining my kids, and helping them to grow. The other channels have a lot to live up to!