Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Spring 2013 Television
Ages: 2 - 4 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is a world of make believe.

Everyone is polite and no one is harried. The houses and streets are clean, the trolley is always waiting and seats are always available.

This cheerful and colorful setting may not be realistic, but the almost perfect place populated by loving and patient adults is meant to set the stage to demystify emotions and teach life skills to preschoolers. In each episode, the pacing is purposeful and effective.

Disappointment is presented within a birthday party setting. Daniel says he's big and strong enough to carry his birthday cake home from the bakery. But when he opens the box to show his father the cake, the cake and Daniel's expression are crestfallen. The lesson here is to look on the bright side and find the positive. The cake may not look great, but it tastes Gggrrrrific.

Dealing with anger is handled in an episode with a weather change that detours plans to play at the beach. "When you feel so mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four." The rhyme may not be the solution, but as Daniel's mother says, "Once you're calm you can think about what to do."

Who among us has not thought "I have to go potty but I don't want to stop playing?" Here, Daniel Tiger and his friends demonstrate to young viewers that they should stop what they're doing and go right away. The animated lesson is followed up by real kids and a parent in real life situations. Young viewers see little hands (just like theirs) flushing and washing, and little feet (just like theirs) dangling from the toilet seat.

Young viewers will be charmed watching Daniel Tiger and friends teach each other what they've just discovered. Modeling the animated characters' (carefully scripted) behavior—how to manage feelings, the difference between real and pretend, and the importance of being courteous and respectful—is not a bad way to prepare our preschoolers. And with careful attention, instruction and encouragement from a trusted adult, children will be well on their way. That's what Fred Rogers would want us to learn.

Parents' Choice   ©2013 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:

Share This