Friday 4 November 2011

Toddler Television - The Power of Hana

I do try to limit television, but I find that often it's really helpful. Lately we've been watching more Channel 5 in the morning, as I have come to my Cbeebies limit, and Joseph now likes more narrative driven shows, and of course his beloved Thomas the Tank Engine is on Milkshake on Channel 5.

I came across Hana's Helpline by accident one day, and Joseph didn't take much of an interest. It's about a duck, Hana, who works in a library, and is an agony aunt. Children ring up for help and often she invites them around. Sort of like an avarian Gloria Hunniford!

A few weeks ago there was a really lovely episode about a penguin. He is new to the school, and takes his blankie everywhere with him. Now Joseph up until this point had been taking MCB (muckee coat blanket) everywhere with him, including nursery. It's become a real pain in the next, because it gets in the way. And just how mucky do want your muckee? And I can't wash it as that makes Joseph distressed.

Anyway, we watched the show together, following the plight of the penguin as he had this blankie wrapped around him, causing problems, he couldn't see to catch a ball, it got messy in art class, and the children teased him. I watched Joseph become upset. He gripped his muckee harder.

At the end the penguin has to join in a game of rounders to save the day, so puts the blanket down. And the lesson is learned, the there is a place for the blankie, and that's at home in bed.

Afterwards I tried to talk to Joseph about it. "No muckee stay with Joseph, no leave muckee, no no no". Ok. So we've carried on taking muckee to pre school. A few days later I went to pick him up and muckee was on the coat hook. After 10 minutes he left it to one side. Every day, the same thing. Then I tried putting muckee in his school bag. Every day I would arrive and muckee would still be safely in the bag, just where I had put it.

Now this week I have left muckee at home. Not once has he asked for it. And he is content to leave it in his cot, just like the penguin.

I honestly think that this show has helped Joseph! And it happened quite organically it wasn't planned.

All the Hana's episodes are on the Milkshake website, and lots of pre schoolers problems are covered, such as fear of the dark, bullying, learning to swim. I think sometimes kids need a bit of outside help sometimes, and if they're going to watch telly it may as well be helpful and educative.

*completely unsponsored post, just wanted to share!

1 comment:

  1. Hana's Helpline is an awesome show! So underrated, probably because there's no merchandised tat alongside it people don't talk about it but the messages in the programme are wonderful.

    (The mornings I spent wishing I could be more like Hana and then reminding myself she was only a fictitious duck)