Dora and Kailan, Anyone?

If only for the things that my child learns from it, the pricey monthly fee I pay for my satellite TV is all worth it.

My toddler started watching Dora the Explorer when she was barely a year old. Through her colorful adventures, Dora mirrors and encourages a child’s natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Besides exposure to Spanish, it also teaches basic language and math skills, enhances the tikes’ memory through repetition, and allows the audience to participate in problem-solving.

Another favorite show of hers is Team Umizoomi, a show dedicated to introducing math concepts. It focuses on the trio of Geo, whose expertise lies on shapes and building; Milli, who is good with patterns and measurements, and their robot friend Bot, who is good in counting. They make learning math fun and inclusive, by presenting and applying math in rescue missions they are involved in.

She’s also into Bubble Guppies, a show which introduces school life to children, and goes over advanced lessons, as depicted by a group of bubbly little merpeople. Some of the episodes that made a mark on my daughter were the hospital, solar system, and colors.

When she’s in the mood for music and dance, she would ask for a dose of Backyardigans, a story about five very intelligent animal-friends, who go to faraway lands through imaginative play in their backyards. This is very cool as it mixes musicals with geography and the arts.

Ni Hao Kailan, also stands out as it promotes the development of kids’ emotional intelligence. It teaches real-life lessons on sharing, forgiveness, patience, humility, and helpfulness, as personified by Kailan and her friends.

Watching these shows are part of my three-year-old’s day. She calls them “her shows”, and watches nothing else. They are not only entertaining, they have helped me tremendously in my task of preparing her for preschool. It is easier to explain patience to her when I can cite an example about why Ho-Ho had to wait. Teaching her the alphabet and math was a breeze. She has developed the appreciation for dancing, painting, storytelling, and acting, which we include in our play times. She knows a number of Spanish and Chinese words. Most of all, I saw that it cultivated in her the love of learning.

Now, that’s priceless.

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