Dora Gets Mommy Niri’s Vote!

NEWS | | August 6, 2008 at 9:46 am

Never being one to fall into what is “hot” or the current fancy, I have tried to keep commercialism away from the girls. Caillou (a Canadian show) used to be the love of Jia’s life but recently Dora took that spot. Caillou still has a special place in her heart but Dora has certainly taken a larger chunk of it. I would have hoped that Bela would have had no TV exposure in the 1st year (as to how we kept it for Jia) but it is easier wished for than achieved with Jia already immersed in it. Funnily enough Bela not only loves Dora but Caillou too. At first I was not too pleased that this Dora character, which seemed to be everywhere, was the new found favorite in my home.

I was already not too thrilled about all the “Princess” stuff out there and don’t even get me started on Barbie (Jia got a Barbie watch from a friend and I still call it a “pink” watch just so as not to use the “Barbie” word). I decided to watch an episode of Dora and boy was I amazed. Wow! This show had all the elements to make it a perfect children’s show.

Here is a list of what I love about it:

  • The star is a female and an explorer (not based on beauty but brains). I love the adventures.
  • It breaks down the destination into steps using a “Map” to display checkpoints (e.g, tree, mountain, bridge). This is used each night for my kids to sleep. It is surprising that my somewhat free-spirited daughter does this easily each night. Also we use it to have a not-so-nice task in between; like we go to the car, grocery and then hot chocolate. It makes them patient knowing something good comes after.
  • It encourages you to stand up for yourself using “Swiper – the fox”. The aim is for the characters to say “Swiper, No swiping”. Thus teaching kids it is important to stand up for themselves.
  • It teaches kindness. Dora is sweet natured and even invites Swiper on occasion, showing we should love everyone.
  • The fact that the bilingual aspect is clear and simplified. I am shocked to see how Jia can speak many words and count in Spanish. Forget Jia, I have learnt a bit of Spanish too.
  • Being interactive means you are not just a viewer but a participant. I like that especially at the end of the show she asks “What was your favorite part?” (Unlike other shows that are supposedly interactive here they actually pause to give children time to think)
  • It emphasizes safety. Both Jia and Bela are conscious of seatbelts and life-jackets and being safe.
  • The musical component is quite beautiful and melodic.
  • As if all the reasons above were not enough, the regular (but just as important) stuff like shapes, letters, numbers and problem solving is also covered.

Mommy Niri Tip: Always watch TV shows with your kids so you know what they are being exposed to.

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