So, Little Miss Muffet has now officially entered in her ‘Tweens’, a concept unbeknownst to our parents’ generation. For them, we were all just ‘growing kids’. 🙂 In simple terms, this age group was best interpreted in one of the Amul Milk Chocolate Campaigns in the 80s’ where the child would sing “I’m too old to ride tricycles but too young to be a Pilot…” and many such do’s and don’ts.
So anyways, one of my dilemmas has been finding good on-screen content for her. She is too old for Disney cartoons series (at least that’s what she says), but then I find her too young for anything else. And that’s not her fault. The problem is that there is a big range of programmes for the tiny tots and children up to the age of 7 and then every thing else is a teenage love story, girls’ vying for boys’ attention stories, gymnasts and ballerinas stories whose training and discipline is less showcased and more about the cat fights, and you guessed right, getting a boyfriend (eye rolling).
I tried to get her to see programmes that I grew up seeing… Full House, Small Wonders, Different Strokes… and soon I realised I had a problem with these programmes too… My Miss Muffet could not actually relate to the jokes or the language on Different Strokes…I am not quite sure why. Besides the poor quality on You Tube did not help much either. She was just about liking Small Wonder, but she did not warm up to the caricaturist of a Robot in Vicki. Miss Muffet is quite an avid follower and dedicated to knowing about and robotics in general. At a time when you have Sophia The AI Humanoid Robot… Small Wonder was too naïve for her. Besides, every time Jamie slammed the door on Harriet… she would go, “that’s not nice, Mumma. Jamie is hurting Harriet. This is not a nice way to treat someone.” I eye rolled and agreed 😊. Full House was an instant hit, mainly because of the absolutely adorable girls and Joey. But what got us all squirming in our seats was the incessant making out on the show. And with the girls growing up on the show, the stories of kisses, boyfriends etc. became more intense and we kind off had to sit with her and fast forward those really awkward moments… also because she found them mighty YUCKYYY!!!
So now, what are you left with? A lot of us today do not subscribe to the broadcasting channels or the DTH, especially a lot of us on transferable jobs. So we watch say, the basic terrestrial or free-view channels and the streaming services, Netflix and Amazon being most common. Of course, some take more or less, depending on the usage. Even on there, the programmes for this age group was missing… until we managed to find a few. So I thought of listing them here, in case you have missed them. Quite possible that I am late to the party, but then hey, my audience, who is a 9 year old, finds them relevant now or the past year.
And yes, before I go any further… may I say, Australia has been churning out some really smart, creative and fun content. 😊
Our best choices are as follows:
- The InBestigators (Netflix)
- The Inbestigators is an Australian Children’s comedy drama television series. It focuses on four very smart kids who start their own detective agency and vlog about their cases and how they solve them. Absolutely adorable, clever and very well done. I was hooked along with the daughter. And trust me, I am waiting to see if they are making Season 3 😊
- Little Lunch (Netflix)
- Again a brilliant Australian make 😊 A comedy drama television series which is based on what goes on on the playground during recess. Told from the perspective of the kids, it is absolutely endearing. Based on a book series written by Danny Katz, this one is not to be missed.
- Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History (Netflix)
- This is a Netflix special and a good one at that. It is just the right tonality mixed with facts, fun and animation for little minds to absorb history and stay interested. Do not judge this programme to be a Kevin Hart’s comedy special because it is not. It is good sense TV for kids, to get them a glimpse of world history, of African American heroes and their contributions to the world.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Amazon Prime)
- This one, directed by Hiroshi Saito is a wonderful adaptation of the classic. After I failed to get my daughter hooked to the classic, simply because of the language, I searched for it on TV. And voila! This one is just fabulous. A must try 😊
Then there is also BrainChild, The Healing Powers of Dude amongst few more.
Now, I am in no way trying to justify increased screen time. So if you are really tingly about wanting to debate on whether or not and how much of screen time is good or bad…well, we can do that some other day 😊
For today, this was my two cents on feel good TV for ‘tweens’ or the ‘in-betweens’. And if you have any more suggestions on good content for children on television, please recommend. We are all ears 😊