I grew up in front of a television. I grew up being told my eyes would go square if I sat so close but mostly I was left to it. I read a lot too, both my parents read to me extensively until I could read myself but I watched a lot of television too.
Snappy doesn’t watch a lot of kids television. He does watch television but he doesn’t actually watch many kids shows. We’re not really doing the whole monitoring screen time or anything like that, just making sure he doesn’t watch too much. He’s watched more over the winter but as soon as the sun is out he’s back in the garden.
Here is what he prefers to watch and I’m afraid there is no Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol.
Cinderella, Cendrillon, Cenerentola
Three of his favourite DVDs are versions of Cinderella. We have the Cinderella ballet performed by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Bethend and I watched it the first Christmas we were together and I got her the DVD later on. It’s really funny in places and Snappy loves the dancing.
He also really likes Cendrillon, which is the French Opera version of Cinderella. He really identifies with the Prince who does not want to get dressed and go to the party. He’s watched it so much he’s about to wear the dvd out. And Opera dvds ain’t cheap.
La Cenerentola is the Italian version of Cinderella. He doesn’t watch this one as much but he does enjoy it.
Die Fledermaus Bat
This is what he calls Die Fledermaus. Essentially The bat bat. It’s German opera and we have the Glyndebourne version of it. I love it, it’s very funny, but you will have the waltz stuck in your head for days afterwards. Or maybe not that long, it’s hard to tell because he watches it every day at the moment. The Glyndebourne version was completely well received mostly due to the set design but it’s brilliant and funny and Snappy loves it.
The Tsarina’s Slippers
I don’t enjoy this as much as Snappy does, but he loves it. He watched it a lot over the Christmas period and liked to try and so some of the traditional dances in it. It’s an opera by Tchaikovsky, has a few different names and something he worked on over and over. It was his favourite, and it really annoyed him that The Nutcracker was the more popular one.
Hello The Music Man!
He really likes Musicals, he loves music in general really and The Music Man and Hello Dolly are two of his favourites. He made his nanna and papa watch The Music Man abut four times when they came to visit in November. They were here for two weeks. I was surprised it wasn’t more. He even wanted to be dressed in the uniform they wear for the parade and Bethend made him a costume for Halloween last year.
He likes Hello Dolly too, though not quite a much and he’s seen a Guys and Dolls too but he’s not as taken with it yet.
Thunderbirds Are Go!
He really likes the Thunderbirds. Which is good, cause I really like Thunderbirds. We watch the original version by Gerry Anderson. When we were kids, we made Tracy Island from off Blue Peter and I do wonder if my dad still has it. He still had the toys and sent them for Snappy to play with; which he was made up with.
The only problem is he will talk about Thunderbirds all the time, play with the toys, even in church, but unless he;s with me he won’t watch it.
Wallace, Gromit and Shaun The Sheep
I will preface this by saying he did make me turn off the Shaun the Sheep film and put Die Fledermaus on. He does like it, and we do have a couple of Shaun the Sheep dvds that we watch. He just likes opera more. He has a huge Gromit plush that he was calling doggie until he saw The Wrong Trousers for the first time. He also has a small Wallace, the evil penguin and a small Gromit that his great aunt sent him from the US just this month. He was made up.
Remote Control Lorries
He loves anything with wheels and he really likes lorries and so I found some lorry videos on youtube for him to watch. This lead to a discovery of videos of remote control lorries. They’re very big in Austria and Germany and there are hundreds of videos of RC conventions; roads and construction sites and all sorts, set up for enthusiasts to drive their models around on. And he will happily watch these all day if I let him.
He’s big on trains right now, and it occurred to me that they’ll be model railway trains on youtube too. So we’ve been adding those to our usual roster of videos.
Other Notable Favourites
He also likes Bagpuss, The Mr. Men, Ponyo and The Aristocats. He doesn’t watch them as much. The opera is daily, and so watched Bagpuss at one point but he’s moved on. We try and limit the new American made Mr. Man because it’s so busy and loud and for some reason there always a rave in the middle. It’s juts too much for him, and us to be honest. The original Mr. Men are okay and we have them and the Little Miss on dvd too.
We don’t have ‘normal’ television. We only have Netflix. We don’t even have iplayer. We really don’t want him to watch things like Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol because they’re awful and kids, even toddlers, deserves well made tv shows. Also because they’re annoying as hell.
Mostly he prefers to be outside which is good, I wasn’t sure what would happen once the weather improved, but during the Spring of Deception last month, I came home every day to paused half-watched Opera and my toddler out in the garden driving his mummy crazy in the fresh air and a pair of wellies.