As a child, you learn about the world in different ways.
When we are young, we learn values and morals from our families and friends – but by watching children’s television, many of those values are reinforced.
The producers of children’s television are just so clever. They manage to smuggle important life lessons into entertaining children’s content. That clever content then sparks their little imaginations, often through role playing and fun and games.
It wasn’t until I actually went back and thought about it that I realised so many of the morals and values I had learnt had been reinforced by the shows I watched as a kid.
Some of these lessons included:
1. Bananas in Pyjamas: Friends come in all shapes and sizes.
Who wouldn’t want to live in Cuddletown? I never would have imagined bananas, bears and rats would be friends but somehow, they make it work. Together they face many hardships but they always come together as friends. They even play little jokes on each other, and that’s always fun too.
2. Play School: Imagination and role play is important.
So maybe those lakes were blue cellophane and the teddies didn’t actually talk, but those hosts made sure all the kids watching were truly using their imagination to the best of their abilities. It is such a gift to be able to create worlds outside your own and imagine things you never thought possible. The creators of Play School obviously realised the importance of imagination and role play as it was a key theme in almost every episode. And the best part was that it encouraged kids to use their imagination through role play games at home, too.
3. Wiggles: You can sing and dance and have fun, always.
How can you not have fun while watching The Wiggles? I mean, they even have a song that makes fruit salad fun. The Wiggles taught me that you can literally sing and dance to anything, and that having fun is one of the most important goals in life. It also again encouraged a healthy imagination in kids through the characters’ role playing games and through magical characters like Henry the Octopus and Dorothy the Dinosaur.
4. Giggle and Hoot: Everyone needs a best friend.
Giggle and Hoot are best friends to the end. Everyone needs a bestie and the Giggle and Hoot show demonstrations to children how much fun you can have with your best friend. Their chats and adventures are total relationship goals for any BFFs.
5. Babar: Family is everything.
Who can forget the adorable triplets Pom, Flora and Alexander and the gorgeous little Isabelle? Along with Babar, Celeste and the always-wise Cornelius, we heard adventure after adventure and at the heart of every story was the importance of family. They made mistakes and wrong decisions but Babar was always there to help. Family is always number one.
6. Fireman Sam: Emergencies happen, but there’s people who can help us.
If they’re lucky, most children will never be involved in any real emergencies, but shows like Fireman Sam are great reminders that when emergencies do happen there are professionals that go out of their way to help us all. And shows like this, that are entertaining as well as educational, often lead to kids using their imaginations to recreate ideas from the shows via role playing games.
7. Postman Pat: Being the good guy is a great thing.
Postman Pat is the epitome of the good guy, and everybody loves him. Pat will go out of his way to help anyone and everyone and he always does it with a smile. What a great lesson, and role model, for all the children watching.
8. Thomas and Friends: You should always try your hardest.
So maybe Thomas isn’t the biggest, the smartest or the quickest, but he sure does try his hardest. He pushes himself and he takes on new jobs that scare him. In life this is such an important lesson, and who knew we could learn it form a TV show?
What other childhood TV shows taught you life lessons?
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Visiting Dreamworld is much more than an experience. It’s a treasured opportunity for parents to play with their children, in a giant playground full of colour and movement. As Australia’s biggest theme park, Dreamworld has evolved dramatically over the years to incorporate dedicated ‘worlds’ for people of various ages. There’s DreamWorks for the kids, thrill rides for the teens and the country’s most iconic family rides (remember the Log Ride and the River Rapids?) plus opening 27 June is ABC KIDS WORLD featuring Giggle and Hoot, The Wiggles, Play School and Bananas in Pyjamas. Buy tickets online and save at Dreamworld.com.au