Children’s TV programmes have changed a lot since I was a little girl. Back then, we just had four channels and children’s programmes were only on at certain times of day. If we weren’t at home to watch something, we couldn’t watch it on catch-up TV – we missed it or recorded it on video. The TV itself was a big heavy box with a screen size of around 24 inches. If you were lucky enough to have a portable TV in your bedroom, you often ended up spending ages fiddling with the aerial to try and get a decent picture.
My children’s experiences of watching TV are so very different. Huge, flat screen TVs showing programmes in crystal-clear high definition, like this Ultra HD TV Panasonic. A variety of different children’s TV channels to choose from throughout the day (and into the night). Plus they also have the option of watching their favourites on catch-up TV. With so many different programmes and channels to choose from, I wonder if they’ll have the same fond memories of their childhood TV favourites as I have of mine.
My favourite children’s TV programmes
Some of my earliest memories of children’s TV are of watching Rainbow with Geoffrey, Bungle the bear, George the pink hippo and Zippy, the – well, whatever Zippy was. There were songs from Rod, Jane and Freddy and I can also vividly remember singing a rude version of the theme song in the school playground which was the funniest thing ever at the time.
I loved watching Mr Spoon get into his rocket ship made from a funnel and a can of beans. Each episode saw him fly up through Blanket Sky and land on Button Moon. The theme song is another one that I can still remember to this day – “We’re off to Button Moon, we’ll follow Mr Spoon…”
The tale of a teddy bear who was rejected at the toy factory and brought to life by alien Spotty using cosmic dust. Whenever there’s trouble, Superted just said his secret magic word and transformed into a superhero, ready to fight the villains Texas Pete, Skeleton and Bulk. I’ve heard Superted is being remade. It will be interesting to see how it will be changed as a result.
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin’s adventures flying across Grundo in a quest to find the magic crystals with the help of his friends Newton Gimmick, an inventor, and Grubby, an octopede, had me hooked. I still have several Teddy Ruxpin videos in a box somewhere along with the talking Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby toys. I really should dig them out for my girls at some point!
He might have just been a saggy old cloth cat, but Emily wasn’t the only one who loved him. I also loved the singing mice on the mouse organ and pompous old Professor Yaffel the woodpecker. Bagpuss is one of the few programmes from my childhood that my children have also seen. They love it almost as much as I did.
My children’s favourite TV programmes
Hey Duggee follows the adventures of the four members of the Squirrel Club, and their scoutmaster Duggee, a big dog. The Squirrels have to learn a new skill in each episode and receive a badge for doing so at the end. I love the little touches of humour that make it quite funny from an adult perspective too.
Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom
Peppa Pig has started to be pushed aside now in favour of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. This follows the adventures of Ben the elf, Holly the fairy and the other inhabitants of the Little Kingdom. It’s another one which the girls love on one level but there are little jokes that are funny from an adult perspective too.
This is a fabulous programme for teaching young children about various landmarks around the world. In each episode, the Go Jetters and their mentor Ubercorn, a disco-dancing unicorn, have to save a landmark from being damaged or destroyed by Grandmaster Glitch and his Grimbots. Each episode ends with the Go Jetters taking a “souvenir selfie” at the landmark. Jessica was very keen to visit Stonehenge recently because of seeing it on Go Jetters. She wanted to have a souvenir selfie with the Go Jetters too!
Nelly and Nora
My girls love the adventures of Nelly and her little sister Nora on a caravan park. The programme focuses on different types of weather (Nelly and Nora’s clothes change to reflect the weather in each episode). I think a lot of the appeal of this programme for my girls is that they can see their own sibling relationship reflected in the relationship between Nelly and Nora. Jessica will often tell me that she is like Nelly and Sophie is like Nora.
I only vaguely remember the original Clangers from my own childhood, but the girls and I love the revived version with the pink knitted family of Clangers, the Soup Dragon, Baby Soup Dragon and the Iron Chicken. It’s a lovely gentle programme and perfect for the run-up to bedtime.
Do you remember any of the TV programmes I loved as a child? What are your childhood TV favourites?
This is a collaborative post.