I recently had the chance to review the pre-school children’s program, In the Night Garden, which follows the adventures of a number of colourful characters in the imaginary world of the Night Garden.
My 3 & ½ year old son and I immediately sat down to check it out. I figured I had better sit down with him because:
One: I wasn’t sure what we were going to see, and,
two: as brilliant as he is, at 3 & ½ he’s just not quite into writing movie/TV reviews (yet).
What I was immediately struck by was the imaginary play that the show fostered. We follow our main character, Igglepiggle, in his little boat as he falls asleep and arrives in the Night Garden. Igglepiggle then joins his friends, most often with some sort of task or problem to solve. How are the Pontipines going to get on the Ninky-Nonk? Where is the Pinky-Ponk going? Oh, the Pontipine children caught Makka Pakka’s Og-pog. Trust me, you’ll eventually get all of the language. Probably only after your exasperated children sit you down for a lesson, though.
My son loved this show from the first minute. The music. The characters. The stories. I asked him what his favourite part was and he of course said Igglepiggle. I was watching him watch the show and I realized he had secured himself a blanket (just like Igglepiggle’s trusty red one) and was doing all of the actions/movements that Igglepiggle was doing. It was so cute to watch him copy the character on the screen and try to get the little dance just right.
I have to say though that my favourite part of the show is how calm and relaxing the show is. Most weeknights, in our house, there is a constant push and pull between what I think my son should be doing and what is realistic for him to be doing. I end up guiltily plunking my son down in front of the television, while I get my 10-month-old son (who, by the way, also does enjoy In the Night Garden for the, oh, 10 seconds he will actually slow down and watch it) in bed. I have always felt that whatever I put on the TV, at that time, was way over stimulating for my 3 & ½ year old, at such a late hour. But with quiet, calming music, the repetition of the storyline, and the fact that the show ends every time with the all of the characters peacefully going to sleep, well let’s just say that my guilty conscience is alleviated just a little bit. And frankly, as a mom, anything that alleviates my guilt (even just a tiny bit) when in comes to my kids, well that’s worth its weight in gold!
And if you think that your kids may be a bit too old for the show, my cousin’s kids are 6 and 8, and they still love the show. Something that they can enjoy for years is definitely a rarity in our society. My only problem now is how to get my hands on a few more episodes, because I’m fairly certain that after the 400th viewing, this screener might be wearing out!!!
Catch In the Night Garden on Treehouse weeknights at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 10:30am and daily at 5:30am.
Oh ya, & what was that about a contest?!? Check out the In the Night Garden contest† with over $1,000 in prizes! There are three prize packs available, each with a retail value of $365 and chock full of In the Night Garden goodies. Entering the contest couldn’t be simpler: just share why you deserve one of these amazing prize packs in the comments section below (please include your e-mail – it won’t be published – so that we can get your prize to you).
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