Most of the other Catholic parents that I’m acquainted with allow their little kids to occasionally watch harmless cartoons.
Things like Paw Patrol (which seems to be the go-to favorite of pretty much every small child in the country) or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse might not be educational or enlightening, but they’re mighty entertaining for kids and otherwise pretty neutral.
I’m fine with my kids watching these types of shows, though I might try to throw in some Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on occasion so they can learn about things like emotional intelligence and kindness.
But you know what’s even better than Daniel Tiger? Entertaining Catholic cartoons.
We recently watched Totally Toddlers: The Alphabet, a new DVD from the creators of the animated Brother Francis videos. And it’s a hit in my house.
Totally Toddlers: The Alphabet is educational and fun
This animated show is about 45 minutes long, but it’s broken into four shorter segments-- which is handy, because it can work for a short TV time or can be played altogether for a lengthier watch.
Each segment features colorful dancing and talking letters. We hear the letter’s name, the sound it makes, and words that begin with the letter.
And for each letter, there are a couple of sample words, at least one of which has something to do with the Catholic faith – E is for Easter, K is for Kingdom, etc. -- with illustrations and further explanations of each faith element.
(I was curious what they’d do for X if not using the go-to x-ray or xylophone, but they went with Xavier and said who St. Francis Xavier was – clever!)
Surprisingly, it also features tips for how to remember what many of the letters look like (i.e. a Q is like an O but with a tail). Not a lot of letter-learning videos take the time to also help kids distinguish between similar-looking letters.
Drawbacks of Totally Toddlers: The Alphabet
Personally, I found the songs that the letters sing a little bit annoying after a while.
That’s literally the only aspect of it that I wasn’t crazy about. And I feel like that’s a pretty fair trade-off, since the whole thing was engrossing to my kids (even my 5-year-old who already knows how to read), very educational, and full of great content about the Faith.
I’m a Fan
Paw Patrol and the like are fine, but I’m kind of excited to have found a Faith-filled alternative my kids can watch sometimes – and that it was good enough to hold their attention!
Image: © Brother Francis