A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Doc McStuffins is an animated preschool series that sends excellent messages to kids about imaginative play, caring for others, and problem solving. Kids see 6-year-old Doc taking initiative to "heal" her toys, which typically involves replacing batteries or re-stitching a seam, encouraging independence and a can-do attitude. The fact that the show centers on an African-American family whose parents take on reversed gender roles (mom at work, dad at home) reflects society's diversity, and Doc's kid-friendly health tips are good reminders about basic personal hygiene.
What's the story?
DOC MCSTUFFINS is an animated series about a 6-year-old doctor in the making who cares for toys of all shapes and sizes. Working out of a clinic in her backyard playhouse, Doc McStuffins (voiced by Kiara Muhammad) re-stitches, recharges, and repairs a variety of neighborhood patients with help from her collection of talking toys, including Stuffy the dragon (Robbie Rist), cuddly Lambie (Lara Jill Miller), Hallie the nurse (Loretta Devine), and Chilly the worrisome snowman (Jess Harnell). Sometimes Doc gets advice from her mom (Kim Brooks), who's a "people" doctor, and she dishes out advice about taking care of yourself to stay healthy.
Is it any good?
This thoughtfully crafted show caters to preschoolers' increasing awareness of themselves and the world around them by centering on a bright, curious young girl who likes to help her friends. Doc McStuffins wants to be just like her mom, and she's learning that there are many things that are within her power to fix. She's a great example for young kids, who can walk through the process with her as she uses critical thinking to diagnose her patients ("What is the problem?" What are the clues?" "How can I solve it?") and nurse them back to help. The show also inspires kids' imaginations through Doc's interactions with her special toys and her clinic's magical nature.
Centering on an African-American family with reversed gender roles (mom works full-time and dad stays home with the kids), Doc McStuffins makes a great effort to reflect the diversity of modern family life. Need another reason to love this series? Kids might be slightly less leery of visiting their own doctor after viewing the experience in the show's non-threatening light, thanks to Doc's careful attention to her patients' physical and emotional needs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the way Doc McStuffins cares for others. Why is it important to show that we care for other people? What are some ways we can do that for our friends or family? How does it feel when someone does something special for us?
Kids: What routines do you follow that help you stay healthy? Why is it important to brush your teeth, wash your hands, and eat good food each day? How does your doctor help ensure that you stay healthy?
What roles do you like to play in make-believe? What costumes or props do you use? How do you incorporate your toys in your play? Do you ever pretend that the characters you see on TV are part of your play?
- Premiere date: March 17, 2012
- Cast: Kiara Muhammad, Kim Brooks, Robbie Rist
- Network: Disney Junior
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Courage, Curiosity, Empathy
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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