In the Night Garden

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
In the Night Garden TV Poster Image
Gentle, sweet series aimed at very young preschoolers.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 20 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Rhymes and songs encourages kids’ interaction and retention of words and phrases. Some segments include basic counting as well.

Positive Messages

The show has a calming effect on preschoolers designed to ease them into bedtime. Storylines reflect experiences preschoolers will relate to, like picking flowers, washing faces, and playing hide and seek. Sometimes the characters must practice determination to overcome some small trouble, like learning how to jump.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Night Garden characters are gentle, kind, and respectful of their friends.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The show has inspired a marketing line of toys, books, and puzzles.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this gentle series is designed to ease preschoolers into a bedtime routine, and although the use of TV for this purpose isn’t recommended by experts, it certainly has its intended soothing effect on very young viewers. The bright, friendly characters interact in a way that tots will relate to, and the storylines center on kid-appropriate situations like trying to learn a new skill and helping a friend solve a problem. Rhymes and songs will get kids singing along, and some stories incorporate basic skills like counting.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygrumpet October 27, 2020

Simple and Sweet

In the Night Garden was the first show we introduced to our daughter. Full of funny, lovable characters, music, and extremely simple storylines, it's idea... Continue reading
Adult Written bybixsee August 2, 2020

Great for babies

It’s perfect for babies/Toddlers. My eldest loved it and I have just started my 4 month old on 1 episode a week or two who talks and laughs through most of it.... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 7, 2014
This show is okay.
I liked it from the age of 2-4,
but then I realised that none of the characters spoke actual English.
Teen, 15 years old Written byryan rowe April 2, 2019

the best thing going

it is one of the best tv shows in the world no others can beat it

What's the story?

IN THE NIGHT GARDEN is a British preschool series that centers on the colorful inhabitants of a fantastical forest. Each episode opens with a scene of a young child being lulled to sleep -- setting the scene for its soothing tone -- which leads into a visit to the garden where Makka Pakka (Justyn Towler), Igglepiggle (Nick Kellington), and Upsy Daisy (Rebecca Hyland) live and play among friends like the pint-sized Pontipines and the jovial Tombliboos. As the characters have very limited vocabulary (most of their speech is toddler-like babbling), their movements are narrated by Derek Jacobi.

Is it any good?

Parents surely will notice that this mild show bears strong resemblance to another British series that cast bright, costumed characters, and in fact In the Night Garden is produced by two of the creators of Teletubbies. The show emphasizes friendly, loving relationships, and its soothing tone ensures that it will bring preschoolers down from their naturally frantic pace.

This is intended to be a bedtime show that will relax kids for a restful night’s sleep, but the use of any TV show in this capacity is iffy at best. What’s more, the show’s decidedly juvenile characters and scenarios ensure it’s probably best suited for toddlers or young preschoolers, which then raises the weighty issue of when it’s appropriate to allow very young kids to watch TV at all.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about these unusual characters. Kids: Do you like Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka, Igglepiggle, and their friends? Which are your favorites? How are they alike or different from the types of characters you see in other shows?

  • Kids: How does the characters’ lack of linguistic skills affect your ability to understand their actions? How does the narrator help you? What clues can you take from the characters’ movements or expressions to understand what they’re thinking?

  • Kids: How do the characters show that they are friends? What kinds of things do they do for each other to be helpful or friendly? How do you help your friends?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschooler fun

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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