Since this series' start in 1968, Rogers has invited his viewers to be a part of everything he does, from lacing up his famous sneakers to taking a field trip to the circus, and every aspect of the show encourages curiosity, imagination, and self-expression. Throughout its 30-year run, the show explored nearly every imaginable concern that kids face, including competition, caring for the Earth, and even death, always with Rogers' trademark gentle honesty and in a way that preschoolers will understand.
What makes this series most notable is its adherence to wholesome social mores like loving your neighbor, showing kindness to others, and respecting differences. The show makes a point of including people of various ethnicities and physical abilities, and Rogers' own appreciation for each person's uniqueness set the tone for reminders to not only respect each other, but to truly appreciate the things that make each one special. For a generation of parents who were raised on Mister Rogers Neighborhood, the timeless nature of the show's messages is a great reason to settle in for some quality TV time with your kids.
This program is purposefully slow-paced, precisely because young children need time to digest the information they receive. The topics are big enough to hold interest, while the details of the set, the field trips, and general discourse have been well considered. Mister Rogers isn't afraid to tackle big issues like "What is love?" He discusses divorce, shyness, fear, grandparents, "being so angry you could bite," and being unique. Most of all, Rogers never loses touch with the notion that "We have to remember to whom the airwaves belong, and we must put as great an emphasis on the nurturing of the human personality as we can."