Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Common Sense Media says

Classic series gently promotes social skills, imagination.

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show's commitment to educating kids is its greatest strength. Each episode teaches viewers how things work and about the jobs people do, and there are always opportunities for emotional lessons, like managing anger or coping with loss, as well. Rogers often takes field trips to museums, factories, or local events to give kids a close-up look at how products are made or what goes on behind the scenes.

Positive messages

The show's themes include social responsibility, friendship, self-esteem, creativity, self-control, and curiosity. Serious issues like divorce, death, and war are presented in an honest and thoughtful manner that's appropriate for preschoolers. The show incorporates people of different ethnicities as well as different levels of physical ability, always with the intent to foster respect.

Positive role models

Rogers embodies positive qualities like self-confidence, friendliness, creativity, and empathy. He has an easy way with people and always treats them with respect, and his desire to know about the world around him will inspire kids' own curiosity. Many of the characters deal with fear, sadness, or anger at one time or another, demonstrating positive methods of overcoming these issues.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The series is tied to educational products like books, a website, and, more recently, a mobile app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this TV classic's messages about social responsibility, respect, and self-esteem are just as relevant today as they were at the show's start in the 1960s. The series uses music, make believe, and everyday tasks to illustrate kid-friendly themes like honesty, overcoming fears, and being a good friend. Field trips expose viewers to how common products are made, and the host's visits with his neighbors demonstrate how their jobs benefit the community. Occasionally the show explores sensitive subjects like divorce or the loss of a loved one, but it's always done in a responsible manner that's appropriate for kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD is a long-running preschool series that stars Fred Rogers as the titular host who opens his doors to his TV audience and invites them to share in his daily experiences in and around his neighborhood. Rogers uses songs, visits with friends, field trips to factories and local events, and everyday tasks like caring for his goldfish to teach kids important life lessons in responsibility, overcoming fears, and respecting differences. A regular segment of the show also transports kids -- via a bright red Trolley -- from Rogers' living room to an imaginary place called the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where puppet characters like King Friday XIII, Henrietta Pussycat, and Lady Elaine Fairchilde (all voiced by Rogers) interact with human ones and explore a problem related to the episode's theme.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about respect. What does respect mean? Why is it important to treat other people with respect? How do our differences make us special? What are some of your best qualities?

  • Kids: How does Mister Rogers' neighborhood compare to your own? How do neighbors rely on each other? What jobs are important in a neighborhood? How can you show you care about your neighbors and friends?

  • If you could create a make-believe land, what would it look like? Who would the characters be? What kinds of troubles would they face? How would they overcome them?

TV details

Cast:David Newell, Fred Rogers
Network:PBS
Genre:Educational
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Arts and dance, Music and sing-along, Numbers and letters, Puppets
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 February 24, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Slow-paced series for kids

It's not as fast-paced as the other shows for kids. However, some kids may like it. Mr. Rogders was always a good role model for kids (lots of people were probably upset about his death). Even though it's a kids show, parents may like it better.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byrubyred August 29, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Very good for small children

My 2-3 year old watches this whenever it comes on. It is such a quiet, slow paced show, and my child sits down quietly and watches the program. He really listens to Mr. Rogers and loves the trolley. I believe these quiet type programs will help our children to be quiet peaceful type children. All the shows that yell at our children loudly, like some sort of aroebics PE teachers, are helping our children become loud shouting type of people. Its not okay. We need to teach our children how to find peace, especially within themselves. If they can do that, they can remain stable and find peace as adults. You won't be scared sending them off to college, guys.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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