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 this three-hour block of hosted programming is designed to wind kids down after a busy day (although opinion is divided on whether that's the best way to get ready for bed). The host and other characters successfully combine kid-friendly, soothing activities with stellar preschool TV shows.
What's the story?
THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW, Sprout's evening block of programming designed for preschoolers getting ready for bed, features episodes from favorite shows such as Kipper, Pingu, Thomas and Friends, Dragon Tales, Angelina Ballerina, and Sagwa, among others. Between episodes, the host (along with friends like Star and Lucy the Firefly) integrates poems, lullabies, songs, games, crafts, and stretches into the evening. Kids are encouraged to participate in all of the engaging activities, but they're designed to ultimately have a calming effect so kids will be ready to say "good night" once the TV is turned off.
Is it any good?
Sample show activities include games like charades, silly songs such as "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," poems about pets, stories about sharing, and -- at the end of every episode -- a good night tale. Cool crafts -- such as drawing mixed-up pets -- are fun and easy to make with the help of a "big sprout" (parents can find directions for crafts featured on The Good Night Show on Sprout's Web site). Future episodes will incorporate even more learning-based activities, including yoga and Spanish and sign language lessons. When watching The Good Night Show, expect slowly executed learning activities and games.
Even though The Good Night Show features a three-hour line-up, parents can easily monitor how much they want their kids to watch. Each "episode" from one of the featured shows is a single, commercial-free segment surrounded by opening and closing credits. That means each program runs between 5 and 10 minutes, rather than half an hour. This approach offers a good balance for kids who don't want to miss out on their favorite program and parents who don't want their kids watching too much TV. (Plus, if kids argue for "just one more" episode before going to bed, parents know that within a few short minutes, it'll be over.) Most kids will outgrow this show by the time they're 5, but the speech and overall approach are wonderfully paced for toddlers and preschoolers.
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For kids who love stories before bed
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