Bilingual is Better

Daniel Tiger's NeighborhoodOne of the downsides to having moved to the United States as a teenager is that there are a lot of cultural references I have no connection to. The majority of these have to do with children’s music, literature and television programs that my generation grew up with here. That’s why I have no connection to something like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, for example. While I’ve heard people rave about the program and I’m sure it was truly amazing, I’d be lying if I said it has any kind of meaning for me. I guess it’s the price you’ve got to pay when you live between two cultures.

Even though I feel no connection to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, after seeing Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the first TV series inspired by it, I can definitely see the reason why it was such a beloved program. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which premiers on PBS KIDS on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, is an animated for preschoolers ages 2-4, just like my son Santiago. The main concept behind it is to teach little ones some of the social and emotional skills they’ll need to be able to do well in both school and in life, including self-control, patience, persistence and resilience.

Not only are the characters super cute, but the songs are catchy and the Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood seems like a lot of fun — at least to my almost 3-year-old preschooler. Santiago and I had the opportunity to watch the first episode last week which was all about how to turn something bad into something good. As soon as my boy saw Daniel Tiger on the red trolley, he was hooked. He loves anything on wheels so much that he couldn’t take his eyes off it!

Because Santiago turns 3 years old at the end of the month, he also loved that the first episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is all about Daniel’s fourth birthday because he was able to relate to the topic immediately. I’m not 100% sure how much he understood, since, at this point in his short life, Santiago only speaks Spanish. But I translated some stuff for him and I answered some of his questions and he asked to see it another time!

While I normally don’t really let my children watch TV in English, I must confess I’ll be making an exception with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Created by Angela Santomero, the mastermind behind hits like SUPER WHY and Blue’s Clues, this new series is definitely worth watching and I don’t think it’ll have any problems becoming just as popular as the iconic children’s show that inspired it.

Looking for more info about the show? Go ahead and check out Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’s website which is full of games, activities and videos. You can also visit Daniel Tiger’s Facebook page. Or, you can join the Twitter party being hosted by PBS on Tuesday, August 28 from 9 – 10 pm ET which will be all about the new show and the social-emotional curriculum in the show.

THE GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the launch of this great new show on PBS KIDS, we’re giving away a Daniel Tiger luggage bag, crayons, Daniel Tiger printables, backpack, pencils and stickers to one lucky winner. All you have to do is tell us what you think about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood after watching the video above.

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