Choosing the right TV shows for your pre-schooler can help nurture their emotional wellbeing and prepare them for school!

When a child reaches preschool age, they start developing the important skill of self-awareness – the ability to recognise their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. This is a skill that needs to be encouraged and nurtured in kids, however it doesn’t develop overnight.

Unless you’re super mum, you’ve probably resorted to plonking your kids in front of the TV every now and then to cook dinner, clean the house, or simply make a phone call. Parents shouldn’t feel guilty about this – as long as they are choosing the right TV shows! Making sure pre-schoolers are watching the right shows can help them further develop their emotional and intellectual skills which are beneficial for their overall development.

Choose Shows That Meet Their Needs!

There’s a huge amount of kids’ content available today and sometimes the choices can be quite overwhelming for parents. Fortunately, with streaming services and dedicated programming blocks such as Disney+ and ABC Kids, it’s a lot easier for parents to pick and choose the best programming for their children. The good thing about so much content being available is that you have options when it comes to choosing material relevant to your child’s particular needs.

Accept And Appreciate Differences

Choosing shows that celebrate our differences can help children to realise that being different is a good thing. In Dino Ranch on Disney+  the three young Cassidy rancheros, Jon, Min, and Miguel are adopted siblings of all different nationalities who work together to look after the dinosaurs on the farm.

The show introduces children to problem-solving, the foundations of forging life-long friendships, strengthening family and community bonds, and taking care of animals. It also highlights the value of hard work and commitment to teamwork, as Jon, Min, and Miguel, along with their Ma and Pa, work on overcoming problems and come together as a team to find the best possible solutions.

Explore Every Emotion

TV shows that explore a wide range of emotions are a great way for kids to learn self-awareness and how to interact with others. Love Monster, available on ABC Kids, is based on the bestselling Love Monster series of books by award-winning British author and illustrator Rachel Bright, and showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, instinct, and emotional awareness. By watching Love Monster’s adventures unfold, as he navigates the challenges involved in being a bit funny looking in a world filled with cute fluffy things, the series teaches young audiences at home how to cope with different and challenging emotions.

…And Learn How To Process Them!

Leah Brennan, chartered clinical psychologist at Mindscape Psychology who has more than 20 years of experience in providing psychological treatments to children, said parents can use shows such as Love Monster to help their children process important life learnings.

“Through Love Monster children can learn about emotions, not only by identifying them, but also learning how to best manage them, and parents can often benefit from a few tips too,” she said.

“The series demonstrates to very young children that actually, all feelings are ok – not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – and that it is important to identify and understand these feelings and learn how to tolerate them.”

“This is a very important message for parents struggling to ‘fix’ perceived negative feelings such as anger and anxiety, in a society that encourages ‘just getting on with it’. The episodes also offer practical tips to help achieve this, particularly in emotional regulation such as helpful coping thoughts, relaxation strategies and graded exposure to feared tasks.”

Children’s programming has come a long way in the past 10 years and there are now all sorts of positive programs to choose from which can nurture not only their intellectual but emotional needs. When children understand themselves, their emotions, and their self-worth, it helps them to build their overall self-esteem which is important for preschoolers while they are preparing to take the big step into primary school.

Dino Ranch is currently streaming on Disney+ and Love Monster returns 5 July, airing daily at 6.10pm on ABC Kids.


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  • My kids arent into tv programs!


  • If only we were allowed to watch anything other than the Wiggles..


  • We tried to minimise TV when they were preschoolers – easier with the eldest than the youngest!


  • I really dislike shows that don’t use manners and shows where the children are rude and obnoxious towards their parents and other adults.
    We often sit with the children when they watch a show/movie and help them to analyse what they are watching and to bring the messages into real life context.


  • Sure is important to choose shows that meet their needs, not only for our preschoolers ! Luckily my kids don’t watch much tv


  • I do think we really need to look at the age recommendations and screen time suggestions for young children. Most children’s-produced shows have to meet some form of recommendation and are suitable for young children. But always be mindful.


  • I think a lot more people need to be aware of the recommendations to limit screen time in young children. Especially the no screen time before 2 recommendation.

    • I think most people are aware, but it’s not always so easy practically. Especially with parents working from home with young children who can’t be in daycare because of the pandemic.


  • We love kiri and Lou, for my 3 year old it’s easy to understand feelings and she loves the songs


  • My kids love watching love monster! They learn so much through tv, so I agree with how important it is to put on the right shows for them.


  • I found that using DVDs – rather than live TV – let me manage what they were watching more effectively with very little extra effort.

    • Yes, I did that a lot too when they were little !


  • Thus sounds like a good choice


  • I haven’t heard of love monster before, I’m going to have to check it out, I have a very emotional little guy and we’re trying to help him understand his emotions better so that sounds great.
    I know there’s a lack of diversity in it, but I love that bluey is such an imaginative show. I can out a 7 minute episode on, and it inspires an hour of dramatic play after as my kid wants to play the same games that bluey does.


  • Unfortunately these days it’s all rubbish! What happened to Babar, Widget and Captain Planet!


  • My kids loves love monster and blaze at the moment


  • My son is only 10 months old so we don’t watch much t.v yet. But bubble guppies is on when we get up and he absolutely loves it. I love it too because the voices are clear, and it’s educational. Even I learn things watching it. And the songs are great.


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