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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Review for Parents

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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Photo © PBS KIDS
TV Rating: TV-Y
Genre: Preschoolers' Educational
Guide age recommendation: 2-5
Episode length: Half hour (two stories)
Network: PBS

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Overview

The PBS TV series for preschoolers Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is inspired by the iconic, award-winning classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, 4-year-old Daniel Tiger (son of the original program’s Daniel Striped Tiger) invites his viewing preschool "neighbors" into his world as he learns and grows from the experiences of daily life. The show is basically an animated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers, and features familiar characters, and the children of those characters, such as Trolley, King Friday, Lady Elaine Fairchilde and more.

The show focuses on pro-social and life skills for preschoolers. Each episode consists of two stories that center on the same theme. For example, in one episode a situation makes Daniel feel mad, and he learns how to resolve his anger in a positive way. A live-action segment or song separates this story from the next story, which is about when Daniel's friend Katerina gets mad and must use her skills to solve her anger.

The social or life skill presented in each episode is very simple and focused, so viewing kids can easily understand and apply the skill in daily life. The lesson is also summarized several times in the format of a little song or chant by Daniel and others throughout the episode. For example, in the episode about Danial getting mad, he, his mother and his friends sing the strategy, "When you feel so mad that you want to ROAR...take a deep breath and count to four."

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Guide Review for Parents

Watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is an odd and nostalgic experience for those of us who grew up with Mister Rogers. The familiar characters in a new animated world provide the foundation for a sweet, nicely paced and simple show for young children.

Daniel Tiger is very similar to the popular show Ni Hao, Kai-lan on Nickelodeon. In both shows, the main character and their friends deal with every day problems that come up for preschoolers and sing a small chant to help viewing kids remember the problem-solving strategy. Daniel Tiger generally seems to have less developed storylines in each episode; however, this fact will actually make some parents happy, as the biggest complaint about Ni Hao, Kai-lan is that the show takes to long to show the resolution, resulting in a lot of examples of bad behavior that kids tend to imitate.

Many shows for preschoolers like Kai-lan, , Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are "interactive," meaning the characters talk to viewing children and ask them to answer questions or participate. Daniel Tiger takes this a step further, though, as Daniel often introduces viewing preschoolers as his "neighbor" when he encounters his friends in the episode. Kids really enjoy that neighborly quality of the show, and they easily feel like part of the story. Young children will enjoy Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and benefit from the colorful characters' examples and the simple and focused messages.

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