Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lesson Learned (Or, Why You Probably Shouldn't Show Kindergarteners Videos Off The Internet)

I work at an elementary school. Kids come in my room, I teach them stuff, and sometimes they even learn something. Some days, though, I do. And some days I just need a break. That's when I put on a video. My rationale is that I don't do this very often -- at least, not as often as I recall my elementary school teachers doing it. Besides, you can learn things from videos -- yes, you really can!

Today, in a rush, I was trying to put on a video for a group of about 15 kindergarteners. I went to, which is a big, fun website with lots of games and videos that are perfectly appropriate for that age group. I spotted Daniel Tiger. You remember Daniel? Cute little fuzzy tiger puppet from Mr. Rogers who wore a wristwatch and went to school with Prince Tuesday and the platypus kid? 
D'aw, so cute!

I knew they'd given him his own TV show, that he was now animated, and that he was, erm, apparently living in Mr. Rogers' old house and wearing his clothes and basically stealing his shtick... but I figured it was all harmless. I don't buy into the theory that Daniel ate Mr. Rogers so he could replace him. 

Not really...

What I did NOT know was that Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is not geared toward kindergarteners. It's meant for toddlers.

I discovered this fact just a few minutes into the video -- the first video I came across on the Daniel Tiger portion of pbskids. I just clicked on "videos" and it did the auto-play thing and I didn't stop to look at the episode title, which in retrospect I realize wasn't wise -- aye, I fully admit I did this to myself, but yeah.

This was the episode:

Did Daniel really go to the potty? WHY YES HE DID! Twice! As this kid does not wear pants, he suavely hopped onto the toilet(s) without a fuss, did his business, and sang about the experience. On one instance, he even managed to hallucinate (imagine?) that all the bathroom fixtures and decorations were dancing! Afterwards, he always remembered to wash and dry his paws.

Now, I have to hand it to my kindergarteners. They're at a special age where they know what they're watching is ridiculous, yet they're not to the point where they'll actually start a riot over it. First graders would've booed Daniel right out of the loo and off the screen. Kindergarteners will at least politely tolerate 12 minutes and 16 seconds of insanity. 

I challenge you to watch the video and not laugh: (If that link is broken, try finding it on

I may have been the only one in the room laughing (and going What. Have. I. Done?) But there were plenty of other reactions happening. Some "ews." Some awkward fidgets. Several of the kids put their hands over their eyes when Daniel hopped on the toilet. 

But the funniest comment I heard a kid make was actually during the part where Daniel and his dad are talking to the guy at the music shop. An annoyed: "Why would that guy be talking to those tigers? Tigers can't talk."

There's another video on pbskids... called Prince Wednesday Goes To The Potty. Was Daniel not convincing enough? And who the heck is Prince Wednesday? Did the king and queen have another child?

THESE TWO PEOPLE had another child?

Okay, well, at least he wears pants.


Amy O. said...

Welcome to the horrible world of Daniel Tiger. P & I hate that show & secretly think Daniel's a sociopath. But some of our parent friends love it so we have to keep that to ourselves.

Kerry said...

I haven't watched it, but I've heard a lot about it on mommyblogs. This episode I guess skips showing him wipe, so lots of kids are furious when their parents ask them to wipe... because Daniel Tiger is the ultimate overlord of small children, or something.

Anonymous said...

Apparently 1:58 of Daniel Tiger is as much as I can take...

molly said...

@Amy - When I first read your comment, I my brain thought you said VIANNE & you think Daniel's a sociopath. Patrick makes more sense.;)

@Kerry - IIRC, he doesn't flush, either. Tiger be doin it all wrong. :/

@Wes - Well, I already spoiled the plot of the episode, so...