Eight reasons I love Daniel Tiger as much as my three-year-old does


Do you want to make believe with me? And eat smushy-yummy cake? Let’s ride on Trolley to the clock factory!

If any of that made sense to you, you are a parent with a child that watches Daniel Tiger. I have three-year-old and one-year-old boys that love, love, LOVE it. (That was a Miss Elaina reference, by the way. I love, love, LOVE that spunky girl.)

For the past two years, Daniel Tiger has permeated our home with catchy songs, wiggly ears and little reminders that “if you have to go potty, stop and go right away!” I have to say, I’m totally fine with that. I love that sweet, fuzzy guy.

Y’all. We are such big Daniel Tiger fans that, as I type this, we are en route to see Daniel Tiger Live! And it’s five hours away from our North Georgia home in Durham, North Carolina (another sign of our fandom, I’d say.) This is a special early birthday present for our older son, Trace, who will turn four in February. Our little one-year-old, Lane, will be thrilled, too, since he bounces along to the theme song every time with a smile on his face.

In honor of The Daniel Tiger Road Trip, I submit to you eight reasons I love him as much as my little boys do:

1) The nostalgia. Did you know Daniel Tiger is based on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? Daniel wears a red sweater in honor of Mister Rogers, and characters from the show are featured, including King Friday, Lady Elaine and Mr. McFeely. Trolley, a prominent part of the show, is also a Mister Rogers staple.

2) The sweetness. Daniel and the other characters all ultimately want what is best for each other, and Daniel’s parents and teachers do a great job of helping the kids learn to be considerate of others.

3) The beautiful animation. Daniel Tiger is thoughtfully illustrated with saturated colors and lovely scenes. The characters are expressive and adorable.

4) The music. The songs are catchy, but they’re also well-written and simply fun. One thing that initially drew Trace to Daniel Tiger was Music Man Stan’s Music Shop. He loves music, and instruments especially. I love exposing him to shows that encourage that.

5) The family. Mom Tiger and Dad Tiger, Daniel and Margaret, his baby sister, play together, laugh together and help each other when they’re sick. They eat healthy suppers at a big table that looks like a stump (I’m not sure why) and ride through the neighborhood on Trolley together. It’s a great example of a healthy, loving family.

6) The parents. Mom Tiger is the picture of patience, juggling a baby and a preschooler with ease while using a gentle voice throughout every day. She bakes banana bread, builds a table for Daniel’s playhouse and keeps a very cheery, tidy home. Dad Tiger works at Chime Time, a clock factory, and he is the best at playing games. I want to eat supper with them, and I want Mom Tiger to cook Veggie Spaghetti. FYI, it’s crunchy. And munchy. We could eat it on the big stump!

7) The neighborhood vignettes. In between the animated episodes, a lot like on Mister Rogers, kids can take a tour of various places in different neighborhoods. The crayon factory is one of Trace’s favorites.

8) The different personalities. Miss Elaina is outgoing and confident (aaannnd BACKWARDS!), O the Owl is timid and smart, Daniel Tiger is friendly and enthusiastic. Never mind the fact that some of the characters are people and some are animals, and everyone is cool with that. They show a great example of being friends with a wide range of people, and that’s just nice.

If your child hasn’t discovered Daniel Tiger yet, and you’re stuck listening to kids’ shows you can’t stand… Find your local PBS station and check it out. You might just love it too. Ugga Mugga!

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