If you’ve not yet seen Bluey, you need to get on it – and there are plenty of good reasons why.
From the perspective of a mum, teacher and business owner who loves what play does for kids, Bluey is the best thing to happen in the world of kids TV. Let me explain why.
It's real, and it's Australian
It’s real and raw. This show presents a normal Aussie family (albeit dogs), dealing with normal family responsibilities and dramas.
The language and terminology is distinctly Australian, including the use of phrases such as “I pulled a hammy” and playing a game of “keepy uppy” (not letting a balloon touch the ground). It’s really refreshing to have something so uniquely Aussie and relate-able.
The family, and those around them do very Australian things like have barbeques and play sport in the yard or street. The way the neighbours, friends and family talk to each other is so familiar. This in my mind simply adds to the appeal – you don’t realise how unique aspects of our culture are until you see it in a cartoon. How wonderful it is for our kids to see some great Australian culture in such a positive way.
Parenting doesn't have to suck
You see the parents on the show struggle with domestic chores, dealing with work from home, parenting in general, and basically much of what life throws at us. The mums and dads mutter all too familiar thoughts, and we know the feels. There’s something truly special about this show though – they do something else that reminds us that parenting doesn’t have to suck.
They play. Even when they’re busy, even when it’s tough and they have a lot on. They don’t get angry with the kids for bothering them when they were trying to concentrate – they finish what they were doing and then they play.
It made me think about when I’ve felt most awesome as a parent. It’s when I put on a silly accent to help us deal with a long car ride instead of trying to tune my kids out. It’s when I change my name for a day and pretend to be someone else – they seriously find this hilarious. Like when I waddle through the grocery store and they walk behind me giggling.
Not only does this provide you a way to get through some ordinary and sometimes frustrating times, it gives your kids a chance to play with you. I cannot love this show enough for the way it promotes play!
Each episode takes you on an imaginative adventure whether it be physically engaging in imaginative play or verbally sharing imaginative constructs. This is so important! So many kids have either forgotten how to play or simply don’t know how.
Our kids today are bombarded with stimuli and there’s very little room left to imagine. Technology is only partly to blame – our kids have so many toys and they time is also filled up with structured activities.
There have been plenty of publications in recent years about how important it is for kids to be bored because this is when they start to imagine and create. It is almost impossible for many kids to get bored these days and when they do, they rarely jump straight into using their imagination and creating something from nothing.
So how do we teach our kids how to use their imagination? Bluey helps us find the answers.
Bluey reminds my kids how fun and funny using your imagination can be. It delivers the content in a way that is both engaging and very relate-able. My kids giggle their little heads off, and mostly it’s because of what the parents on the show are doing or saying whilst playing. It makes me want to play with my kids, and perhaps the key to getting your kids to truly engage in imaginative play is to play with them? What if, by joining in, you’re activating a part of their brain that really does require stimulation? I’d say it’s worth the time and effort, especially if you can learn to enjoy it too.
Achievable parental goals
It models a life we all aspire to achieve. Not everyone has a similar family structure, but you feel like the way they live and how much they love life is real and attainable.
In their family structure, both parents work and contribute to household chores. Both parents are involved in raising and teaching the kids how to be awesome human beings. The parents get annoyed with the kids, and their responsibilities… and then they shift their focus to what’s actually important. Living your life in the moment. Helping your kids explore, dream, create, and most of all… laugh.
At the end of the day it’s a simple notion that is achievable, for everyone. Play can occur at any time. We often play whilst cleaning to make it more enjoyable for all of us – I wrote a bit about it here. As I said earlier, you can play in the car, in a shopping centre. All it takes is a willingness on your part to participate, and you might just have some fun!