In praise of The Night Garden. And home ed meetings.
My baby daughter, who has recently turned one year old, is a great fan of the CBeebies programme: In The Night Garden - in fact, the whole house is now, because she's converted us all.
In the Night Garden is like Tellytubbies for children with brains. I really am very impressed with it. Winning points in its favour include:
- A variety of characters, with varying levels of vocalisation.
- A different song for each character, which is short, memorable and played only once per episode. (After me: "Yes, my name is Iggle Piggle...")
- Lots of consistent variety in numbers of character groups. (10 Pontipines, 3 Tombliboos, 4 Ha Hoos etc.)
- Bird song! And a really nice apparently real outdoor set.
- Just the right sort of slight air of surrealism, which makes me think the creators must be Tolkien fans. (Magical lands in the stars... white flowers.. boats across the water.. Dunno if that says Tolkien to anyone else..?)
Anyway.. it's good. We like it. We also like our home ed meetings at the moment, which happen in quite a big ex-school sports hall in our local town every week. We've been running this meeting for 5 years now and it's taken a variety of different formats, depending on which families have been regularly attending. Right now it has quite a sporty theme, with badminton, football, basketball, scarecrow tig, and dragging crowds of children around the floor on a play parachute being popular activities there, these days. All free range, unplanned, unorganised and unstructured. The best kind of fun!
Someone asked me to post alerts here of postings to my other blogs, so I probably should mention that this evening I have also blogged here, here, here, here and one or two other places besides. Yes, I seem to be on a roll with my blogging just now! If I owe you an email you may even get that this evening although I do have a date with the telly later on and will no doubt be called on to sing the Iggle Piggle song many times more as well. For some reason I cannot simultaneously type and sing, though perhaps I should be able to. But yes, it's hard to refuse a pair of big eyes in a sweet little face, saying: "Iggy?" while thrusting a pale blue cuddly toy in my face. Resistance is futile.