ActivitiesAges 2-5Media & Technology

TTT: The Best Laid Plans, or 5 Preschool TV Shows I Actually Kind of Miss

My original plan for this month was to write about the annoying insipidness that is Paw Patrol. Then, my daughter thankfully stopped watching it, deciding instead that she was in love with a silly and also annoying Disney short film one-off, Lucky Duck, which is duly vapid, but not nearly …

READ MORE →
Ages 2-5Ages 6-9Media & Technology

TTT: Scooby Doo or Scooby Don’t?

 Welcome to the first “real” edition of Third Thursday Television. To start us off, I want to look at one of those multivariate cephalopod-like properties that has everything necessary for a media/marketing juggernaut – nostalgia value for Gen-X parents, new series and movies for the kids, umpteen million products on …

READ MORE →
Media & Technology

TTT [Third Thursday Television] – We’re off to a great start.

Welcome to what I’m hoping will be a regular feature, which is getting a great foot on the ground here by being a week late. But last week, I had a life to run, a 4th birthday party to plan, some cake to murder…whereas this week, there’s just life. So, …

READ MORE →
Ages 10-12 (Tween)Media & Technology

What (screen) time is it?

Well, that kind of depends on the age of your kids. Is it “Time for lunch!” a la Bubble Guppies or “Adventure Time!” a la…well, Adventure Time? In my house it’s actually both, since my two kids are 7 years apart. But I’ve spent a lot of time here already talking about preschool …

READ MORE →
Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 2-5Ages 6-9Media & Technology

Why “Just Don’t Buy It” Just Doesn’t Work

Originally published in slightly different form at I’m Just Not Impressed on October 14, 2011. At least once in pretty much any discussion about patronizing idiot-chic tee shirts, uber sexy Halloween costumes, or itty-bity sexpot bikinis for 2 year olds, at least one person will take the time to comment “If you don’t …

READ MORE →
FriendshipMedia & Technology

Of Wizards and Weddings

Let’s say you are an author who- by combination of inspiration, talent, luck and marketing – happens to have written one of the most successful cross-generational literary phenomena of modern history. Let’s say, further, that you have written 6 of a 7 book series and are trying to finish up …

READ MORE →
Ages 6-9Media & Technology

What Does “Arthur” Have to Teach Us About Bullying?

(Don’t worry– this will be my last post about TV for the foreseeable future.) I’ve taken on Sesame Street, so now it’s time for another beloved childhood favorite: Arthur. For background, I hate Arthur. I hate everything about Arthur from its style* to its subject matter. The biggest crime of …

READ MORE →
FeminismMedia & TechnologyPlay

From the Front of Another Fictional War – Pink!

Just when you thought that it was safe to put your cultural howitzer in storage for another year’s War on Christmas, a new battle cry has been sounded for 2014 – “Stop the War on Pink!” cries this piece, with a subhead that barely avoids every online feminist’s favorite phrase, …

READ MORE →
Ages 2-5Ages 6-9DisciplineMedia & Technology

Checking it Twice: An Elf’s Story

It was dark, finally, and Elfwina was able to relax and explore the house at will. It was Christmas Eve and the children had fought a lot that day, and she’d heard herself invoked several times: “Madison, if you don’t stop fighting with Jaspar, Elfwina will have to tell Santa …

READ MORE →
Ages 2-5Media & TechnologyUncategorized

Sesame Street: So Good, Yet So Bad

Quick! Name two monsters from Sesame Street! Okay, now name two female monsters from Sesame Street. Those of you who can name them probably watch as much of The Street as I do (minimum one hour a day, every day. I know, I know. I’m probably rotting my kid’s brain …

READ MORE →