I used to be the mom who had never watched Cbeebies. I used to be the mom who only allowed beautiful, hand crafted, wooden toys. I used to be the mom who looked for something educational in everything we did. I knew the day would come when a flashy cartoon and a well publiced gimmick caught his attention... although I wasn't quite expecting it to happen this soon!
Vin has become properly obsessed with 'Dinosaur King' - which, for the uninitiated, is almost exactly like Pokemon but with dinosaurs. The basic premise is a kind of flashy Top Trumps, but with anime and an evil scientist villain.
But you know me, I'm all about the fun and I'm all about following your child's lead. So I bought a couple of cheap activity books and put together a little Dinosaur King Playset for him.
In all honesty it's not as offensive as some of the stuff they peddle out on Cbeebies and there are no 'sing-song' moments for me to have to mute! Also, I don't know any other two year old who can correctly identify and pronouce 'carnotaurus', 'saichania', 'macroplata' and 'parasaurolophus' so I'm sure there is some sublimnal educational messages including in each episode!
(as you can see I used toothpaste boxes, cereal packets and cardboard loo roll tubes to make our figures stand up - just in case you thought I had lost my edge!)
Apparently you need a deck of at least 40 trading cards to play the game (cynical, moi?) - happily Vin hasn't picked up on the fact that you can actually buy the cards, and he is very happy playing with our homemade version!
I'm also dreading the day when my son tells me he doesn't want to play with my DIY playthings made out of rubbish and he actually wants real toys to play with.
So there you have it folks. A little compromise on my part and a lot of fun to be had.
What are your kiddos hooked on?