Smart TV for Kids

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It's no secret I grew up on PBS. At our house, TV was limited to PBS and sports for our formative years, and my mom loves to tell the story (OK, she only tells it when I prod her... but I can tell it's a fond memory) of me, age 2 or so, hollering at her from the jungle gym at the park in our neighborhood, "What time is it???" Why was a toddler so obsessed with time? I had a hot, daily, 3 o'clock date with Sesame Street. I continued to watch Sesame Street when I was "too old" for it, and also picked up new favorites like 3-2-1 Contact, The Electric Company, and Square One (PLEASE tell me someone else out there remembers the Fat Boys on Square One singing "One thousand times one million... that's ONE BILLION" about records and hamburgers? Oh my gosh! I've been searching for this on and off since YouTube was invented... here it is!). Anyway, all this to say, PBS's kids programming ruled while I was growing up, and it still does. Their latest educational AND awesome show, which debuts tomorrow, is WordGirl. It's an animated show about a girl who's a student and a superhero, who has a preternaturally expansive vocabulary. What's your favorite PBS kids' programming memory?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

My most memorable experience with PBS came when I was five years old and Mr. Hooper died. Big Bird and I learned together why Mr. Hooper wasn't ever coming back.

Sent by Amanda | 2:44 PM | 9-6-2007

3-2-1 Contact ruled! I absolutely loved that show when I was a kid. I still remember being introduced to Dizzy Gillespie for the first time on the show - those cheeks!

Sent by andy carvin | 3:14 PM | 9-6-2007

I can't speak enough about how influential PBS was in my childhood. My mother still occasionally tells the story of my own daily ritual when I was 3 or 4 years old.

She would corral me in from playing outside, set me on the run a few feet from the television. And there I would sit, mesmerized by Big Bird and Snuffleupagus. At the end of the show, I would wipe the drool that has been flowing from my thumb down to my elbow and dripping onto the floor and crawl on the couch to take a nap while my mother read the paper.

Sent by Tyler Gibson | 3:35 PM | 9-6-2007

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from