Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oh, In the Night Garden...How I love you!

In the Night Garden...Oh how I love you!

Stella has never really shown an interest in television, which could have been seen as a good thing. Until she became more and more energetic through the days and more and more restless through the afternoons. Some afternoons I would nearly collapse in a heap and proclaim "Please sit down and watch playschool, all the other kids are!". After trying and failing with Playschool, Bob the Builder, Bananas in Pyjamas and all the other brightly coloured, highly animated and jingle busting shows currently on the childrens channel, I concluded that Stella just didn't like television and that I would be thankful for this in the future. That's when we discovered In the Night Garden. 

Strategically placed in the time frame of 6:30pm to 7:00pm, In the Night Garden has become part of our nightly routine. For a whole half an hour Stella will sit down (yes, actually sitting down!) cuddled up to me on the couch and watch in awe as her favourite characters navigate a magical garden before bed. Oh, In the Night Garden how I love you! I love the half hour of rest you give me a day, the half hour of cuddles your convince my toddler to give me and the half hour of smiles and giggles I see exuding her little chubby face.

With the failure of many televisions shows to really grab Stellas attention and take her away on an imaginary journey, I am left pondering why a show so simple and repetitive has managed to reel her in enthusiastically. And it seems I am not alone, many Mothers of children under two years old no longer watch the news before putting their children to bed, but watch 'Iggle Piggle' and 'Upsy Daisy' at play.

Before In the Night Garden, there really hasn't been many suitable shows for children in the younger age group. Children in this age of 12 months to 2 years especially like to be stimulated with less colours, noises and commentary. They seem to respond better to low stimulation and repetition rather than the hustle bustle of some programmes. The setting for the show is somewhat natural- a green garden adorned with daisies, tall trees and birds, the very few characters featured speak short and repetitive phrases mixed in with curious, giggle inducing noises.

One of In the Night Gardens' producers says "We became very aware of the anxiety surrounding the care of young children which manifested itself in all kind of directions; but the one big subject that came up again and again was bedtime. It's the classic time for tension between children who want to stay up and parents who want them to go to bed... so this is a programme about calming things down whereas most children's TV is about gee-ing everything up."

And that it certainly does; calms things down. I find when 7:00pm rolls around I could quite easily be tucked up into bed myself. I'll let you in on a little secret... When struggling to fall asleep late at night I sometimes might play the soundtrack of In the Night Garden on my iPhone to call upon the sleepy vibes.

Oh, In the Night Garden, how I love you!

Have you jumped aboard the ninky nonk and the pinky ponk at 6:30pm? Do your children respond well to this sweet but strange television show? I found this article on the phenomenon of In the Night Garden to be an insightful read as to why our toddlers love it so!

Plenty of love,


  1. I would often look at this show and fail to see the attraction. But I get it now. And it is interesting as you watch your children go through different phases and growth, and their favourite show changes to suit. Well done on finding a peaceful block of time in your day.

  2. I always laughed at this show before my first born came along. I actually thought the people who had invented it must have been high on something to be quite honest. It just seemed so ridiculous.

    But magically it does work. As soon as Makka Pakka starts washing everyone's faces and the Pontipines come out of their little house, he's there completely mesmerized by it. 6.30pm sure is a nicer time of the day thanks to the Night Garden :)