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Toddler TV: Thoughts on Dora and Bubble Guppies

We’re grateful for receiving Nickelodeon DVDs to review.

My daughter is lucky. She gets to watch her favorite shows without commercials, without getting up early on Saturday mornings (wait – that one makes me lucky), and without waiting a week in between episodes. On the one hand, it’s nice to have so many choices via streaming and DVDs. We can have a Dora marathon while I try to get work done or if we’re just feeling snuggly.

On the other hand… we’re usually several seasons behind what’s currently airing on TV. For toddlers and preschoolers this is usually okay. They aren’t tweeting or Facebooking about the latest adventure or where they last saw Swiper. What does happen is mommy notices a major upgrade in animation and the intro when watching the Dora the Explorer Butterfly Ball DVD (Amazon link).

dora butterfly ball

Dora’s got moves like Jagger… jaguar… she’s more fluid now. Even her hair moves in the breeze. The colors really pop now and it’s not so… flat… graphics-wise. The plot lines are still rather predictable and repetitive, but that’s what toddlers thrive on for learning (so I’ll let it slide…for now).

Rissa really enjoyed the Butterfly Ball DVD and the butterfly episode. She’s asked to watch it several times. Plus, it came with butterfly stickers! That made it ultra-cool.



Once upon a time, before having kids, I was not a fan of Dora. As Rissa continues to watch it, I can see she’s learning from it. She responds to the show and is often correct. She enjoys the “We did it!” celebratory dance. Best of all? She incorporates the characters, places, and stories into her pretend play. Oh! and she is showing an interest in learning Spanish – actually asking to watch our language DVDs and for me to count in Spanish with her.


Another show she enjoys, but is a rarer treat since we cannot access it via streaming, is Bubble Guppies. Their catchy songs lodge themselves in my brain so we sing them for weeks after watching one episode.

bubble guppies

The latest one is all about jobs. Rissa seems to favor the one about the dentist (probably because she hasn’t been to one yet). But hey, anything that makes getting a job and working seem fun to her is a good thing… even if she currently wants to be a clown when she grows up. Overall the Bubble Guppies On the Job DVD (Amazon affiliate link) is an entertaining one while teaching a thing or two.

I know she’s paying attention because these professions come up in her imaginative play!

What are your thoughts on these shows? Do your kids watch them?

Disclosure: We received the above mentioned DVDs to review and linked to them on Amazon with our affiliate link.


Monday 18th of March 2013

We actually have both of these DVDs and the Dora one is my son's first exposure to the show. I didn't think to turn it on for him sooner, but he really likes Dora now and asks to watch her every now and then.

I like that these shows are educational and fun to watch.


Sunday 17th of March 2013

My son loves Dora, even more than Diego, which is weird because he usually likes male characters more. He hasn't picked up on any of the Spanish yet, though. I find the show quite catchy, and even though it's repetitive, totally don't want to claw out my ears or eyes when he watches it on Netflix :-p

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 18th of March 2013

It's grown on me! Lately she really likes Diego because of all the animals. I didn't know how much Spanish she'd picked up until I said uno and she counted to 5 in Spanish. Here I thought I was starting a lesson, haha.


Sunday 17th of March 2013

I know Dora would seem so odd if I didn't have kids. My Girl too has a big interest in Spanish. I found a little song about colors to the tune of Frère Jacques to teach my Scouts and she loves it and adds other colors to it. Red is rojo, Green is verde, Blue azul, Black negro, yellow amarillo, purple is morado, brown cafe, brown cafe. Can't remember where I found it. I bet YouTube.

Darcy Zalewski

Monday 18th of March 2013

I'm going to sing that to her tomorrow! Hopefully she won't get confused with Where is Thumbkin since that's the same tune too.