For all you guys with toddlers, I have groundbreaking news. Disney is coming out with a Disney Junior channel! They currently have a large programming block for juniors from 4am-2pm, but starting in 2012 it's getting a standalone channel that'll be all little kids' shows all the time. 24/7. So next time your three-year-old throws a tantrum at midnight, you can just plop them down in front of some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
I'm just kidding. Don't do that.
Seriously, though, I think it's wonderful that Disney is creating targeted shows just for the little ones. I personally enjoy the occasional High School Musical marathon (oh Zac Efron, your simultaneous dribbling/singing/dancing skills never fail to impress), but I'm not so sure it's the most engaging thing to stick Some Boy in front of. He needs to learn basic skills like counting and ABCs before he can move on to bigger concepts like why the heck Sharpay is such a giant spotlight hog and what drives her to constantly attempt to steal Troy Bolton from doe-eyed Gabriella Montez (breathe Chelsea, breathe).
My favorite new show that Disney is gearing towards the toddler sector is called Jake and the Never Land Pirates. The show follows a cute, bubbly little group of child pirates as they sail around Never Land, solving pirate problems and having the occasional run-in with Captain Hook. Jake is the focal character and leads the group with his iconic cheer, “yo ho, mateys away!” There's also a song from the Never Land Pirate Band at the end of each episode that is all at once hilariously dorky and totally catchy. The recently-released Jake and the Never Land Pirates DVD even has sing-along versions of every song so they can all get really stuck in your head for days.
[youtube width=”420″ height=”315″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVKfps_BQWk[/youtube]
Since its launch just this past February, Jake and the Never Land Pirates has become cable's number one series for boys ages 2 through 5 and is on track to be Disney Channel's number one preschool series ever. I'm glad that something so education and enriching is doing so well.
The show's holiday episode, “It's A Winter Never Land!/Hook On Ice,” is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2 from 8:30-9AM EST/PST. Check it out with your kids and “have a yo ho happy winter treasure day!” You can check out more Jake and the Never Land Pirates over on DisneyJunior.com.
This post is sponsored by Disney Junior as part of a blog tour from Child’s Play Communication and Team Mom. All opinions are my own.