My favourite kids show is called Bluey. Read that again; MY favourite kids show. My daughter enjoys it too, but she’s not as enthusiastic about it as I am. If you’re not familiar, it’s on ABC Kids and it’s about a family of blue heeler dogs.
Quintessentially Aussie, and oh so relatable, it centres around Bluey, a 6-year-old blue heeler and her little sister Bingo who is 4.
One of my particular favourite episodes is called ‘Bob Bilby’. It’s the theme about screen addiction and internet addiction that get me. It’s Bingo's turn to bring her preschool’s Bob Bilby puppet home - as Bingo says “he’s not actually real, he’s a puppet, and you have to fold his ears down when you say that” - and record their weekend adventures in the scrapbook. Excitement ensues about what to show Bob Bilby.
Throughout the weekend, Bluey and Bingo show Bob Bilby the tablet which takes photos, plays games and broadcasts cartoons. In very relatable terms, Bob Bilby also witnesses mum and dad on their phones and watching tv. Poor Bingo is devastated to discover that the only pictures she has for the Bob Bilby scrapbook are of the family huddled around a screen of some type - “these are just all of Bob watching cartoons.... he doesn’t look like he’s having much fun”.
The family then resolve to put down their devices, hide them in the laundry, and show Bob Bilby a good time. One of my favourite lines is when Dad says “this is all my stuff from when I used to be cool” - when they hunt out the old Polaroid camera to take photos (as the kids have no clue how to take photos without a device).
Bike rides, park trips and the slide all make for a fun family afternoon - all without screens or devices.
A clever cartoon, tackling the seriously hot topics of screen addiction, internet addiction and screen time for kids, in a relatable and engaging way, delivering a poignant message to our kids. And dads too for that matter- I’m off to take my daughter to the park.