Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Children's TV in the UK: Something Special: Out and About, CBeeBies

When we were in KL, we didn't get CBeeBies.  I think that's only offered on Unifi (?) but we only had Astro which had Disney Jr, Nickelodeon and BabyTV.

In the UK, those same channels are only available on Sky TV which we don't have.  But we have CBeeBies instead on free tv!  CBeeBies programmes tend to be more educational and less entertainment compared to the ones on Disney Jr.

There is one I particularly like.  It's called Something Special:  Out and About.  The presenter is a guy called Justin and his alter ego is a silly clown called Mr Tumble.   When I first watched it, I thought it was a signing programme and thought it was another one of those baby signing shows.

After a bit, I realised that this programme is actually aimed at children with special needs.  What I particularly like about the show is that they feature children with all kinds of disabilities on the show going about their lives and doing things that non-disabled kids do as well such as going to the park, going into outer space (in their imaginations lah!), borrowing a book at the library etc.

I think that's fantastic because as a disabled child, I'm sure you rarely get to see other kids just like you on telly, doing fun things. It's like me when I was a kid and watching Sesame Street and wondering why none of them were Chinese like me.  How come none of them looked like me when I sounded like them and wanted the same things they did and sang the same songs they did and dreamt the same dreams?

I have friends who are parents to children with special needs and one common frustration they voice is that other parents often hesitate to let their own normal kids play with them.  Well guess what people - it won't hurt your child to play with another child who's got autism or Down's Syndrome or is in a wheelchair.  The last I heard, children with disabilities are children too.

It's a great programme and I recommend you check it out with your child.


  1. We love Mr Tumble since 2010 in our household! Discovered it on holiday in York, and we watch reruns on YouTube :)

    1. My son loves Mr Tumble too! We've just bought him a circus tent from IKEA and he's having a blast pretending to be Mr Tumble. Great programme on telly!