If you’ve ever watched a kids show you understand that they are as much for the adults as the kids. The parents or adult figures on kids shows make as many mistakes as the kids and they all learn a lesson in the end. One of the best shows to emphasis this is Bluey, the Australian show about a family of blue heelers, and I want to be the dad from Blue.
My desire to be Bandit Heeler when I grow-up isn’t because being a dog would be better than being a human but because it is how I want to be as a father and how I would like to teach and raise my children. The show focuses on imaginative play and the lessons that the family learns.
If you have watched Bluey and know the theme song then you know the family is composed of Mum, Dad, Bingo, and Bluey and it is based on the creators experience raising two daughters. In most episodes the family is having some sort of adventure like going to the hardware store, a friend’s pool, or to the dump and like any good story there is conflict and resolution.
In the episode where Bluey and Bandit go to the dump Bluey is dismayed to learn that her father is throwing away Bluey’s old drawings. It is explained to Blue that the paper is going to be recycled and turned into other drawings by other kids for other parents and Bluey is more than happy then to let the old pictures go but now Bandit is sentimental about a couple and they keep those and recycle the rest to continue the cycle of paper getting recycled and becoming drawings by other kids for other parents.
The show is full of lessons for both kids and parents. In another episode Bandit takes Bingo and Bluey to a friend’s pool and Mum warns them to not just take the fun stuff but Bandit only takes the fun stuff and Bingo and Bluey can’t fully enjoy the pool without sunscreen, goggles, or a towel. Eventually Mum shows up and everything works out.
Play based learning is becoming more and more popular. The pre-school we have decided to send the boys to is a play based learning program. The speech therapy they receive is play based. It is exciting to watch them learn and develop and to guide them in that learning. Shows like Bluey serve as instructional manuals for parents. We can take the games from that show like climbing Mount Mum and Dad or airplanes and applying it to our own play based learning sessions.
Learning happens best when we don’t realize we are learning. That is one of the lessons Bluey teaches us. It is about setting up scenarios and acting them out to teach important lessons. Above and beyond that Bandit Heeler is a patient, kind, and understanding parent. He and Mum are examples of what parents should strive to be and when I grow up I’m going to be the dad from Bluey.