For a while I was using a baby carrier similar to this one to hold Mister Finnigus while I did chores / ran errands. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, juggling chainsaws, you name it. Sometimes I’d sit him down in his high-chair in the kitchen, give him some books and things to play with, and turn on some jams (Mister Finnigus’ favorites on Spotify) while I’d rustle up some grub for dinner. I’d heard of kids videos playlists, but had so far managed without.
After a while of this, Mister Finnigus said-to-me-he-said: “Listen, Dad! I’ve had enough of your shit; I don’t care what you have to do, I’m bored!”
Damn You, Ayi
It was clear I needed to find safe enrichment activities for this pre-toddler to do while my hands were full. Activity books and sticker mats and lego blocks are all-well-and-good while the parent is there to engage / refocus attention, but these types of activities weren’t working for me. Whenever I needed to fully divert attention to something more important — like cutting onions — Mister Finnigus would be there, tugging at my pants legs and yelling: “Bao-bao! Bao-bao!” Which is cutesy Chinese for “pick me up, asshole!”
PBS Kids Videos Playlists for Kids
Anywho, I eventually turned to YouTube. I’m especially fond of the older PBS programming from my childhood. Though Wishbone keeps Mister Finnigus’ attention for a little under 5 minutes, that’s just not long enough for me to grate my carrots and milk the cow. So I’ve put together a Kermit-centric playlist of short kids videos and clips that I consider to be higher-brow children’s entertainment. It keeps his attention in a way that makes me uncomfortable, but the educational value is strong and it helps me get my jobs done:
This playlist is almost an hour long and I’m adding to it on the regular. Best suited for kids 1 to 3 years old. I try to keep Mister Finnigus’ TV time under 20 minutes, every other day at the most. Life doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s our goal.