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The Doctor Is In
Doc McStuffins, that is! Disney Junior’s newest series is a hit with my preschoolers and my teens- it features a young girl, affectionately called “Doc”, who is a doctor for toys and games. She lives with her mom and dad and little brother Donny, and often helps him and other neighborhood kids out when their toys break or stop functioning properly. She gets her love of fixing ouchies from her mom, who is a doctor.
The key to Doc’s success is her stethoscope, which she wears all the time. Around others, and outside of her bedroom “office”, it’s like any other toy stethoscope. But when she has a patient and brings them in to the office (the other kids aren’t allowed in during this time), her stethoscope glows magically and all of the toys in her room come to life! Along with her nurse, a toy hippopotamus named Hallie, Doc is able to treat the toys for whatever ails them- from poor vision, to strange spots, to a too- full belly. Sometimes, there are cases where a specialist is required, such as when stitches are needed. Since Doc can't sew, she refers these cases to her mom, who is more than happy to consult or provide a remedy.
Doc is always very careful and kind with her patients, and does her best to figure out the problem. Needless to say she is always successful, as she never gives up without determining the cause of a toy’s malady. Watching this series, kids will learn a lot about how their bodies work, in an age appropriate way. For example, there’s the case of the overstuffed alligator (from a game that mimics Hungry, Hungry Hippos). In this episode, we learn that you should only eat when you’re hungry, and you should stop when you’re full- otherwise, your tummy can get upset! This makes those little lessons we try to teach our kids easy to understand, and reinforces them at the same time. (I’m happy to report that after removing the excess game marbles from his tummy, the alligator in question was fully cured.)
Unlike the interactive preschool shows that speak directly to kids to get them engaged (like Dora the Explorer, “Where are we Going?” and “Do you see Boots’ shoe?” are examples), Doc McStuffins focuses on storytelling and explores many different emotions, rather then just one. Preschoolers are capable of experiencing many different emotions in a short time, which you already know if you’ve ever had one. This show aims to mimic real life by providing many different personalities and emotions for kids to engage, like the hypochondriac snowman Chilly who always thinks he’s going to melt (they have to remind him that he’s stuffed), or the fun- loving, brave dragon Stuffy.
One other thing that I love about this series is that it features an African American girl as the lead character. Unlike the stereotypes that are supported on many mainstream shows in the evening, this one showcases African American families in a normal way- not in the loud, colorful language that is often depicted on regular TV. Granted, it’s a kids’ show, so we wouldn’t expect a lot of that anyway, but it’s still nice to see. I love that my two and four year old can relate to Doc and her brother, because their relationship mimics the relationship between my younger kids. It’s sweet to see them pretend to be Doc and Donny, and even sweeter to hear my two year old sing one of the songs from the show about feeling so much better. (I love it when he substitutes “mom” for “Doc”- so cute!)
Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun show for kids of all kinds and ages, this one is a must see. Make an appointment to see the “Doc” today!
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