06 Mar Lessons Learnt from Thomas and Friends
Have you ever found yourself watching your child’s favourite TV shows long after they’ve disappeared to their room, or fallen asleep? I do that ALL the time! But it got me thinking – what lessons are there to learn from their TV shows?
As parents, I believe that we are all trying our best to instil good morals and habits into our kids. These days, it’s common for kids to watch TV and while I have never been funny about my kids and screen time, I do try to ensure that they watch TV shows that give great examples of how to be a kinder and better human. Thomas and Friends is a favourite for my transport-obsessed boys, so I thought I’d share some lessons that we have learnt from watching Thomas and Friends.
A constant theme throughout Thomas and Friends is the importance of friendship and being a good friend. As adults, we already know the benefits of having a great support system that cheers you on and catches you when you fall, but nurturing those friendships is a skill that needs to be encouraged from a young age. It is so easy to get caught up in the “me, me, me” so shows that inspire children to care more for others by being kind, are a great way to teach children to be better friends.
In Thomas and Friends, every train has a very important role to play and it’s up to each of them to be responsible enough to make sure that they do their part. This teaches children the importance of being responsible and following through with whatever they say that they are going to do, because if they don’t they will be letting others down.
Thomas might be small, but that never stops him from doing whatever he can to help around Sodor. The cheeky little engine teaches kids that even though things may seem scary at first, with a little bit of bravery and friends who support you, you can do anything you set your heart on.
Often, Thomas and Friends find themselves needing to be resourceful to solve a problem around the island of Sodor. While I love seeing how each episode encourages problem-solving, it’s the app that I feel offers incredible value to children. In the app, children must get their trains from one side to the other but are met with different problems each time like a rock fall, or a tunnel. They then must use tools like a light, or a drill to get past the obstacle, and successfully make their delivery.
Thomas and Friends encourage children to work as a team. In an episode that we recently watched, one of the trains were being serviced so Thomas and Friends worked as a team to pick up the slack, by sharing the responsibility and getting the job done
The lessons don’t just end there. The Thomas and Friends franchise continues to grow and branches out to include books, movies, TV shows, apps and toys ensuring that your child can continue to learn important life lessons with their favourite train.
We were recently sent a few Thomas and Friends toys for Axl’s 4th birthday, which both of our kids were excited to play with. Inspired by the TV show and books, our boys love creating their own Thomas and Friends stories through imaginative play. Playing helps them apply these life lessons in a more practical way and continues to encourage problem-solving and making better sense of their emotions.
Besides all the great life lessons that Thomas and Friends teaches our children, I thought I’d also share some quick ways that their new toys have taught them. To understand the physical, cognitive and emotional benefits of playing with Thomas and Friends, be sure to read here.
1. They learn to put the train tracks together, inspiring creativity and problem-solving.
2. The trains are numbered, teaching them to count and identify numbers.
3. The trains are different colours, teaching them colours.
4. The trains teach kids to tell and make up new stories, inspiring imaginative play.
5. Both of our boys love Thomas and Friends, encouraging them to share their toys and play together nicely.
6. They are in charge of cleaning up and taking care of their toys, teaching them responsibility.
7. There are several trains to collect, giving them a goal to work towards.
8. They learn about the different roles each train plays, teaching them more about transportation.
9. Putting the train tracks together and connecting the trains to their carts encourages fine-motor skills.
10. Having fun! At the end of the day, I really just want my boys to have fun playing together, and Thomas and Friends certainly encourages that in all ages!