Some preschool programmes claim too much about the benefits they deliver to children. But there is such a wealth of research surrounding the impact of Teletubbies that it's possible to present a pretty conclusive case on its behalf.
Teletubbies was never intended to be a formal learning experience. It is designed to help young children develop their physical, emotional and cognitive (mental) skills in a warm, loving, playful environment. It's not about teaching. It's about exploring, experimenting, experiencing and enjoyment.
For very young children, the sounds, colours, shapes and sizes in Teletubbies are stimulating and exciting. But more importantly they are safe and fun. Children learn most when they feel confident enough to be curious. Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are much-loved and trusted friends who always encourage and end every activity with a Big Hug.
The show continues to be relevant as children grow. Songs, dances and rhymes encourage physical expression, group engagement and a more extensive use of language. Short films featuring children and story-tellers open up a world outside the home environment.
Of course, TV can't do it all by itself. Teletubbies is a blessing when you have to do your household chores. But the best results come when parents and carers get involved in the world of imagination that children develop with the Teletubbies.
For children, the Teletubbies don't disappear when the TV is turned off - the experience continues, particularly if they have Teletubby books, toys and games. So if you can spare a little time to watch with them, it's something you can use to enrich the rest of your time together.