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Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
YouTube/Hey Duggee Official
# parents panel
12 kids' TV shows and films that parents love too, from Hey Duggee to Fireman Sam
We asked Irish parents for the shows and movies they’ve secretly grown to enjoy.

BY THE TIME your little one reaches toddler and preschool age, they’re well able to tell you what they want. And that’s where the trouble starts, from dealing with tantrums to navigating playdates. That’s why it can be so helpful to hear how other parents are getting through it all.

Our Toddler and Preschool Parents Panel is made up of parents with little ones from 24 months up to age five.

This week, we asked parents to reveal the show their kids watch that they secretly love. Turns out, parents are divided on Peppa Pig but they’re definitely fans of Hey Duggee...


What is the one kids’ TV show or movie you secretly love? 

Current fave has to be Hey Duggee, it’s just lovely. It’s funny, clever, sweet, and the accents aren’t too annoying!

- Michelle O’Brien

Movie-wise, I can still quite happily watch Finding Nemo or The Incredibles for the thousandth time, but the second the Peppa Pig credits come on – I am out!

- Kaisu Healy

Tragic, I know, but I actually love Fireman Sam. It reminds me so much of watching cartoons with my brother when he was small. Plus, lamenting the misfortune of any town having Norman Price living in it never gets old.

- Tracy Kilgallon

There is nothing secret about it, Hey Duggee is my BAE! (I don’t even know if that is the right use of that word, but we are big Duggee fans here). The episodes are only 10 to 15 minutes long, lots of bright colours and catchy songs. Highlights include the Spanish soap-opera loving chickens, the Stick Song with lyrics “stick, stick, sticky, stick” and the Apocalypse Now inspired episode. 

So enamoured are we with Duggee in this house that my husband and I made a Hey Duggee cake for our daughter’s second birthday. This involved a practice run and a whole load of coloured fondant. 

- Deirdre McCormack

Hey Duggee Official / YouTube

My particular favourite would have to be the Bedtime Story [on the BBC kids channel Cbeebies]. Anyone for Tom Hardy reading them to sleep? Oh, yes please.

- Juliet Ward

My husband and I are big fans of Disney/Pixar films, so as soon as we found out I was pregnant, we stopped watching any new movies so that we would have a big stash to watch with the kids! They still don’t really have the attention span for movies and are more interested in Paw Patrol, but we are waiting patiently with the Sky Box full of unwatched films and a drawer full of old DVDs. 

- Joanne Burke 

My girls have not yet moved past their infatuation with Peppa Pig. I can’t allow myself to like it – I have a strong moral objection to the unfavourable portrayal of poor Daddy Pig!

Some of the kids’ movies are very enjoyable – I remember telling work colleagues I had gone to the cinema to see The Lego Movie. They wrongly assumed I had brought my nephew with me – in fact it was just a regular date for my wife and I – she’s so lucky.

- Ger Lowry

I like Kazoops! It’s about a kid with a big imagination, and his family who are all very modern. Mum’s the mechanic, Gran does weights. The tunes are catchy and it’s just a nice show that doesn’t send my guy up the walls. 

- Niamh Doyle

Kazoops! - Official / YouTube

Scooby Doo, for the mystery, the mayhem and the meddling kids! The best part is that my daughter’s favourite episodes are the oldest ones and they are easily as entertaining for me as for her. Shaggy, Scooby and the gang are a very welcome craze in this house! 

- Nicola Barry

I have recently introduced my kids to Yo Gabba Gabba! I unsuccessfully tried to convert my nephew to its charms years ago, but luckily my kids love it so now I have the perfect excuse to watch.

- Sadhbh Ni Ogain

We love nothing more than family movie time with the usual Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. and Despicable Me are always amazing and a treat. However, one find which was surprisingly good and featured music from Snoop Dogg was Ask the StoryBots

- Cliondhna Kerrigan

I always looked forward to the stage when my eldest would be able to watch the classic Disney films and musicals from my childhood, and so on the pretext of “film education” we instilled Film Friday once my son got old enough. Obviously, this was the exhausted-end-of-the-week excuse to watch screens (relatively) guilt-free. 

I love sticking on Mary Poppins (the original), The Sound of Music and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Dinotrux, on the other hand I could live without….

- Emily Lewis

More: 8 mums and dads share the parenting rules they thought they’d never break – until they had kids

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