Identical twins, B1 and B2, first hit screens in 1992. The pair have entertained children with their adventures in Cuddlestown with the teddies, Amy, Lulu and Morgan and Rat in the Hat. The duo have since been syndicated across the globe in different languages, transformed into a live show and reimagined as an animation.
The Bananas in Pyjamas isn’t an ‘educational’ show like some children’s series that teach children letters, numbers and colors. The animated pair’s show is more about having fun and learning through the adventures and problems that B1 and B2 encounter through creative storytelling in each episode.
Children are keen to discover the world around them. Every day they encounter and learn new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, colors, shapes and textures. For children that enjoy watching B1 and B2 and the teddies, you can encourage children’s learning and development with toys as they will relate to the characters and evoke emotion with their familiarity to them.
Stuffed animals and soft toys are cute and cuddly, but is there really any educational value to your child’s development and well being? Babies learn about the world around them through their senses, one important sense being the sensation of touch. The soft fur, embroidered facial features and pyjamas worn by the bananas offer many different textures. Consequently, these textures to stimulate their senses and assist in development.
As babies grow into toddlers, plush soft toys of the bananas can help children learn and recognise familiar words, like ‘banana’, ‘B1’ and ‘B2’ and identify and learn colors, like the blue and white striped pyjamas that the bananas wear. Stuffed toys can become constant companions for children. A stuffed toy offers emotional support whereby behaviors and experiences can be joined with their cuddly friends and mimicked to overcome challenging situations and comfort them, like bedtime and feeding routines.
As children grow toys are thrown about, dragged, hugged, kissed and cuddled. As pre-schoolers, children engage in more imaginative play. Children can re-enact an adventure they’ve watched from a Bananas in Pyjamas episode or any event they imagine and develop their own story and have elaborate conversations with their toys, where toys may experience everything a child experiences.
Music and sound stimulates brain activity. Toys that play tunes, songs and talking toys boost cognitive development in children. Studies have shown that babies and toddlers that are exposed to music, tend to have more advanced skills in learning, critical and logical thinking and problem solving skills than their peers. A Bananas toy that talks, sings or plays music can also enhance memory and develop language skills. Through the repetition of music and phrases, children remember the words and improve memory storage and processing. ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking B1?’ ‘I think I am B2’… ‘It’s toy time!’
Playing games are an excellent way to teach children patience, concentration, fine motor and listening skills, and good sportsmanship. As their little hands hold the Bananas playing cards they build dexterity and agility and eye hand coordination with cards.
Most games promote memory recall, pattern recognition, matching, math and language skills, and problem solving skills to engage their intellect and strategy to win. Playing games also develops your child’s social skills as they interact with peers in a some friendly competition.
Dressing up in costumes allows children to express themselves through role play and encourages them to expand their imagination in pretend play. For example a B1 or B2 costume breaks down the walls of reality as children can pretend to be one of the bananas that they’ve observed on the television show. Recalling pictures of the characters that children have built in their mind, assists cognitive development and helps children to observe, discover, and undertake deductive reasoning to solve problems and be creative while in character.
Pretending to be someone different from themselves, develops a child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills and fine motor skills. Social skills are a valuable development for children in role play, teaching them to socialise and cooperate with others and allowing them to positively interact and build friendships with others.