Friday, 6 May 2011

Wiggle Free Zone

We live in a house devoid of The Wiggles.  I'm proud of the fact that in Noah's almost 3 years we have managed to  avoid the biggest marketing juggernaut in the under 8's crowd.  He knows the Wiggles vaguely from other kids but he's never seen their show or a DVD - we are a strictly Play School only kinda house.

As a result we are generally very 'branding' free and have managed to avoid almost all merchandise (barring some Toy Story figurines and Mr Potato Head but that doesn't count because he is a real toy).  I've become a bit of a tyrant about it.  I don't know why but I just hate all that stuff - why must everything be so heavily branded for kids.  Do you know how hard it was to find underpants for my newly toilet trained boy that didn't feature a TV or movie character on them??  It makes me cringe when I see kids dressed head to toe in Thomas/Ben10/Wiggles etc etc - sometimes a mash up of all of them - yikes.  Not only is it unnecessary branding those clothes are uh-gly.

Every single one of the following items I have purchased for Noah came in various 'brandings' and I had to search to find generic versions.

Fold out sofa
School bag
Musical instruments
Train Set
Cricket Bat
Boogie Board
Every conceivable item of clothing - even shoes FFS.

Don't even get me started on the ice cream/milk/yoghurt/biscuits/cheese/snacks - all loaded with more sugar than the standard varieties.

Anyhow I digress - yesterday we went to see one of the children's concerts by The West Australia Symphony Orchestra (which by the way are fantastic if you haven't been).

It was all going nicely and we enjoyed some fun and dancing to 'Flight of the Bumblebee' and the 'William Tell Overture' when lo and behold The Wiggles.  Every kid in that place and their parents knew those damn songs except me and Noah.  He looked around as the packed house did every move and sang every word.  My poor deprived 'Suzuki' music kid who knows every traditional children's song and nursery rhyme was the odd one out.  I actually felt bad - am I doing him an injustice?  Are the Wiggles an institution of childhood that no child should be deprived? Have they been added to UNICEF's 'The Convention on the Rights of the Child'?

What do you think?  Are you pro Wiggles or anti Wiggles?  Do you care one way or the other?


  1. I have bought a few DVds for my little girl, but not the ones with their original songs - just the covers they've done of traditional nursery rhymes.
    She's right into Dora at the moment, so I think I can safely pack away all of her Wiggly movies. I cant bloody stand them - grown men shouldnt wear skivvies!

  2. Kellie you are so right. I didn't even dare go into my thought on the creeepiness of four grown men in a kids entertainment troupe. I mean I don't wanna be sued but I have always had my suspicions!!!!!

  3. Haha! My Mum saw them in concert back when they were still The Cockroaches, I dont know whats worse!

  4. My girl was the same. She only knows a little of it but it doesn't matter to her. We're trying not to stick with one show and we do avoid too much brands. I decide on the cuteness factor instead.

  5. Anti-Wiggles here!!!!!! I'm sure they're fantastic and all, but there is more to the world than the Wiggles and I declared my house a Wiggles-free zone from the moment I had children. We have one dvd given to us, and my sil asked my express permission if it was okay and I said I could live with one. My girls have a healthy balance of diverse interests. I also objected to the commercialism of the Wiggles especially in that going to a concert to see them, they pack in around $100,000 ppl, and charge $50 a ticket. No thanks, I'll stick to playschool!

  6. I'm not a fan of branded everything. I don't get the Wiggles nappy thing - don't know how I'd feel about putting my face on a product that gets filled with shit.

  7. I think everything in moderation is the key, branded and generic. I don't have an issue with the kids watching The Wiggles or any other 'brand' of entertainment - Xander absolutely loved them growing up. I think good on Murray, Jeff, Anthony and Greg for being brave enough to step out of their comfort zone, dress up in skivvies and make shit-loads of money! But given the extra cost involved with all the branded goods you can purchase these days, the kids know they are bought for special occasions only and know not to expect them each and every time we are out shopping (with the exception of Ben 10 chocolate custard which ROCKS and is bought weekly!!). I think a little bit of exposure to everything is better than none at all, but that's just my personal opinion. Sandra xx

  8. Hi! I'm a mum of two who agrees that moderation is the key too.
    My children are not completely shielded from such things as the wiggles but I prefer to encourage playschool. I try not to buy branded products but we do have Dora yoghurt (no reason just they come in a convenient 12 pack that my daughter will eat). However people are often buying my kids branded products and so it's often not in our control.
    I was bought up being shielded from many popular TV shows and branded products. I loved my lego and watching hardly any TV. This DID have a negative impact once I was at school. I was 'out-of-the-loop' and while I was happy to do my own thing, friendships were hard when I couldn't talk barbie world or know who a certain TV or cartoon character was. As an early childhood teacher I've also seen several children experience the same difficulties.
    Don't get me wrong I don't allow lots of things, but I also believe moderation is the key.

  9. What do you think of State funded museums in Australia such as the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney doing Wiggles Exhibitions? Should our museums be promoting the commercialization and screentime with children as education?

  10. Ha, I went to this exact same WASO concert! We were with my sister and nephew and they have a very branded household (he was very excited by the Wiggles songs) but in our house I'm just like you, and to the best of my ability (gifts sometimes excluded to be polite) have no Wiggles/Thomas/Dora bla bla stuff at all.

    Funny, I have the 2012 WASO brochure next to my computer ready to buy tickets for one for next year but now you've reminded me, I'm not so sure! Most of it was great though, I just hope another year older won't mean my boy thinks he's all deprived!


Hi thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. It is nice to know someone is listening.


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