10 Reasons I Love Dora the Explorer
The first word out of Moxie in the morning is usually, "oooooo-RA!"; the last word from her is usually the same. Out of the 10 or so words that Moxie speaks, half are related to Dora the Explorer.
Moxie has it bad, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaallly bad. And yet we don't tune it down a notch; in fact, we bumped up her access to the shows, bought her a Dora doll, backpack and Boots. And yet Dora is second only to Caillou in annoyance-levels for us – hearing the questions Dora asks on repeat is like listening to a bad, broken record that mated with nails on chalkboard.
Here's why I love Dora the Explorer:
1. Dora is interactive: Moxie cannot sit down and watch Dora – she jumps up and participates. She answers Dora when she is asked a question, she hand-stops Swiper from swiping, she cheers them on and "sings" along.
2. Dora is repetitive: Yeah, sure, it drives ME nuts and I think I'm going to tear my hair out if I hear those directions drawn out ONE. MORE. TIME, but this is perfect for Moxie. Lots of repetition helps her get it and helps her be confident and in charge. She knows what's coming next.
3. She's educational! I thought it was a crock but then I heard Moxie saying "- asssssH" and realized she was saying "gracias" – holy cow!
4. Dora is self-sufficient. She brings what she needs and she finds what she doesn't have. I like Moxie having a role model that uses her head.
5. Dora is a practical problem-solver. Dora's like the Spanish-speaking Nancy Drew for little kids – she has the inexhaustable backpack, she uses maps, she solves problems using logic. She approaches everything in a calm, level-headed way, and finds a way through obstacles. Sometimes the way through just happens to involve going through a volcano.
6. Dora celebrates accomplishments. That "We Did It" song and dance?! It's actually pretty great – a recap of the adventure, celebrating what they did that was hard for them. We use that with other things at home now – when Moxie clears her plate, puts on her clothes by herself, makes her bed, "We did it, we did it, we did it, YAY! Moxie cleared her plate and put her dish away, YAY!" – she loves it.
7. Moxie's Dora and Boots dolls provide her with an opportunity to role play. Which she does. She puts the Dora doll to bed, she "talks" to the doll, brushes her hair. (She also throws her out the window and out of the loft but that's a different story.)
8. Dora's clothes. Well, at least the original Dora was always wearing something simple and non-frilly. Just shorts and a t-shirt. Sensible shoes. She wasn't trying to pander to anyone except the adventures she wanted to have and be prepared for.
9. Dora's family family plays a small role in the series altogether, but her mom is pretty empowering – an archaeologist! Even though her parents let her wander around alone in a forest with a monkey, they seem to be solid and caring with wholesome values.
10. Dora is great bait for US. We use Dora shamelessly to get Moxie to come back, to turn around, to eat, to clean up – "Dora eats!", "Want to watch Dora?", "Hey Moxie! DORRRRAAAAA!" – it's gold.
What's not to love?!