I know, I'm a terrible dad but sometimes I have to plop the kid in front of the TV. Are some shows better than others in terms of positive role models for girls, lack of violence, and learning? She currently loves Kipper, wiggles, blues clues, and dora.
Did you already check out the other questions tagged with television? Notable examples are (in no particular order):
- How do you gauge if a show, movie or story may be too frightening for your child?
- Is there any consensus among researchers concerning the effects of watching television and the likes for a child's development?
- What TV shows are wholesome for primary-schoolers?
- How many hours of television per day are acceptable for a pre-schooler?
- At what age should a child be introduced to the Television?
Generally speaking, toddlers should not watch a lot of TV, and not in long blocks of time, and certainly not too much action (bad: Tom&Jerry -- better: Barbapapa, Bob the Builder). I would really recommend something that is slow-paced, something that can be enjoyed in small chunks of time, and something you can stand hearing repeated a hundred times over.
I would personally limit it to 15-minute sessions, maybe 2 or 3 times per day if you must, but I know I'm relatively conservative with these numbers. My toddler is happy with a single episode of Barbapapa, but the upbeat Pink Panther cartoons demand two or three episodes.
I found Dora the Explorer was good, as it seemlessly introduced the concept of multiple languages. But you already have that one.
If you can pre-vet them, try nature programs too. Our girl (now 8) is a huge fan of David Attenborough.