In the Night Garden has a predictable and recognisable structure. Each episode ends with the colorful exotic birds singing. After each episode, the characters go to sleep (except Igglepiggle, who wanders through the forest falling over and waving) before the forest gets dark and the stars appear.
The rhyme is another regular part of the program that toddlers love. Evidence suggests that nursery rhymes, songs, and other linguistic tools can help children develop in a variety of ways. This is especially true for reading. So although adults may think the Igglepiggle song (“Yes, my name is Igglepiggle, Igglepiggle-niggle-wiggle-woo”) sounds like nonsense to toddlers, it has instant appeal.
Who is not in bed? DHX Media
The simple sounds in the character names and dialogue reflect the development of a toddler’s speech. They usually master vowel sounds before consonants. The Tombliboos, for example, are called Unn, Ooo, and Eee to reflect how a child might pronounce the numbers One, Two Three.
The Tombliboos are always in the same order, and their names are spoken according to the order they appear. There is a lot of use of words similar to Baby babble. The structure is consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel (CVCV), as in the case of the small, beige doll called Makka Pakka.
In addition to language, toddlers use gestures extensively in their communication. They will often express feelings and ideas in this manner before they are able to express them verbally. In the Night Garden, characters do the same. In some episodes, characters give each other Kisses and Wave to each other. These are gestures toddlers enjoy and are used to.
Characters often dance to express their excitement, and Igglepiggle will shrug his shoulders when he’s unsure about something.
Around age two, children begin to engage with and their imagination. It is evident in their play as they move away from physical play (like banging bricks against each other) to symbolic play. For example, pushing a brick across the floor and pretending that it’s a car.
In the Night Garden appears to be a replica of this early symbol play. Pontipines are ten dolls that represent a family who live in a semi-detached house at the base of a large tree. In the same way that toddlers play pretending to be on the phone, the “Trubliphones”, which allows characters to communicate as they walk through the garden, mirror the game.
A common behavior among toddlers is the attachment they have to a particular toy or blanket. It may be comforting to them that Igglepiggle is always seen with a red blanket. This is a clear recognition of the importance and role of a comforter in helping children to learn control of their emotions.
The Night Garden’s content reflects the development stage of the audience it is aimed at. Andrew Davenport (also the co-creator of Teletubbies), the show’s creator, has an in speech sciences. On his shelves, he has works by well-known developmental psychology experts.
Adults are not the first to find something that is intended for children as entertainment so absurd and bizarre. Nursery rhymes have included a cow jumping on the moon and an elderly woman living in a boot. In The Night Garden, a colorful world designed to appeal to the curious minds and tired parents of young children, both would fit in.