Note – The main video in this review below is not for children…. although the above video is as it introduces the cast of the series back in my day of watching Play School.
First of all, parents, if you have stumbled across this article thinking that this has something to do with an actual Play School Story Time which involves the awesomely designed clocks they had back in the day, then you might want to perhaps go to the Play School website instead which has content appropriate for your child, as this is more a video for those growing up in Australia while the time I was growing up (Early-Mid 90′s). Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Play School was a staple in an Aussie kids morning and afternoon viewing schedule, often taking place an hour before you had to head off to school and half an hour after school finished, this series was dedicated to bringing age-appropriate fun, games and education that encouraged a child to get moving, stimulate their brain and laugh at the many segments presented on their show. Every episode you were presented with an opening sequence (Which honestly after you hit about 10 you were easily able to parody the words), two or more hosts for every episode (Which were very interactive with their audience) and several segments which could be anything from a song (Ning Nang Nong anybody?) to arts and crafts (I still have some of my “Play School Art Projects” in a box somewhere) to the Square, Arch and Circle windows which told a story usually from a childs point of view and most probably most memorable: the famous Play School Story Clocks which both taught children time and delivered a story for the presenter to read.
Whilst most childrens shows seem to annoy parents after frequent watches, I have been told by many parents they didn’t find it a bad watch either (I mean, I can see how lots of family activities can be derived from the show). This is THE longest running childrens series running since 1966 and still proves to be popular with the younger audiences and shows no indicating of stopping anytime soon. Whilst none of the hosts from my time are still on the show, there is one that I must say stands out in my memory the most…. Noni Hazlehurst.
I warn you now, THIS IS NOT a Story Time for the young-audience, it is not too late to back down now….
In this Play-School themed storytime, Noni Hazlehurst reads the recently popular childrens (??) bedtime story Go the F**k to Sleep, authored by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés. Whilst I may have been a bit dramatic at the start of this article – especially as this isn’t a child-oriented website in the first place, I feel that it reminded me of what was so great about the show and its previous hosts. Funnily enough, this video was originally taken down from Youtube with the message “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy on depiction of harmful activities.” [Source: Defamer]…. which is funny as no other reading I have seen has been taken down in such a manner.
Anyway, Noni does a brilliant job at reading this, giving the same enthusiasm she did during her Play School years, and I give her a standing applause for doing this and bringing some of the Play School spirit for those of us who may not have had a chance to watch this series in years……
Actually I am tempted to watch a show tomorrow.
Sam spent many years of his childhood watching Play School and other quality ABC childrens shows such as Blinky Bill and Sesame Street. He also owns a considerable sized collection of Play School VCR Tapes which are stored away somewhere.