Hats off to you, Arthur!

arthur, arthur the aardvarkArthur is the second longest running animated series, just behind the Simpsons.  I had recently re-watched a few episodes of this show. No wonder PBS chose to renew another season.  What contributes to the success of the show?

Unlike other T.V. shows or cartoons, Arthur touches on some pretty heavy stuff.  For example, the death of a family member, a family member with a disease (like Alzheimer’s), diversity, sibling relationships, exercising to be healthy, growing up with divorced parents, and fitting in at school, to name a few. Not your average every day cartoon, is it?

This show appeals not only to children, but adults as well.  Watching this show allows people to relate it to their own life. Perhaps one of the most important aspect of the show is that the characters in the show take initiative in social situations, which encourages viewers to do the same.  Executive Producer Jacqui Deegan said: “We’re hoping to empower our young viewers to go after their goals and dreams — whether that means becoming a wheelchair basketball champion or expressing yourself through writing, drawing or making movies.”

Another reason Arthur may appeal to adults is because of its satirical parodies of pop culture. For example, the rivalry between the Elwood City Grebes, Arthur’s hometown baseball team, and the Crown City Kings, is a clear allusion to the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.  Also parodies of popular adult T.V. shows and movies, such as Indiana Jones, Antiques Roadshow, and Jeopardy, can help adults to relate.

Celebrity guests also make occasional appearances on the show.  Whether it’s Lance Armstrong showing us how to be determined in facing challenges, or Koko Taylor teaching us how to sing the blues, these individuals act as role models and serve to improve an already good show.

Parents: let me tell you, this show is quality! Do you enjoy it? What are some of your kids other favorite shows? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Greg Page back on stage (with The Wiggles)

 

In January, the Wiggles announced that Greg Page, the original Yellow Wiggle, is returning to perform with the children’s entertainment group.  Greg had been struggling with illness for about 5 years.  Sam Moran was filling his place in Greg’s absence, and has offered to step down to allow Greg to return.

Greg will be reuniting with former band members Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook, and Anthony Field.  The Wiggles will be rolling out a new CD, television content, and DVD, as well as beginning to tour on a local and international level.  The tour will start in Australia in March and will kick off later this year in the UK and USA.

Manager Paul Field said, ““We thank Sam for his wonderful contribution to the group for the past five years. He joined at a difficult time for Greg and the group, and we’re so grateful for all he has done.” Field also said that the group will continue to make Hot Potato Studios available to Sam for future endeavors.

Sam says, “”I am very proud of my five years as the Yellow Wiggle and the group’s continued success with me as their lead singer.” However, Sam is also looking forward to other opportunities. “I have enjoyed every minute of my nine years touring with the group, but I now look forward to new opportunities and more time spent with my wife and two- year-old daughter,” he added.

With that said, I can’t wait until the Wiggles come to town!  They are supposed to tour Canada in October and November of 2012!  Keep posted for future upcoming tour dates.  They will announce their full schedule in August of this year.

Sid the Science Kid makes an appearance

Sid toolbox, sid toysDelta College and the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum (MMCM) collaborated in December to host “Sid the Science Kid” Science Day at the Children’s Museum in Saginaw, MI.  The visit was funded by a grant from New York-based WNET Thirteen Education.  Delta College is one of the 20 PBS affiliates to have received the grant, and the only one in the state of Michigan.

Cynthia Peck, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Delta College, realizes that many young adults are hesitant when it comes to taking science courses, because many young adults believe that science would be really hard, or has no correlation to their own life. She is a firm believer that introducing science at a young age and encouraging children to explore the world around them will help them to be less intimidated when they grow up.  She believes this will encourage them in their scientific ability.

The event was aimed at children 10 years old and younger.  Each child received a poster and tote bag, as well as a Sid the Science Kid journal in which to record activities and observations.  The journal also contained science experiments which kids were able to perform at home, games, and websites references for more scientific ideas.

Sid the Science Kid concepts were featured in the galleries of Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. These concepts included the human body, force, motion, and health, tools and measurements, and simple machines. Kids learned about brushing and flossing their teeth while crawling inside of a giant mouth and sitting on the tongue inside. In the “Art Mart,” children sketched a drawing and entered it to win a Sid the Science Kid T-shirt. Kids also tried to avoid falling balls that came into a foam pit by a conveyor belt.

If I had activities like this when I was younger, I may have grown up wanting to study science as well!  Families were also encouraged to bring a camera to snap a photo of their kid with Sid the Science Kid.  To see more Sid the Science kid cool stuff, check out the best online toy store.  Will Sid make an appearance at a museum near you?

New Chuggington Dvd: Brewster’s little helper

 Brewster’s Little Helper is the newest installment in the Chuggington series. Your preschool-aged children will be honking their horns along with their favorites “trainees,” Brewster, Wilson, and Koko.  The series is composed of 6 episodes.  They are Brewster’s Little Helper, Koko Takes Charge, Brewster Knows Best, Zephie’s Zoomaround, Nurse Wilson and Wilson And The Paint Wagon.  In the title episode, Brewster’s Little Helper, Zephie, is determined to show Brewster that she can pull her own weight. She tries to accomplish all of the tasks that Brewster gives her in the day, however, she is completely overwhelmed by them. She winds up getting into trouble because she cannot complete the chores correctly. Brewster helps her with her tasks and gets her back on track.

These episodes are extremely fun to watch and also provide positive messages at the same time. Preschoolers learn the importance of friendship, teamwork, responsibility, patience, and creative thinking. Be sure to get your copy of Brewster’s Little Helper today! Of course, if you haven’t already caught up with all of the other DVDs, be sure to check out our selection of Chuggington DVDs today.

Dino dan continues to expand

Dino Dan

Attention all you Dino Dan fans!

Nick Jr (US), TVO (Canada), and TVA (French Canada) have all placed an order for a second season of Dino Dan.  Toronto-based Sinking Ship Entertainment is scheduled to produce 52 more 11-minute episodes of Dino Dan starting this March.

The TV networks decided to order more seasons once they heard that the Dan franchise was expanding its merchandise in retail stores and online. In March, Sinking Ship Entertainment is also scheduled to produce an iTunes app, which ties in with the dinodan.com site.  A second Dino Dan DVD is scheduled for production, as well as a mass-market launch of seven new toys.  Be on the lookout for these exciting new guys!  Dino Dan’s licensing is managed by The Licensing Shop.

Season one has already been sold to more than 100 countries by distributor Breakthrough Entertainment.  The new episodes of season two will go into production this spring, and will be airing in Canada by the fall.

Continue to check our website for more merchandise in the future. In the meantime, check out our Dino Dan toys.  Creator and Sinking Ship partner J.J. Johnson states, “We’re sure that this season Dan’s imagination is going to take kids on an even greater dinosaur journey.”