New Caillou Books

caillou book

If your child is a fan of Caillou the cartoon show, you’ll be glad to here that there’s more of the Caillou world to explore. In addition to the wonderful show, there is a wonderful new book called Caillou and the Rain. This is an adorable story of Caillou doing what he does best: exploring his world and going on adventures!

It is raining outside and Caillou must dress up in his rain gear to go shopping with his mother. He stumbles upon so many distractions in the house that by the time that he gets dressed, the rain has stopped. Luckily for Caillou, there are plenty of puddles to jump in along the way to the store.

Caillou also gets to celebrate Easter with his family on the farm with Uncle Felix in the book, Caillou: Happy Easter! Throughout his adventure on the farm, Caillou rides the tractor, sees the animals on the farm, decorates eggs, and gets to search for eggs in the annual Easter egg hunt. He and his uncle find more eggs than anyone else in the hen house! This is a must-read for an avid Caillou fan.

What’s in Your WordWorld?

WordWorld

In WordWorld, kids can see the letters in every object! The creators of WordWorld, Don and Jacqueline Moody, created the show in response to a study that discovered that if there are both pictures and words simultaneously on a screen, children will pay more attention to the pictures than they do to the words. Don’s response was to build letters into the objects shown in the show.  If the characters are discussing something, they will spell out the word.  Once they spell out this word, the letters actually change into the object that it spells, with the letters still visible. It’s a really unique show that I think your kids will enjoy!

The show is geared towards 3- to 7-year-olds.  It premiered on September 3, 2007 on Disney Junior and CBeebies.  WordWorld has won an Emmy three times. It currently airs in over 90 countries around the world, and has been translated into more than 12 languages.  The show’s writers continue to base its curriculum on recommendations from the National Reading Panel and create episodes based upon the needs of children in the age range the show targets.  For instance, an episode called “Runaway O” helps children learn the letter “O.” Once the children in the show catch the “O,” they are able to use it to build the word “BOX.”

As many parents can already attest, this is a fun and exciting way for kids to learn letters and words.  For even more fun at home, draw a picture of a shoe with your child. Spell the letters S-H-O-E inside of the shoe. Color it, and then hang it on the wall. Just like the WordFriends, you too can help your child build words to save the day!

A New Diet with Fizzy’s Lunch Lab

Fizzy's Lunch Lab

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab was created to address the problem of obesity in America, especially with young children. The series is currently only offered online, but provides valuable information on how to cook simple meals, choose healthy snacks, and also gives nutrition tips.

 Fizzy’s goals are as follows:

1) To create a positive change in the current state of childhood nutrition.

2) To encourage daily physical activity and exercise.

3) To promote basic nutrition and proper portion-size, the importance of eating three meals a day (especially a good breakfast), and the value of family meal-time interactions.

You know that the show is on track because the advisory board consists of quality people, including someone who specializes in diabetes and metabolic diseases, food writers, and a health education professor.  The board has established and set scientific and educational goals, and relies on standards which are set by the USDA.

Sounds pretty good, right? Now if only they could make a cartoon that airs on PBS every day, they might have more reach. If all goes well with the popularity online, perhaps that can be the advisory board’s next goal.

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.

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?