The PBS television show Dinosaur Train is enjoying a successful run as one of modern preschoolers’ favorite shows. It pairs two of their favorite things—trains and dinosaurs—and follows an adorable young tyrannosaurus named Buddy as he discovers the differences between dinosaur species. During each episode of the show, Buddy and his adoptive family of pteranodons travel on the Dinosaur Train to meet different dinosaurs and explore different prehistoric time periods. But one of the aspects of this show that makes it so great is the depth of actual scientific knowledge it offers for kids. And “Dr. Scott” has a lot to do with that.
Dr. Scott D Sampson is a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and educator who appears as the trusted expert at the end of every Dinosaur Train episode. After Buddy and his family have had their adventures, Dr. Scott appears on the scene to help young viewers wrap up the content of the episode into a cohesive concept. With the help of a few small children who answer his science questions onscreen, Dr. Scott closes the show with a solid “take it home” element that many children’s shows simply don’t have. It’s nice have an expert on board the Dinosaur Train!
If your kids have not seen Dinosaur Train, check it out! The Dinosaur Train storybook, I Am A T. Rex, is a good introduction to the show’s concept. And, in addition to television programming, you can order a few DVDs here. What kid wouldn’t enjoy learning more about prehistoric animals with the help of both the sweet dinosaurs on the show and the resident expert, Dr. Scott? It’s only a matter of time before your kids become experts themselves and you’ll need them to explain the difference between the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods!