Hop on the Dinosaur Train with Dr. Scott

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!

Let PBS Help Your Kids Learn All Summer

Summer is finally here and I’m sure your kids are very excited! After countless hours spent studying math, science, and reading during the past nine months, that final school bell signifies freedom to them. The sun is out, the pool is open, and it’s time to stop learning, right? Wrong! Summer doesn’t necessarily mean the learning ends; it simply means that parents may have to find creative ways to keep their kids’ minds turned “on” while still allowing them their much-needed vacation from school. Thankfully, our good friends at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) are already on the task, providing multiple television shows that will engage your children in fun while educating them, too. The programs that PBS Kids provides, both on television and their kid-friendly website, will provide both entertainment and a quality education for your children on these days off.

Some of our favorite PBS Kids programming:

Sid the Science Kid- This show is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary school children who have a natural curiosity and interest in science and discovery. The show follows a funny preschooler named Sid as he searches for answers to questions such as, “Where did the water go?”

Super Why!- Does your child need a little extra help developing their literacy skills? Or maybe your child simply loves books! The PBS show Super Why! follows four young storybook characters as they use their special literacy powers to solve a problem in a different story.

Dinosaur Train- This is the perfect educational programming for children who love dinosaurs, trains, or both! In Dinosaur Train, we meet a family of dinosaurs who have adopted a dinosaur of a different species as one of their own. Together, the family travels on the Dinosaur Train to visit and learn about other species of dinosaurs.

A note to parents: Be proactive about educating your children, even when school is out of session! PBS provides an excellent online resource for parents where you can find information about their programming, lessons and projects related to the shows themselves, and general ideas for continuing your child’s education year-round.

CGI Animation

What is CGI animation? CGI Animation is a process of combining 2D animation and live-action.  It is computer generated using 3D software. Films like Toy Story began to make this type of animation popular.  Dinosaur Train is the second show to use CGI animation from the Jim Henson Company, with Sid the Science Kid being the first.

Not only does Dinosaur Train use CGI Animation, but it takes two of the favorite interests of many children, dinosaurs and trains, and places them into one animated series.  The main show centers around Buddy, who is a Tyrannosaurus Rex that was adopted into a Pteranodon (think: flying) family.  Buddy gathers the majority of his information from riding the magic Dinosaur Train. The Dinosaur Train circles the whole world and can even transcend time by visiting dinosaurs in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods.

The train cars are customized for every type of dinosaur. That is, the Aquacar accommodates sea-dwelling dinosaurs, windows are available for the long-necked Sauropods, and plenty of headroom was available for the Theropods.

If your child is a fan of Dinosaur Train, look no further than the best online toy store for cool stuff for your kids! Our Dinosaur Train stuff includes clothes, live action figures, playsets, and more. Which kind of children’s shows do you prefer? The newer ones created with CGI animation, or the older ones based upon 2D cartoons?