With my son being a huge Wiggles fan, I wasn’t sure if he would ever take any interest in any other kid programming.
However, when we went to a premiere to celebrate the 7th season of Curious George on PBS Kids, he found his new love. I should have known he would fall in love with this adorable character. Especially since my son’s favorite stuffed animal is…you guessed it…a monkey.
Not only did he sit through two episodes during the premiere event (a feat I didn’t think he could do), he also enjoyed more episodes on our recent trip to Disney World. We even picked up a new Curious George book. As a result, our flight was complete bliss!
As a parent, I don’t mind my son watching TV. It just has to be the right TV shows. Seeing him engaged in the show and learning from the show, there is no Mom guilt when I turn it on. For example, one of the new Curious George episodes is called “Monkey Down Under” where Curious George is on an Australian Outback adventure. My son can identify Kanagroos and Emus now.
The whole 7th season is about a wide range of mammals, reptiles, insects and birds with online special activities to extend learning opportunities. For example, you can download “Exploring the World of Animals” for tips on identifying animals in your own neighborhoods or print out George’s Butterfly Hide-and-Seek activity sheet for coloring butterflies.
Since our three-year old started reading the books and watching the show, he has begun to express more interest in animals, as well as expressing certain behaviors. One of the episodes is where Curious George comes up with a flashlight code to use when they looked for animals in the woods. When my husband pulled out a flashlight recently, our son wanted to hold it and started flashing the light – just like in the episode.
While my observation is just that, an observation, I guess other parents were noticing the same thing: a correlation between Curious George and expressive learning. There was even a completed study in 2012, connecting Curious George with better Math and Science performance.
The Concord Evaluation Group, based in Massachusetts, issued that CEG Research Study Release that found that Curious George TV tie-in books prompted children to use scientific habits of mind, such as making predictions, making observations, asking questions, and hypothesizing. It also indicated that parents who read or watched Curious George with their children reported feeling more confident about exploring science and math with their children and reported they were more motivated to do so.
For you local parents, you may be interested to know that WGBH has its hand in the educational content of the show, and all of the ‘lessons learned’ features right after the Curious George animation, are filmed here in Massachusetts. Those are my favorite segments. It gives me great ideas on how I can incorporate the lessons of the show into some fun activities to do at home.
Whether you are reading one of the best-selling Curious George books published by Massachusetts-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, or watching one of the Massachusetts-based PBS Kids, both encourage inquiry and curiosity, promote hands-on exploration, and show parents and caregivers how to support children’s science, engineering, and math-related play. So kick back, sit down with the kids, and enjoy an episode or two of the new and old episodes on PBS Kids.
Image Credit: CharleneChronicles.com. All Rights Reserved
Disclosure: I didn’t receive any compensation for this post. However, I did attend an event and received a goody bag with a sample DVD. All thoughts and opinions are my own.