So your kids watch TVOKids. Here's a parents' guide to what those shows and games are all about.

Arthur was created by author-illustrator Marc Brown. The 8-year-old title character Arthur, his little sister D. W., and their friends and family deal with many of the challenges that face real-life kids -- coping with bullies, siblings, feeling different. Through stories about these challenges, Arthur illustrates problem-solving and communication skills, as well as the importance of self-respect and respect for others. The program also helps children to improve their reading, writing, and social skills and to learn ways to share their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and dreams. The two main goals of the program are to foster an interest in reading and writing and to encourage positive social skills. The show also tries to model age-appropriate problem-solving strategies.

Dinosaur Train is an animated series aimed at nurturing children’s curiosity about the natural world, using basic scientific thinking skills to observe and learn about plants and animals in their natural habitat. The show also encourages parents to explore their local surroundings with children. Aimed at kids aged two to five years old, Dinosaur Train follows Buddy and his adoptive family of Pternaodons on adventures through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans. Along the way kids learn basic concepts in natural science, natural history, and paleontology. The Dinosaur Train has the ability to take the different dinosaurs that hop aboard to visit the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous worlds, while the train’s conductor, a Troondon, offers up facts along the way. And beyond watching the show, there's a cool game called DinoDig for your budding paleontologist.

Everything’s Rosie, aimed at kids aged three to six years old, is an animated series which follows the life of a ragdoll named Rosie and her friends Raggles the blue rabbit, Bluebird, Big Bear, Oakley the oak tree and others. Producers say Rosie is a positive-thinking, bright, and enthusiastic role model for preschoolers that teaches the values of friendship. The goal is for kids to embark on journeys of fun and discovery with Rosie while learning important values and life lessons.

Martha Speaks is produced by the same team behind Curious George and Arthur. It is based on the children’s book series by Susan Meddaugh. Martha is a cool dog who learns to speak when her owner feeds her alphabet soup. The educational goals of the program include increasing children’s oral vocabulary, and encouraging children to practice new words every day. Featuring up to 20 new words in each episode, the show is designed to help kids understand these new words when they hear them, even if they can’t yet read them. The series has a bunch of games for your preschooler.

Numberjacks are animated superhero numbers who solve mathematical problems with the help of real children in the real world. Aimed at four and five year olds, the show works to develop early math skills, knowledge and understanding. The Numberjacks live inside a sofa and each episode focuses on one mathematical concept or idea to encourage learning with numbers. At the start of each episode, the Numberjacks get a call from an agent (a child) telling them about a problem. Using math concepts and numbers, and help from real children, the Numberjacks solve the problem. The central characters are Numberjacks 3, 4, 5 and 6. All episodes encourage kids to observe and listen, and to develop good analytical thinking and problem solving skills. TVOKids has a game for your kids that will help with their math - and it's fun - Tumbletown Mathletics

In 2009, the Sesame Workshop brought back The Electric Company beloved and iconic TV series for a new generation of kids. Beneath the fun story lines in the half-hour episodes is a multimedia literacy campaign aimed at reducing the literacy gap between kids in low and middle-income families and advancing the idea that ‘reading is cool.’ The curricular goals include decoding, comprehension of connected text, vocabulary, and motivation. These goals are incorporated into the show with vocabulary focusing on specific kid-friendly themes, like the body, animals, games, and space. The cast of characters in The Electric Company is a group of do-gooders who keep the neighbourhood safe with their literacy superpowers and solve problems often created by a group of troublemakers called The Pranksters. They also have a series of Electric Company games your kids will love.

Wibbly Pig, based on the books by Mick Inkpen, is an animated comedy series aimed at a pre-school audience (2-5 years old). Wibbly Pig is a little pig going about his day-to-day activities, like getting into bed, wrapping a present, or climbing a tree. Wibbly moves in and out of fantasy play while sharing his journey with the viewer. He engages the children watching by addressing them directly. The show is a co-production with TVOKids, meaning the producers worked closely with educational advisors who say the show aims to make children watching feel safe, included, involved, and important. Age-appropriate lessons are included in every episode and work to support early academics (colours, shapes, numbers), social skills (interactivity with the viewer and friends), imaginative play (springboards and inspirational ideas to fire-up children’s play and imagination). Learning is also reinforced with a song in each episode.

Word Girl

is an animated series following the life and adventures of superhero WordGirl as she fights crime with her superhero strength and colossal vocabulary. WordGirl’s secret identity is that of 5th grader Becky Botsford. Along with her sidekick Captain Huggy Face, a monkey, WordGirl battles evil villains using vocabulary. Each episode introduces four new vocabulary words and reinforces the meanings in various contexts throughout the episode. But learning new words is not the only educational component of the show. Producers hope to engender life-long enthusiasm for language, to build deep word knowledge, and to provide role-models for children by illustrating the power of words through the story lines. Kids can also learn a lot from the social, emotional, and cultural contexts presented in the show. The show intentionally presents positive character role models from groups that are underrepresented or negatively stereotyped in the mainstream media, thereby promoting the value of our diverse society. And your kids can play (either alone or with friends)

Word Magic

on tvokids.com

 

This database of show summaries is expanding all the time so be sure to check back here for more information on TVOKids shows.