Summer has started!
Long days stretch ahead.
Long hot days.
Kids are home from school.
Well, PBS might just be to the rescue.
The universe (and PBS) has read the minds of parents of young children who want decent, enlightening, educational entertainment for their children. And most important……has a cats!!
PBS ~ Public Broadcasting Service ~ whose mission is to provide good quality entertainment and is responsible for Sesame Street, This Old House, and that other little program about a huge, old house in England with lots of people living in it….Downton Abbey…has launched another purrfect piece of animated educational entertainment with the PBS Kids program Nature Cat. A gift to parents and caregivers of the 3 to 8 year old group where felines are the cats whiskers!!!!
Nature Cat is one of the latest offerings from PBS. It follows the adventures of a house cat named Fred who wants to be outside and have fun and enjoy nature, but he doesn’t really know how – so he has to learn. Once his humans depart and Fred is on his own he embarks on adventures in the wild with his friends: Hal the Dog, Daisy the Bunny and Squeak the Mouse and Ronald the lazy cat next door who is sort of his enemy. With Fred as the lead the animals have fun and discovery in the great outdoors and learn a lot on the way.
While not being overtly educational they introduce and build on themes about respecting and enjoying nature. With Hal the dog, being a bit dreamy and slow picking up on ideas, young children have time to observe and learn what is being presented. One recent episode introduced the word ‘camouflage’ while dealing with a missing friendly cricket who had ‘disappeared’. The pacing and presentation are perfect for younger viewers and there is plenty to keep them engaged and learning. Each program consists of two 15 minute segments connected by a musical number.
A visit to Nature Cat website also builds on the programs and has plenty to occupy children. DIY activities, videos and badges that they can earn, activities, games and ideas to connect with nature. This is a one stop place for the 3-8 set. And with a cat who is the action figure!!
As this is a PBS program one of the best features is the child centered approach, the educational aspect and the less edgy, jarring animation and soundtrack that many children’s programs feature. It is safe and well thought out and presented. And is commercial free!!! Young viewer’s won’t be running with requests for what they have just seen.
Nature Cat is a great program, with a cat as the lead!!! and the dog
is the sidekick is a friend. What more can you ask for???
Go check it out!
In a Nutshell
- Age range 3 – 8 (but not too bad for adults either!)
- Animal animation
- Cat as lead character
- Themes of nature and outdoors
- No violence
- Message of get outside and enjoy nature
- No commercials
- No adult supervision required – but would be good for follow up activities
- Website with activities