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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ruby's Studio: The Safety Show teaches kids about personal safety and explores feelings they may have about potentially worrisome situations. Through stories, crafts, songs, and a supportive hostess, the show introduces kids to vital safety tips: "Check first" before doing anything unexpected, trust your instincts –- or "uh-oh feeling" -– if things seem amiss, and heed the advice of your "safe adult." Parents can easily reinforce these useful tools at home whenever they revisit the issue of safety with their kids. The show also focuses specifically on personal safety, reminding kids that their private areas are off-limits to others (parents and doctors excluded, of course), and empowering them to speak up if other physical contact makes them uncomfortable. This interactive presentation is a fantastic tool for starting conversations with your kids about these and other safety topics.
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What's the story?
In RUBY'S STUDIO: THE SAFETY SHOW, caring hostess Ruby (Kelsey Collins) and four young friends learn about staying safe at home, with friends, and in public places. Using a mixture of animation techniques and incorporating games, stories, music, and a craft project, the movie walks kids through a number of "what-if" scenarios and offers coping techniques for each one. At every turn, Ruby and a panel of kids share their own personal experiences and talk about feelings related to safety issues.
Is it any good?
What's great about this presentation is that the friendly format offsets the potential scariness of the topics for kids and reinforces the message of empowerment. The Safety Show is the third Ruby's Studio presentation from The Mother Company, a team of moms who set out to create products that encourage emotional literacy among young children. Here they turn their attention to a variety of safety concerns: talking to unfamiliar grown-ups, saying "no" to potentially dangerous situations, and knowing what to do if you're lost. Each topic is illustrated in ways that reinforce kids' ability to recognize an "uh-oh feeling" and what to do about it, and validates the tumultuous emotions surrounding these issues. What's more, in addition to the "who-what-where-when" of all of these rules, it also answers for kids "why" -- because people who love them want them to be safe. In her trademark nurturing manner, Ruby encourages kids to always be aware of their surroundings and to trust their instincts, and parents might learn a thing or two about how kids feel about these topics as well, thanks to the young kids who share their thoughts throughout the show.
The Safety Show devotes a large chunk of time to the specifics of personal safety, particularly those concerning kids' own bodies, and you'll hear phrases like "You are the boss of your own body" many times over. It delves into which areas are off-limits to others (gently defined as the parts covered by a bathing suit) and poses a number of possible situations in darling animated stories. Even so, if yours are very young, you may want to screen the show first to ensure that the dialogue doesn't raise more questions than it answers for your littlest ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk further about the safety tools Ruby uses in The Safety Show. Kids: Have you ever had an "uh-oh feeling"? What should you do if you feel it? Why is it important to always share your feelings with your parents or another trusted adult? How do the characters in the stories demonstrate good safety skills?
Kids: Who are your "safe adults"? If you're lost in a public place, where can you turn for help? Does your family have a password for when plans change unexpectedly and involve another person?
Take the basic messages in this show and apply them to other scenarios that relate to kids' safety, including answering the door, talking to strangers, and handling emergencies at home. Help your kids practice reciting your phone number and address. If they're old enough to use the internet, relate these messages to online safety as well.
- On DVD or streaming: October 15, 2013
- Cast: Kelsey Collins
- Director: Samantha Kurtzman-Counter
- Studio: The Mother Company
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Music and sing-along
- Character strengths: Communication, Self-control
- Run time: 45 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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