A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Sesame Street offering is a must-see for parents and children alike. The video is honest about how scary it is to get lost without being frightening to children. It presents simple, practical instructions for kids and parents, the same instructions given by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Preschoolers will giggle at the thought of Snuffy on skates and they'll be engaged by the important story. As always, Jim Henson's lovable Muppets are a treat of the eyes. Two-year-olds won't catch the lessons, but kids 3 to 5 will learn practical skills from this fun, non-threatening video.
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What's the story?
When Snuffy's skates break just before his roller skating birthday party, Big Bird and Maria head to the ABCDMart to buy new ones. Maria reminds Big Bird to stick by her in such a big store, but also tells him what to do if he gets lost. Big Bird promptly forgets the reminder and wanders off. Luckily, however, he remembers the instructions; after a few scary moments, he finds a store employee and rejoins Maria. At the end, Frances McDormand reviews the instructions for parents.
Is it any good?
Kids have to know what to do when they get lost, and this video instructs them in a simple and practical way. Adults will pick up some new ideas about safety, and kids will be armed with important skills: Stick with the adult who brought you to the store. If you get lost, don't leave the store. And, find a store employee and tell him or her your name, address, and phone number. That's tough stuff, but the video simplifies it with clear instructions and even a song to help kids remember their phone number.
Kids will also learn to look for someone in a uniform (like a police officer) if they can't find a store employee. They will also see how a map can help them find their way in a mall or amusement park. Best of all, none of this information is presented to frighten children. On the video, kids' first encounter with getting lost is when Little Bo Peep loses her sheep, and that's too funny to be scary. Big Bird does get anxious when he's lost, but the story is carefully constructed to avoid heightening children's fear. The video has three minor problems. If an area code is an important part of your phone number, you will have to tweak the lyrics of the "Numba Rhumba." And, unfortunately, the video does not include an address song. Try the Wee Sing Together video for a good one. Finally, the map lesson is confusing and kids will need extra navigational training. In the end, those are small complaints. Don't miss this video!
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