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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Astroblast is an engaging preschool series with excellent messages about friendship and embracing differences. All the characters are kind, welcoming, and curious, and each has a unique personality that brings valuable qualities to the group. Of course, the mix also causes some disagreements that must be discussed and resolved, which usually takes the cool head and sympathetic ear of a friend to accomplish. This helps show kids that all relationships have ups and downs and that effective communication is the key to resolving the little troubles that are bound to arise, even between the best of friends.
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What's the story?
ASTROBLAST is set in a lively space station with a crew of kindly animal astronauts who spend their days playing, learning, and exploring what it means to be good friends. Through their adventures, Comet (voiced by Vinnie Penna), Radar (Joe Gaudet), Halley (Gigi Abraham), Sputnik (Veronica Taylor), Jet, and Sal (John Taylor) discover that life is better when you're surrounded by people who care about you, but that doesn't mean that things always go as planned. Fortunately for them, when troubles crop up, there's always a friend on hand to help sort out your feelings and get things back on track.
Is it any good?
This charming cast of critters will make fast fans out of young viewers who can relate to their relationship stumbling blocks. Each story sees one of the friends making a poor behavioral choice that makes life difficult for the others until another pal helps set him or her straight. True to life, it's not always a quick process, and sometimes there are hurt feelings involved, but the learning process is a great way to help illustrate the cause and effect of similar scenarios to your kids.
With six very distinct personalities among the main characters and a rotating cast of visitors to the clubhouse-inspired space station, every kid will find someone with whom he or she can identify, and that makes the stories' messages more tangible to its preschool audience. Astroblast could have done more to incorporate more extensive fact-based science content, given its setting in space, but it certainly hits the mark in presenting healthy, supportive friendships and excellent examples of conflict resolution.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes the characters good friends. In what ways do their different personalities create troubles in their relationships? What does the fact that they always manage to resolve those issues say about their friendship?
Kids: Which character is your favorite? Do you identify with him or her for a particular reason? Would you respond differently to circumstances similar to what he or she faced in the story?
To whom do your kids turn when they need to talk about a problem or concern? How does it feel when you hurt a friend's feelings? Does it affect your own self-image? Is it possible to make up for something like that? Why is it important to try?
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