Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures
By Anne Louise Bannon,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Cute cartoon eases home-to-school transition.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show emphasizes academic (learning about different kinds of animals, etc.) and social behavior (being responsible, etc.) lessons. Any mild misbehavior helps set up each episode's lesson. The kids in Betsy's class are a diverse bunch.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that each episode of this endearing cartoon targeted at preschoolers and young elementary schoolers includes both a basic academic lesson and, more centrally, a social behavior lesson. That means that the kid characters mildly misbehave (picking a nose, running off during a field trip, etc.) in order to set up a learning situation.
Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
Zim's in there....
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
Starting school for the first time can be overwhelming for a small child, and the basic goal of BETSY'S KINDERGARTEN ADVENTURES is to help kids adapt from the home environment to the school environment. Created by kindergarten teacher/author Betsy Quinn, the show focuses not only on Betsy's academic learning -- little lessons about salamanders and arachnids help Betsy and her friends find a solution to each episode's given problem -- but also on behavioral lessons, such as being responsible and never going anywhere without telling an adult first.
Is It Any Good?
The good news that this show is reasonably true to life. The fact that Betsy (voiced by Daveigh Chase) lets out an agonized cry when she realizes it's the first day of school gives the show enough edge to balance the sweetness -- a plus for parents who want to watch it with their kids as part of easing the transition from home to school. (Parents, keep an ear out for other occasional sly bits of wit that are slipped in just for you to chuckle over.)
Betsy's classroom is racially diverse, although the main characters are all Caucasian. And you can see some different "types" playing out: There's Scott (Richard Steven Horvitz), the class brain; Molly (Vicki Lewis), the Queen Bee; and Billy (Nancy Cartwright), the hyperactive, hyper-curious boy in love with bugs and reptiles. Betsy herself is more of the Every Girl. Her adventures -- getting picked to care for Sydney, the class salamander, and not being very enthused about the job, getting lost in a museum when she's too scared to ride an escalator downstairs -- may be of the everyday type, but they're presented here in a way that's ultimately endearing. The kids do tend to be far more articulate than your average 5-year-old, but that seems to work for the show.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how they felt when they started school and compare their feelings with Betsy's. Parents: What mistakes did you make as a kid? How did you learn from them? Kids: What do you think it will be like to go to school? Are you excited or scared? Why?
- Premiere date: January 19, 2008
- Cast: Daveigh Chase, Fred Willard, Sally Struthers
- Network: PBS Kids
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: June 2, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate