Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures TV Poster Image

Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures

(i)

 

Cute cartoon eases home-to-school transition.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

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

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byskiyrrnd April 9, 2008

Brilliant!

After having 4 kids struggle with entering Kindergarten, even with pre-school, I wish BKA had been around 10 years ago!
Parent of a 5 year old Written byJdadda August 21, 2010

Poorly done

Very poorly done. PBS has so many quality kids programs that I wonder how this would've made the cut. It even involved blatant counting errors! I couldn't believe it. I'm going to contact our local public broadcasting station to get this show taken out of the lineup.