A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bo on the Go! is a preschool series whose aim is to promote physical activity through the characters' adventures. Kids are encouraged to help Bo and her dragon friend power up to conquer challenges by mimicking their moves onscreen, from running in place to breaking out some dance moves. Each story's quest is age-appropriate for preschoolers and on par with their life experiences, and the characters celebrate small victories as steps to a larger goal. Parents will find the stories somewhat flat and single-minded, missing the chance to teach kids more than just fun ways to be active, but if yours do tune in, they'll be engaged and moving for much of the show.
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What's the story?
BO ON THE GO! centers on an exuberant girl named Bo (voiced by Catherine O'Connor), who partners with her best dragon friend, Dezzy (Andrew Sabiston), to solve various troubles that befall their castle home. Whether it's the mysterious disappearance of their musical instruments or the fact that everything has been turned upside-down, Bo and Dezzy are on the case, heading off on quests laid out by Wizard (Jim Fowler) to set things right again. But they can't do it alone, and when their energy runs low, they ask viewers to help them recharge their "Bo Power" by getting up and moving along with them.
Is it any good?
Bo on the Go! sets out to bridge the gap between naturally sedentary TV-watching and kid-friendly physical activity. On this point, the show does very well, tasking viewers with numerous physical assignments from twirling their fingers to running in place, under the guise that doing so feeds Bo's power bracelets and gives her the energy to complete her quest. Within each story, Bo and Dezzy also face challenges that can only be overcome by performing certain "Animoves" inspired by a variety of critters, so kids will also be crawling like bugs and hopping like kangaroos periodically in the stories.
But the show's goals don't extend much beyond the issue of physical activity, and it feels rather shallow as a result. The stories are very repetitive, and because the emphasis is so directed at exercise, it misses opportunities to incorporate other basic preschool skills that many of its peers do. What's more, the fact that kids are encouraged to move and shake specifically to recharge Bo's energy skips over drawing clear connections between regular physical activity and your own health and well-being. The bottom line? Your kids won't sit still while they're watching Bo on the Go!, but some missed opportunities keep it from being the total package in a tots' show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important to be physically active. How does exercise make you feel? What good things does it do for your health. What are some fun ways you and your family can stay active together?
Bo and Dezzy's adventures remind kids that tackling a challenge is easier when you're not alone. Is cooperation always easy? What if your partner or teammates have ideas that are different from yours? How do you resolve these kinds of issues with peers?
Kids: How does it feel to complete a task well? Are you always rewarded for doing so? Why is it important to always give your best effort?
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