Bob the Builder

Common Sense Media says

Kid-friendly Bob is on the job.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teamwork and cooperation are important, particularly when it comes to completing tough assignments. The crew's motto is, "Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!"

Positive role models

Bob and his crew maintain a can-do attitude, while Wendy, Bob's wife, is just as handy as Bob is. The cast as a whole is a multi-cultural group.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Anyone who's walked through a preschool in the past five years has seen Bob the Builder's logo on everything from lunchboxes to pajamas.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is nothing objectionable in this show. That said, while the series is primarily about the can-do attitude that Bob and his building crew demonstrate while facing tough assignments, some of the adult details won't interest preschoolers. How much do 3-year-olds want to know about "paperwork" and "raising money"? Not all episodes are abstract in this manner, but enough stress to "get things done" colors the program to make adults feel a little guilty for sitting in front of the tube with their little one.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

For the youngest fixer-upper, BOB THE BUILDER has all kinds of ideas. Sometimes Bob's wife Wendy has to repair a water pipe in the local library, or Bob needs to make a new shed for a neighbor. All of the trucks and machines pitch in with enthusiasm, chiming in ahead of their task the mantra: \"Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!\"

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The most effective aspect of Bob the Builder is the characters' ability to identify a problem, make a plan that aims to solve it, and then delegate the crew to get the job done. On the other hand, this type of organizational structuring would be more suitable for viewers over the age of 5, who have been exposed to the dynamics of a large group and who understand the need for order. The youngest viewers should really learn basics like vocabulary and counting before they're asked to consider the complex problems simplified in this program.

Yes, the animated trucks are fun to watch, and the gracious nature of Bob and his un-stereotypically handy wife are indeed decent role models, but making the assumption that this program should replace the fun of actually playing with actual toy trucks in the actual back yard would be a mistake. So try this: Give the 3-year-old viewers the trucks and sand for building, and observe the situations that they create to see whether they think like adults, or are still children after all.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the challenges Bob and his crew face. How did Bob come up with the right solution? Could he have completed the job without the others' help? Why is it important to cooperate?

TV details

Cast:Kate Harbour, Neil Morrissey, Rob Rackstraw
Network:PBS
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Great boy role models
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Bob the Builder was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bySamanthamaster1 December 6, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Bob the Builder and his crew are great role models.

I love that this show has positive role models, because, Bob and the team always has a can-do-attitude, this show also promotes good teamwork skills, we see that they always get along when getting the job done.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bysamii94 May 31, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Iffy for a 2 year old? C'MON!

Oh come on common sense, is there anything thats not iffy for any age? This show is suited towards 2-7 year olds, but how is it iffy for the 2 year old age group??? I am appauled
Adult Written bywahoosigma April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Can we watch it? Yes we can!

Bob the Builder is the only option out there for construction obsessed kids. The characters are a mismash of construction equipment, people and even a scarecrow. The lessons are good and generally focus on making mistakes and getting help. Becuase 2.5+ can relate to the making lots of mistakes message, this show is endearing. Overall, a simple show for preschoolers.

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