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 since this show is about backyard nature, there are lots of bugs and other critters, including a spider that bites (but the host doesn't not touch it and explains that you don't want to, either), slimy slugs, and some that like to eat their fellow bugs for lunch. The host makes sure to tell young viewers not to dig except where their parents don't mind, but an excited and curious young one could easily forget that word of warning. But overall this enaging educational series is perfectly age-appropriate for kid viewers.
What's the story?
Most of us think of slugs as slimy pests. But CRITTER QUEST! host Peter Schriemer considers them just another part of nature in our own backyard. Carrying a backpack and a lively sense of curiosity, Schriemer takes kids on mini-excursions through (theoretically) his yard to find all sorts of cool bugs and wildlife, demonstrating what they're like and how they live. He uses repetition with a magnifying glass to signal "a closer look" and encourages kids to explore by suggesting projects they can try in their own yards.
Is it any good?
This show is engaging and interesting -- even with the slime factor accounted for. Schriemer has a scientist's perspective, and his passion for his subject is infectious. Yes, the information offered is presented in simplified language for young viewers, but it's still fun to watch, and you might even learn some surprising things about critters that few of us think about ... beyond getting rid of them before they take out our plants, that is. Just beware: If you're at all squeamish, watching bugs walk on Schriemer's face could result in a solid case of the creepy crawlies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how a show like this teaches viewers about nature. What did you learn by watching? How could you find out more if you wanted to? How is your yard different from the one on the show? Where can you go to look for critters if you don't have a lot of trees and shrubs in your back yard? Also, kids: Is it a good idea to try the things the host suggests without discussing it with your parents first? Why or why not?
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