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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dinosaur Train encourages preschoolers’ curiosity about the world around them as it introduces them to basic scientific principles and several species of prehistoric creatures. Each story exposes kids to science terms like "hypothesis" and "herbivore," illustrating their meanings in kid-friendly ways. In addition to its educational quality, the show also celebrates differences and encourages respect for others, as Buddy’s travels lead him to make many new friends whose lifestyles and appearances are very different from his.
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What's the story?
DINOSAUR TRAIN centers on a young Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy (voiced by Phillip Corlett) and his adoptive Pteranodon family, who live in a giant nest near the sea. Inquisitive Buddy is always on the lookout for adventure, and there’s no shortage of it when he and his siblings Tiny (Claire Corlett), Shiny (Erika-Shaye Gair), and Don board the Dinosaur Train and speed through time to meet other prehistoric creatures. As questions arise, Buddy comes up with theories and eagerly makes discoveries that will solve the scientific riddles he faces. The show also includes live-action segments starring paleontologist Scott Sampson, who chats with kids about science and fun dinosaur facts.
Is it any good?
This delightful series combines typical preschool interests like trains, dinosaurs, and a healthy appetite for adventure -- and the resulting tales feed kids’ vivid imaginations. Through Buddy’s travels within the Mesozoic era, young viewers learn about different species’ lifestyles, diets, and unique characteristics. Kids are also encouraged to think critically about the world around them; comparing dinosaurs’ traits to those of modern animals, for example, and learning to classify different species by size, appearance, and lifestyle habits.
And Dinosaur Train’s value isn’t limited to early paleontology education or its fun take on basic scientific processes. There are also plenty of positive messages about tolerance and respect for differences. Buddy’s adventures introduce him to a range of species with obvious differences, and his curiosity allows him to discover not only the unique traits that separate him from his new friends, but also the basic similarities that make them all alike.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the dinosaurs lived and what we can learn about them in Dinosaur Train. Kids: How was the Earth different during their time? How did different species adapt to their surroundings? What traits differentiated the species?
How do scientists work to answer our questions about the past and the future? What tools do they use to uncover and piece together clues? How do modern inventions improve our lives?
Kids: What did you learn from this series? What questions do you still have about prehistoric creatures? What other shows have you seen that teach you something about science?
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