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 this reality series exposes kids to world geography, history, and cultural diversity through the eyes of its young host and her team of familiar celebrities like Chelsea Staub-Kane and Devon Werkheiser, who traverse multiple continents to explore new places and to help out philanthropic efforts in their host cities. The show is a great introduction for kids to cultural awareness, since it keeps the content light and relatable for young viewers (visiting the Great Wall of China and tasting local seafood, for instance) . . . and being presented by some of their favorite TV personalities doesn't hurt, either. Kids might need a little more explanation when the team's travels reference weighty issues like the Vietnam war, but overall, this is a worthwhile series for curious kids.
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What's the story?
Elizabeth Stanton and a team of her celebrity friends -- including Drake Bell, Chelsea Staub-Kane, and Ace Young -- travel to the far reaches of the globe to experience exotic cultures, learn about world history, and lend a helping hand to a variety of charitable causes on location in their host countries. Whether it's pitching in to feed the poor in Kenya or learning how to fit hearing aids on some of Vietnam's hearing-impaired children, these "voluntourists" prove that a little caring goes a long way to bring smiles to the faces of those in need. And when the work is done, they're more than happy to delve into the local cuisine and tour some famous places nearby.
Is it any good?
ELIZABETH STANTON'S GREAT BIG WORLD! lives up to its name inasmuch as it exposes viewers to the awesome diversity that spans the globe. From the sparkling white beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the rugged Chinese mountain peaks, no two stops on the tour are alike. Each one boasts distinct natural richness and beauty, not the least of which is evident in the local people and their customs.
This kid-geared show goes a step further to promote cultural awareness and good will by incorporating philanthropy in a unique way, and there are obvious positive messages for kids to get from watching some of their favorite TV stars -- along with the exuberant host -- roll up their sleeves for a good cause. Don't be surprised if the show raises some questions from kids of all ages about issues like poverty, birth defects, and malnutrition, since these are the kind of topics that pop up during the course of an episode, so use the opportunity to discuss the subject of charity as a family.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about helping others. What physical and emotional needs exist within your community? What can you do to get involved in helping others? What benefits do you get from doing so?
Kids: Why is it important to learn about other cultures and ways of life? How does doing so affect how you see your own lifestyle? How do you think people from other countries would view how you live? Do you feel fortunate to have what you do?
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? How might the people be different from what you're used to? Would you need to learn a new language? What cultural concessions (specific dress, local customs, etc.) would you need to adopt?
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