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 intriguing educational series -- which shows how human ingenuity and cutting-edge technology combine to produce everyday items we often take for granted -- is like taking multiple field trips in a 30-minute chunk of time. That makes it an ideal choice for families looking for entertainment and learning opportunities rolled into one. It probably won't capture the attention of very young kids, but grade-schoolers and up are likely to view everyday consumer goods with more curiosity after these behind-the-scenes glimpses.
What's the story?
FACTORY MADE takes viewers on virtual field trips through some of the country's most innovative factories, demonstrating how products ranging from cowboy boots to modular homes are constructed. Each step of the production process is broken down with thorough explanation, and viewers see how skilled workers and cutting-edge machinery combine to turn out quality products. Each 30-minute episode features the behind-the-scenes stories of three unrelated consumer goods.
Is it any good?
If you and your kids are at all curious about where the stuff you buy comes from, this show is guaranteed to interest you -- and you'll walk away with plenty of fun facts to share with your friends. (For example, who would have thought a factory team could pump out a whopping 60,000 frozen burritos in a single eight-hour shift?) The series is perfectly paced for grade-schoolers' attention spans, since it covers three different products in each 30-minute episode, and the narration is jargon-free and easy for viewers of all ages to understand.
Certain segments will appeal to viewers more than others, depending on your specific interests, but on the whole, Factory Made is worthwhile family entertainment. As a bonus, its focus on factories also shines the spotlight on skilled laborers whose craftsmanship is often overlooked amid the technological marvels of the production line.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how TV shows blend education and entertainment. Does seeing something on TV make it more interesting? Have you ever really thought about where your toys, books, and clothes come from? Families can also discuss everyday items that they're curious about. What products would you like to see made? What materials do you think go into producing them? What specific skills would workers need to make them? Is there anything that you buy that you might be able to make yourself? Would it be a cost-effective process?
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