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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Giver is a heartwarming reality series that shows teams of volunteers improving their communities with new and improved playgrounds for kids. It's a cooperative effort, and the kids are equal partners in the design and construction of the structure from the first sketch on paper to the placement of the last bolt. This is an excellent show for parents and kids to watch together, and everyone will be inspired by its messages of empowerment and philanthropy, not to mention amazed by the creative playgrounds.
What's the story?
GIVER challenges teams of volunteers to design and construct new playgrounds for community programs in need. Each episode follows six kids and their adult counterparts as they renovate or build new play areas based on creative themes and the kids' cooperative designs. Working with host Michael Lagimodiere and a group of willing grown-ups, the kids see their visions become a reality for some worthy community causes.
Is it any good?
This series is an inspiring illustration of what regular people can do when they're motivated to make life better for other people, and a sense of community is central to this show's message. With counseling centers, schools, and neighborhood parks among its beneficiaries, Giver shows viewers that helping other people is a rewarding and far-reaching experience. Great examples of teamwork, outreach, and skills building at every turn make this a fun and worthwhile pick for families.
Of course, if you do watch with your kids, they may be so enthusiastic about the teams' creativity that they start dreaming up similar projects for their own play area. The fact that the sky's the limit when it comes to these structures makes for some pretty astounding finished products inspired by the kids' own ideas. The real world -- and real budgets -- may not be so accommodating, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun dreaming up your family's own perfect playground.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about philanthropy in Giver. What rewards do you get when you give to others? How does voluntarism improve a community and help its members feel like a valued part of it?
Why does this show focus on play areas in particular? Why is physical activity important to your physical and emotional well-being? How do you strike a healthy balance between screen time and other activities such as playing with friends?
What causes in your community could benefit from your family's help? Which skills and expertise can you bring to one or more of them? Can you think of a need that isn't being addressed that you could fill?
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