What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hopla is a pleasant preschool series that incorporates age-appropriate developmental skills such as pattern recognition and sorting into its content. The nonverbal show is set to music, and its vibrant colors, stimulating visual nature, and simple animation style add to its appeal for both kids and adults. Because it's so simplistic, it might be a hard sell on older preschoolers who are used to more action (or, at the very least, some dialogue) in their entertainment, but its endearing style may win them over. With stories that run five minutes in length, this is a great option for parents trying to limit kids' screen time as well.
What's the story?
HOPLA is a Flemish preschool series that centers on a friendly rabbit named Hopla and his assortment of animal friends. Each story is set in Hopla's community, where he introduces tots to learning concepts through his daily activities, from sorting fruit at the fruit stand to organizing chairs by patterns. Background music provides the soundtrack to this nonverbal series, and some stories use it to teach kids about rhythm and song as well.
Is it any good?
Hopla is a good example of how sometimes less is more when it comes to preschool entertainment. At first glance, it's hard to imagine how a series without dialogue could possibly capture an audience, but this colorful, visually stimulating series is so well-designed that the absence of talking does little to detract from the show's overall effect. In fact, because there's no dialogue, it gives parents a unique opportunity to narrate and teach on the fly in a way that's tailored to their kids' abilities, whether that involves counting, discussing cause and effect, or predicting what will appear next in a pattern.
Even the stories' brief length can be a benefit if monitoring screen time is a concern. At five minutes apiece, Hopla's episodes can serve as calming oases in preschoolers' busy days, and you'll know that their time isn't being wasted on mindless entertainment.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the learning concepts explored in this series. Kids: Where do you see patterns around you? How can you practice sorting in household tasks such as putting away toys?
Kids: Why do you think this show's creators didn't have the characters talk? Are you ever confused by their actions, or is it easy to follow even without dialogue? How can you communicate without using words?
Parents can build on this show's content through any of the concepts it raises. Work together on a jigsaw puzzle, explore cause and effect through play, and use skills such as counting in everyday tasks. What do these activities teach you that TV can't?