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 Numbers Around the Globe teaches toddlers basic number recognition and counting skills through the playfulness of a changing cast of animals. Numbers are shown on the screen as they're recited many times in the stories, giving kids ample opportunity to connect their names with their visual forms. Each group of critters is set in the appropriate natural environment, so kids can associate the scenery with the different species as well. The show also promotes physical activity through the characters' exercise and play, and their movements are easy for young viewers to replicate at home. The show's repetitive pace is more likely to appeal to the very youngest of viewers, whom studies show learn best from loving caregivers rather than videos, so that's something for parents to keep in mind.
What's the story?
NUMBERS AROUND THE GLOBE takes toddlers on animated field trips to jungles, savannahs, and everywhere in-between to introduce them to basic counting skills with help from resident critters. From giant elephants to tiny bumblebees, these animals use numbers at work and at play, showing kids how helpful number sense can be in counting toys, marking laps around a pool, and even learning dance steps.
Is it any good?
Numbers Around the Globe's title may be a bit misleading, since there's nothing multicultural or multilingual about the numbers themselves, but the series certainly won't lead toddlers astray in learning how numbers look and work. This show aptly combines movement, rhythm, and repetition to keep kids' attention and encourage them to play along with both the characters' physical motions and the narrators' counting sequences. All the while, prominent visuals reinforce viewers' connection between how the numbers look and sound.
What does give the show an international flair of sorts is the changing scenery that's tailored to each new cast of critters. Kids see polar bears at play in the snow, monkeys in the jungle, and bumblebees scurrying between flowers. These touches introduce basic concepts of environment and habitat through engaging, colorful animation.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why numbers are useful. Kids: Is counting an important skill? How can it be helpful to you? How high can you count?
What changes do you notice among different animals' environments? Which ones are cold, and which are hot? How can you tell? Do any of the animals have jobs that are important to humans?
Expand on this show's introduction to counting with your kids, using the skills as you pick up toys, get dressed, or drive down the road, for instance. Call out a number and have them point out that many of a type of object. On the go? Keep some of the best counting apps at the ready for kids as well.
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