Odd Squad

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Odd Squad TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
Lively mixed-media series solves mysteries with math skills.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 35 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Kids see how basic math skills can be applied to real-world scenarios, from using subtraction to identify missing parts of a whole to using patterns to see clues to a puzzle. And the characters don't always solve the problem on the first try, sending reminders of the importance of perseverance and learning from your mistakes. 

Positive Messages

Kids see Olive and Otto identify numbers-related problems and use math skills and creative thinking to arrive at a solution. The idea is to apply basic principles to realistic circumstances (even if most of the situations are a bit far-fetched), thereby showing kids how fact families, patterns, and addition and subtraction skills can come in handy in kids' own world. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Olive and Otto have can-do attitudes and never encounter a problem they can't solve, even if it takes multiple tries. They are smart and savvy with numbers, and they take joy in helping people. There's also diversity among the show's cast, and every member of Odd Squad is a kid. A girl (Miss O) is the big boss, and commands the team with humor and confidence. 

Violence & Scariness

Some scenes show minor injuries such as basketball players being hit in the face with the ball.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Odd Squad incorporates math concepts such as counting and patterns into a lively multimedia presentation grade-schoolers will enjoy. Each episode sees two kids confronted with a problem that can only be solved by relating numbers through addition, subtraction, fact families, and other grade-school math skills. Viewers can hypothesize along with the characters as they work out the problems using the data presented in each story, and the fact that the agents never lose sight of their goals or succumb to negativity -- even when a solution is elusive -- reminds kids of the value of learning from mistakes. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byAmber Kendall January 14, 2015

Exciting (for kids) and educational

Just discovered this PBS show today, and my son can't get enough. It's the perfect mix of action and science-fiction for him, throwing in some educati... Continue reading
Parent of a 1 and 5-year-old Written byjll2800 October 22, 2015

Fun, funny, and clever show

My 5.5 year old loves Odd Squad, and so do I! From my own perspective, I think it's one of the cleverest kids shows out there, and I genuinely enjoy watchi... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bychatnoir February 11, 2016

Awesome, witty, and fun!

This show is really, really entertaining for all ages! I'm 16, yet the script and actors never fail to amuse me and make my day a little brighter. The char... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHunter.O June 24, 2016

My four year old cousin and I love it!

Yes, it is on PBS kids, yes it is to teach math, and yes, I love it! It is well written, and I enjoy all of the different personalities. Some of the parents on... Continue reading

What's the story?

When something unusual happens in town, folks call on ODD SQUAD to solve the problem and save the day. With agents Olive (Dalila Bela) and Otto on the case, no mystery is too big, especially when they use their formidable numbers skills to help them work things out. From bad luck befalling the town's basketball team to mythical book characters running amok in the streets, these aren't your average strange occurrences, but Olive and Otto prove that when it comes to math, a little knowledge goes a long way in setting things right again. 

Is it any good?

This show doesn't try to hide the fact that it's teaching viewers about numbers and how they work, but it's such a fun series to watch that even kids will agree it hardly feels like learning at all. There's a lot of creativity at play in Odd Squad -- in the agency's all-kid staff, in how they transport from underground headquarters through a maze of tunnels, in the tools they use to identify clues to the puzzles, and even in the humor -- and the show's mixed-media format incorporates graphics that pull off all the tricks. Of course, all that's for naught if kids can't relate to the cast, but exuberant Olive and Otto ensure their viewers will want to stick around until the story's end.

As for the learning quotient, parents will appreciate that math skills are embedded in stories that are at least meant to reflect real-life scenarios ... give or take a few romping dinosaurs or songs with magical powers, that is. Not only are addition and subtraction skills at work, each story takes kids through the problem-solving process from the very beginning, showing how the characters determine what information they need and how they can use it to work toward an answer. This focus on concepts as a whole rather than on standalone skills is a real boon to kids who watch. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about math. Do your kids like working with numbers? What concepts are they learning right now in school? How does number sense relate to their lives? Did they learn something from Odd Squad?

  • Kids: What makes Olive and Otto good agents? How do they show that they're leaders? Why is it important to have a positive attitude when you're confronting a challenge?

  • Parents and kids can work together to devise real-world applications for age-appropriate math skills. Cook or build something together to illustrate how numbers and measurements are crucial to these activities. For some digital options for math practice, check out this list.

  • How do the characters in Odd Squad demonstrate curiosity and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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