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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Odd Squad: Odd Beginnings follows a new team of kid agents who form a mobile unit response team tasked with investigating any and all odd happenings. To do so, they use math and science skills like units and means of measurement or simple machines as well as teamwork and strong problem-solving skills. There are villains in the story, but they skew toward hyperbolic hilarity rather than scariness, and they deal mostly in "weapons" like sticky tape rather than in anything remotely harmful. Expect some perilous moments that the agents always manage to escape. This engaging, funny series often plays adults as the fools, which kids love to see, and it shows the diverse cast of characters using their smarts to reason solutions for odd happenings of all sorts.
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What's the story?
In ODD SQUAD: ODD BEGINNINGS, a new mobile Odd Squad unit forms to handle cases on the go when partners Opal (Valentina Herrera) and Omar (Jayce Alexander) team up with Oswald (Gavin MacIver-Wright) and Orla (Alyssa Hidalgo) to intervene wherever the unusual arises. Under the direction of the Big O -- formerly Ms. O (Millie Davis) -- these agents are on call to combat the strange, bizarre, and unexplained things that happen all over the world.
Is it any good?
There's nothing bizarre about Odd Squad's tried-and-true formula for entertaining grade schoolers with clever stories that incorporate math-based problem-solving skills. This batch of characters brings a new chemistry to the show, while the presence of the Big O helps keep continuity with the franchise productions that preceded Odd Beginnings. Happily the show works as well for viewers who are new to Odd Squad as it does for returning fans looking for more of the kid-geared silliness and the comical villains' antics.
Math skills and critical thinking play a prominent role in the team members' ability to figure out puzzles and piece together clues. Unlike some shows that teach for the sake of teaching, Odd Squad: Odd Beginnings does an impressive job teaching to entertain. The characters use tools and knowledge in ways that are relevant to both the story and to viewers' everyday experiences, which makes the content easy to grasp. And as always, themes of teamwork and industriousness stand out in the stories as well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork and what it means to be a good teammate, as is demonstrated in Odd Squad: Odd Beginnings. Does this team have an obvious leader (besides the Big O) when they're in the field? What are some important characteristics of a good leader?
What accounts for the Odd Squad's ability to outwit their villainous counterparts so often? How does math and science sense help them do so? In what ways do these kinds of skills come in handy in your everyday life?
Odd Squad: Odd Beginnings has fun with the concept of kids being the capable heroes of the story. If your kids were in charge for a day, what would they do differently from the adults in their lives? How would your family handle such a reversal of roles?
- Premiere date: February 17, 2020
- Cast: Jayce Alexander, Alyssa Hidalgo, Valentina Herrera
- Network: PBS Kids
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: STEM, Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Numbers and Letters
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: May 14, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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