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 this program is intended for the preschool set. Its pro-social themes focus on relationship building, exploring your surroundings, being a good listener and friend, and encouraging kids to persist in learning tasks. Paz has loving, respectful relationships with his family and friends.
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What's the story?
Based on Mary Murphy's series of children's books, PAZ is a show for preschoolers that combines puppetry and animation. Narrated by a penguin named Paz (like his viewers, he's a preschooler, too), the series revolves around his daily exploration of his surroundings. Paz's three best friends -- Rabbit, Pig, and Dog, who all have unique personalities -- join him in his adventures. Despite their differences, the friends combine their own special abilities to solve their daily tasks and encourage each other in their challenges.
Is it any good?
Because Paz is a preschool program, the stories revolve around the wonders of exploring your surroundings and emotional self. The beginning and ending sequences of each episode -- in which Paz discusses his feelings, such as frustration, happiness, and sadness -- are perhaps the show's strongest segments. These bits provide a great example for children to reflect on their own feelings. Parents may also be able to build on this part of the show to talk to their kids about how to effectively express their feelings to others.
In the wake of the success of March of the Penguins, Paz may be benefiting from penguin mania. But Paz stands on its own little webbed feet as a quality program sure to delight preschoolers. Paz is a useful, entertaining tool to help children learn about themselves and how to interact with their social world -- particularly relevant, considering that the preschool years are largely focused on emotional and social development.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the series' many social aspects, such as embracing diversity. Paz's friends are all of different personalities and species, which may help parents discuss the importance of accepting and celebrating others' differences. Each episode ends with Paz and his mother discussing a memory and how it makes him feel, which could encourage kids to discuss their feelings. What makes people's differences wonderful? How can you use kind words to express hurt feelings? How can you help a sad friend?
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