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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Peg + Cat is a preschool series that incorporates foundational math skills in a creative and exciting way. The characters count, sort, and group their way to solutions to everyday problems, and the stories often illustrate concepts like superlatives, ordinal numbers, rhyming, and musical rhythm as well. What's more, because it's a girl leading the charge to solve these numbers quandaries, the show challenges the traditional gender divide within the mathematical field. This series goes hand-in-hand with a multimedia platform that includes an educational website (which is advertised at the end of each episode), videos, and a mobile app.
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What's the story?
PEG + CAT follows Peg (voiced by Hayley Faith Negrin), a smart, spunky girl who loves to use her knowledge of numbers to solve problems that she and her sidekick, Cat (Dwayne Hill), encounter in their adventures. Each story is set in a unique location, from Cleopatra's Egypt to faraway planets, but one thing is always the same when Peg's around: No matter the trouble, there's a math skill that can save the day. Peg and Cat's travels also introduce them to some quirky characters who pitch in to help and create new friendships along the way.
Is it any good?
What the likes of WordWorld and Sesame Street have done for pre-reading skills, this show offers preschoolers in the way of math sense, initiating kids in the basics of numbers and how they work. Each story packs in multiple opportunities for viewers to identify numbers and practice counting before experimenting with more complicated concepts like grouping by tens or visualizing proportions, all of which are flawlessly integrated so kids don't realize they're learning. Think your kids are too young to grasp these concepts? You'll be surprised how quickly they pick up the basics of proportions when they're assigning vehicles based on the characters' sizes, for instance. Even better, if you watch with your preschoolers, the show will generate ideas for how you can incorporate this kind of hands-on learning into your own daily routine.
But even though math is its primary focus, Peg + Cat doesn't limit itself to those skills alone. There are lessons in collaboration and teamwork, rhyming and alliteration are present in the characters' dialogue and in musical segments, and cause and effect is explored in kid-friendly ways. Often it's not Peg's first idea that proves successful, either, reminding viewers of the value of perseverance and thinking creatively. No effort is wasted in this delightful series with multiple diverse learning opportunities for preschoolers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role numbers and math skills play in their daily lives. Kids: Have you counted anything today? Added anything? How does knowing your numbers help you solve problems like Peg and Cat do?
Kids: How do you approach a difficult task? Do you like to have help, or do you prefer to work alone? What are the advantages to working with someone else?
Use Peg + Cat as inspiration to explore math skills with your kids. Group and count objects you see as you drive down the road or go for a walk. How many red cars do you see? How about blue ones? What if you add them together? Group toys as you clean up and practice counting by tens, count the pieces of silverware as you set the table, etc.
- Premiere date: October 7, 2013
- Cast: Dwayne Hill, Hayley Faith Negrin
- Network: PBS Kids
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: STEM, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Numbers and Letters
- Character strengths: Communication, Perseverance
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Emmy
- Last updated: September 29, 2020
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