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 show combines animation, puppetry, and music to teach preschoolers the basics of safety and wellness. It has sing-along songs, soft visuals, funny storylines, and cuddly animal characters who talk to one another about being safe in the water, on a bicycle, and even when playing hide and seek. Preschoolers will be interested, but 5- to 6-year-olds may find the program too young for their taste.
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What's the story?
SEEMORE'S PLAYHOUSE revolves around SeeMore the Safety Seal (voiced by Frankie Cordero) and his animal friends: Basil the Wombat, Shades the Wolf, Lottie the Lamb, Penny the Pup, Barb the Porcupine, and Harry the Hippo. In each episode, the gang talks about ways kids can stay safe at home and around their neighborhood, as well as the importance of taking care of their health. Animation is mixed in with the puppetry; the animated segments feature the same characters, who present the safety topic again as a knock-knock joke or in another funny form. Adults may cringe at song lyrics about keeping away from sharp objects in the kitchen or avoiding an oven as a hide-and-seek hiding spot, but these characters help kids understand that everyone, including themselves, can take an active role in keeping one another safe and sound.
Is it any good?
By creating appealing characters and mixing up the format, SeeMore's producers have found a way to keep kids with miniscule attention spans on one topic through an entire 28-minute show. SeeMore's friends are a good mix of girls and boys, they all look different enough to tell apart, and they have unique personalities (some also have accents from Down Under). Some of the characters are easier to play with than others, but they all have to learn to play together -- a good example for preschoolers.
Although the show has the same soft feel as Bear in the Big Blue House, the quality of the songs and the overall production aren't quite as high. And once kids hit kindergarten, they'll probably be bored by SeeMore's simple plots and characters. So, parents, enjoy it while you can, and watch the show with your little ones to help them learn about taking care of themselves, staying safe, and playing cooperatively.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about safety in their own home. How can you use the tips from the show? What did you learn about safety? Parents can also point out the challenges of working in a group that has lots of different personalities. What do you say to someone you think is trying to boss you around? What about someone who just doesn't want to help even when you ask them to?
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