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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that preschoolers will eat up the adorable characters in this short-form British series about four singing potatoes who turn their observations into songs of various styles. The show encourages kids' curiosity and illustrates themes like self-esteem, individuality, and respect for others' differences. Each segment introduces kids to a different place or concept, so it's a good lead-in for many learning opportunities that build on the content. The characters are so endearing that parents will like them as well, making this quick little show a fun treat to enjoy with your "tater-tot."
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What's the story?
SMALL POTATOES is a short-form series about four friendly spuds who sing songs about the world they love to explore. The song styles range from punk rock to reggae, and the lyrics are inspired by kids' impressions of everything from school to imagination to playing dress-up. Nate, Olaf, Chip, and Ruby share their feelings about each episode's theme, and the show incorporates the Potatoes into live-action sequences and familiar venues like famous paintings and scenes of a farm.
Is it any good?
If you handed your preschooler a microphone and asked her specific questions about her world, the answer would be something like the lyrical adventures of these delightful little tubers. Their unscripted observations about places, hobbies, and nature -- which inspire the songs that they sing -- are a treasure of insight into tiny minds, and with some help from you, they'll encourage your own tots to think critically about their world. What's more, the fact that the show incorporates touches of other cultures through musical styles and costumes will expand their awareness of diversity.
Small Potatoes is a fun find for preschoolers, and parents will find that they enjoy the cute little spuds as much as their kids do. In fact, since its British debut, the show has been such a hit with older viewers that it's developed a devoted fan base among teens and adults, who frequent the Potatoes' Facebook page for personalized potato likenesses of their own "Photatoes." This viral tie-in won't affect your kids as they watch the show, but you may be compelled to check out the online component yourself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Potatoes' songs. In what musical styles do the Potatoes sing? Which songs are your favorites? Do they use instruments in their music?
Kids: What do you learn from the Potatoes' adventures? Were some of the places they visited new to you? What did their costumes tell you about those places and the people there?
Parents can use this show to expose their preschoolers to new concepts and then follow up with field trips, books, and music that complements the theme. Kids: Of all of the places featured on this show, which would you most like to see in person?
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