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 there's no reason to worry about this preschool programming block, which pairs live-action scenes of the puppet stars with episodes of popular shows like Jay Jay the Jet Plane and Dragon Tales. The show encourages sharing, self expression, and imagination and showcases artwork and videos sent in by young viewers. Parents' only issue with the block may be its promotion of the Sprout Web site, which is the only way that parents can help kids submit their own artwork and videos for use on the show.
What's the story?
THE SPROUT SHARING SHOW is a three-hour programming block featuring episodes of preschool favorites like Fireman Sam and PICME nestled between stories starring three happy-go-lucky puppet friends who make up the Sprout House Band. The trio plays music, introduces videos sent in by the show's young fans, and showcases kids' artwork, which is transformed into animated stories that promote the show's themes of self expression, imaginative play, and kindness.
Is it any good?
There's a lot for parents to smile about in this block, since it combines quality preschool entertainment and feel-good shorts with strong positive messages for kids. There's also plenty of art appreciation by way of original music from the puppets and animated stories inspired by viewers' own artwork -- which hopefully will encourage kids to pick up the crayons and design their own masterpieces for the show.
Parents also don't have to worry that the show's three-hour timeslot means their kids will feel compelled to watch for the duration. With so many transitions between puppet scenes and the condensed versions of the animated series, there are lots of handy stopping points for easing your kids away from the television. In fact, the show's only sticking point is the inescapable promotion of the Sprout Web site, which facilitates kids' submissions of artwork and videos. But your preschooler isn't likely to make the connection -- at least not right away.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sharing. Kids: What does it mean to share? What are some different ways you can share (i.e., sharing toys, sharing ideas, sharing feelings)? How does it feel when you share? How about when others share with you? Why is it important to be a caring and considerate person? Also, parents -- it's never too late to start telling your kids why they shouldn't post personal information online; explain why sending in an anonymous artwork is OK, but telling someone your real name isn't.