What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this three-hour programming block for preschoolers features live educational segments in between episodes of popular shows like Bob the Builder and Dragon Tales. The energetic hosts incorporate important skills like counting, letter recognition, and color identification into their animated dialogue, encouraging kids to chime in. They also make frequent, repetitive references to the show's Web site, which allows viewers to submit birthday greetings, weather reports, and comments. (Common Sense Media doesn't recommend Web surfing for kids under 4.)
What's the story?
THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW is a high-energy, three-hour programming block that combines quality kids' shows like The Berenstain Bears and Barney & Friends with exciting live segments designed to encourage preschoolers' curiosity about the world around them and their desire to master critical skills like counting, colors, and letter recognition. The show joins Sprout's other programming blocks -- The Let's Go Show and The Good Night Show -- to round out the course of preschoolers' days, taking them from the morning through evening hours with curriculum-based entertainment they're sure to learn from and enjoy. Hosts Kevin Yamada and Kelly Vrooman, who rotate on-air duties weekly, practically ooze enthusiasm for the featured subject of the day, warmly inviting kids to laugh, play, and learn along with them. Each week, the show centers on a new theme, and youngsters learn about themselves and the world around them as they explore topics like animals, family, and "All About Me." Kids are encouraged repeatedly to interact with the hosts by answering questions, piecing together clues to a puzzle, and counting or reciting facts.
Is it any good?
The fact that the show airs live enhances the hosts' abilities to both connect with and teach preschoolers as well, allowing them to reference current holidays and other events and to receive and respond to email submissions in a timely manner. From birthday greetings for young fans to weather reports from kids all over the country, the series incorporates real-life Sproutlets at every turn, even applauding do-gooders with a "Good Egg" award for extra efforts at home or school.
Mixed in with all of this educational content are abbreviated versions of kids' favorite Sprout shows. The constant back-and-forth between these episodes and the live segments provides plenty of stopping points for parents who want to limit their children's TV intake -- the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend more than two hours of total screen time per day for preschoolers -- so don't be turned off by the show's three-hour "runtime." The only sticky point is the show's reliance on its Web site for viewer submissions. Although in many ways the joint effort is a great way to get kids involved in the show, Common Sense Media doesn't recommend Web surfing for kids under 4 (plus, parents are likely to quickly tire of the hosts' constant reminders -- and kids' constant requests -- to log on and check out what's new on the site).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show's various themes. Kids: What was the theme of the show this week? What did you learn? Which of the songs, games, and puzzles were your favorites? What did you like about them? Parents can expand on the show's weekly themes through books, craft projects, field trips, and discussions. For example, take your kids to a local event or destination that coincides with the featured topic, and talk about what you experience. (An animal theme might inspire a trip to the zoo or an animal shelter, for instance.) For older preschoolers, the show's use of viewers' names and hometowns offers a great opportunity to pull out a map and expose kids to where these states are in relation to their own home.