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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tumble Leaf's vibrant animation and colorful characters will draw preschoolers to this gently paced series, in which the characters make exciting discoveries that teach simple science concepts. The content is nicely suited to a young audience, as are the standout messages about friendship that play out among the diverse animal cast. Positive examples of problem solving and other prereading skills such as rhyming and basic shape recognition are woven into the stories as well.
What's the story?
In a magical place called TUMBLE LEAF lives Fig (voiced by Christopher Downs), a curious fox who welcomes adventures each day. When something new appears in the Finding Place, it inspires Fig to explore his woodland home and learn about how things work in the world around him. Usually he's joined by friends such as Maple (Brooke Wolloff), Hedge (Landon Clay), and his pet caterpillar, Stick, who also discover the joys of friendship on their journeys.
Is it any good?
There's a lot to like about this unique series and its memorable cast. The characters' individuality is nicely cultivated, and their interactions illustrate for kids the value of showing kindness and fairness to others. The stop-motion animation is beautiful, bringing to life the whimsical land that is Tumble Leaf. Your kids will marvel in the imaginative scenery, particularly when it comes to the tricked-out shipwreck Fig calls home, which is where every adventure begins.
But Tumble Leaf's most noteworthy quality is its adept integration of age-appropriate science concepts such as flight, motion, and magnification. Each story sees Fig and his friends exploring a new one as they play with common objects he encounters in and around his home, pondering questions that arise along the way and using critical-thinking skills to answer them. Even better, their discoveries celebrate the joy of learning and are easy for you to reinforce with tools such as kites, flashlights, and balls for some hands-on exploration with your kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters' discoveries on Tumble Leaf. What question did they want to answer? Did they find the answer on their first try? How did they experiment with possible solutions before they settled on one?
How does working with others make a job easier to manage? Do teammates or friends always have to agree? Why is it important to respect others' feelings and beliefs, even if they differ from yours?
What special qualities make your kids unique? Do they always view their differences in a positive light? Do they ever feel pressure to look or act like someone else does?
Take a walk outside and talk about what you see and hear. What questions do your kids have about science and nature? How can you explore those concepts with simple tools like the characters do?
- Premiere date: June 3, 2014
- Cast: Christopher Downs, Landon Clay, Brooke Wolloff
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Science and nature
- Character strengths: Compassion, Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Emmy
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