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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Word Party is an educational show for preschoolers from the Jim Henson Company. It stars four adorable, diaper-wearing baby animals who are eager to learn from the "big kids" in the audience, to whom they turn for answers to many questions throughout an episode. This gives kids a certain role model status most other shows for this age group don't have, encouraging them to learn by "teaching" the characters. Along with building vocabulary, the series has positive themes that relate to emotional awareness, friendship, and getting along with others.
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What's the story?
WORD PARTY is an interactive preschool series from the Jim Henson Company. It centers on four animal babies -- Bailey, Franny, Kip, and Lulu -- who learn new words through play and their daily routines. Bouncing Clickety Clock drops in to tell them when it's time to eat, nap, and play, and every activity provides the kids with opportunities to explore language and other early learning skills, which they do with the help of the "big kids" in the viewing audience.
Is it any good?
This engaging series broadens preschoolers' vocabulary in a unique way, putting kids in a position to "teach" the characters as they learn themselves. The tweak may seem minor to parents, but for little ones who are constantly on the receiving end of instruction, being looked at as the big kid in the room could be just the thing to get them on board for learning. The show is paced well for youngsters, mixing fun and funny experiences with simple vocabulary lessons and other important skills such as shape identification.
Word Party also incorporates less tangible lessons that are equally important for preschoolers. The characters' interactions often yield small conflicts that involve hurt feelings and differences of opinion, but they work through them by listening to each other, being patient, and finding kindness. At the same time, they learn about their own emotions and always end on a positive note, celebrating what they've learned as well as the learning process itself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the characters in Word Party and their relationships. How can you tell they're good friends? Does that mean they always get along?
Parents can reinforce the show's educational content by helping kids identify shapes, numbers, and words like the characters do. What opportunities do you have during the day to count? To rhyme? What is your child's favorite color?
Kids: Do you like being in a big-kid role? What can you teach kids littler than you? What can you learn from kids who are older and from grown-ups?
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