A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series aims to expand young kids' vocabulary and other prereading skills such as shape recognition, color awareness, and very basic counting abilities. By putting viewers in the position of being the "big kids," it encourages them to take an active role in the interaction.
Kids see the characters' enthusiasm for learning and the joy they find in playing together. In some cases, stories incorporate emotions in ways that young kids will understand, as when a character cries after his block tower gets knocked over and his friends help make him feel better. Other important life skills such as manners and respect are incorporated, and curiosity is seen as a positive characteristic. Additional themes include empathy and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
The animals play, dance, and sing together, genuinely enjoying each other's company and their cooperative learning adventures. When problems arise (and they do), they work through them with kindness and always have happy endings.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.