Fun & Easy Ways to Bring Your Kids Content to Life!
With school and most childcare on hold for the foreseeable future, many parents are continuing to find themselves juggling both full-time careers and the home-schooling of their kids. Now more than ever families are turning to content to help them cope at home.
These days setting screen time limits for our children seems like a thing of the past, with today’s reality being more on the focus of curating a media diet for our kids made up of good quality content. Something we at 9 Story work hard to create every day.
In some recent interviews discussing How Much Screen Time Is Too Much Screen Time and How to Prioritize Quality Screen Time During the Pandemic, our Chief Creative Officer and Emmy Award-Winning Creator, Angela Santomero outlined the benefits of a co-viewing strategy she calls ‘View and Do’. The idea behind View & Do is to encourage parents to take co-viewing one step further, engaging their kids in conversations and/or activities based around the shows they are watching.
It’s a highly effective strategy that parents can implement by simply tuning-in and taking an active interest in what their kids are watching, so they have context and framework to further engage with their children about the content they are consuming. This does not mean you have to be glued to the screen alongside your little ones—View & Do can be as simple as having some inspirational objects at the ready for your kids to play with when a show finishes, asking them questions about their favorite character around the dinner table, or prepping some activities inspired by their series of choice that they can dive into after watching.
View & Do is all about engagement and examining how we can lean into our content and find new ways to enrich our co-viewing experiences with our kids. It also teaches all of us how the stories we watch can enrich and impact our lives in more ways than we think.
So, where to start?
We’ve pulled together what we are calling Starter Sparks – View & Do strategy ideas to help ignite your imagination using several of our award-winning 9 Story shows as examples.
Our hope is that these suggestions will help you take your co-viewing adventure to a whole new level!
Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood
Starter Spark | Question Play: What Would Daniel Tiger Do?
Most parents of toddlers and beyond are familiar with our friend Daniel Tiger, the shy but brave 4-year-old tiger who lives in the Neighbourhood of Make Believe, and who is always willing to engage with his world by asking questions.
Parents have already been turning to Daniel Tiger as a resource to help talk to their kids about the current coronavirus pandemic, using Daniel’s songs and lessons to help teach their kids about the importance of washing their hands, or how to deal with some of the complicated feelings around being separated from friends and families during this challenging time.
Another way for you to engage with your kids using Daniel Tiger is with some simple Question Play! Throughout the day, when you see certain teachable life lessons arise, why not ask your children ‘What Would Daniel Tiger Do?’ in that situation. See what they say and be ready to engage with your own Daniel Tiger advice in return. For example, if you child is getting angry or frustrated, and you ask them “What Would Daniel Tiger Do?”, they might reply “ROAR”, and then you can remind them that he might also “Take a Deep Breath Count to Four!”
To go even further check out this fantastic Learning Kit via the PBS Kids site.
Learn more about Daniel Tiger via Parents’ Choice.
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Starter Spark | Hero for a Day!
For all the Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum fans out there, we have an awesome idea on how to engage your kids for a FULL DAY in their own Xavier Riddle adventure.
Xavier Riddle encouraging children to dream big, use their imagination and be heroes themselves. And what better way to learn about your favourite hero than pretending to be them for the entire day!
In fact, there are full instructions and day-long schedule via the Xavier Riddle blog here!
The Hero for a Day activity is a simple and fun lesson that parents can do from home to help teach their children about key historical figures, important life-lessons and how they, too, can be heroes in their regular life.
Learn more about Xavier Riddle via Parents’ Choice.
Charlie’s Colorforms City
Starter Spark – Storytime is Shaping Up!
If you’ve seen any of Charlie’s Colorforms City, you know that each episode follows the loveable, hilarious Charlie, on his unpredictable and imaginative shape-filled story expeditions, alongside a colorful cast of characters.
So, why not take some of those shape filled adventures off the screen and into your home! Each day pick a new shape and send your children on a shape specific scavenger hunt. Ask them to go around the house and seek out all the shape of the day shapes they can find.
Want to go one extra step, ask them to make a story including the objects they found on their scavenger hunt..
Remember with Charlie, it’s all about the shape of a story!
Learn more about Charlie’s Colorforms City via Parents’ Choice.
Peg + Cat
Starter Spark – Measuring Moments
Looking to help your kids polish up on their counting skills? Tune-in to Peg + Cat, a timeless preschool series that follows an adorable spirited little girl named Peg, and her sidekick, Cat, as they encounter unexpected problems that often require them to use addition, subtraction and basic arithmetic skills to solve!
If you are looking to add a little number fun to your kids’ day, here is a super simple activity to try at home. Print out this measuring tool based in the shape of ‘Cat’, and send your child off on a measuring adventure. Asking them to count how many ‘cats’ certain objects around your house are. This is an enjoyable way for your kids to work on their counting skills, with one of cutest cats right by their side! Don’t have a printer, have your kids draw and cut out their own!
Learn more about Peg + Cat via Parents’ Choice.
The Magic School Bus: Rides Again
Starter Spark – Science Fair!
Whether you are a fan of the original, the reboot, or both – The Magic School Bus series is a staple when it comes to teaching kids about science in a super fun and adventure filled way! Who doesn’t get goosebumps when they hear Ms. Frizzle shout out “Seatbelts Everyone!”
This series is full of opportunities to engage with your kids using the View & Do strategy. Even from simple questions like how does digestion work, or what makes us sneeze, you will be surprised and astounded at the informative and fun answers your kids will be ready to share after a Magic School Bus viewing party.
Our suggestion is to turn one or more episodes into an a jumping off point for a Science Fair project! For example, why not ask your kids to create a model galaxy after viewing the Space Mission episode. Or have them try out some magnetic experiments once they’ve seen Magnetic Mambo. The possibilities are endless when you let the bus do its stuff!
Learn more about The Magic School Bus: Rides Again via Parents’ Choice.
Starter Spark – Adventures in Arts and Crafts
Creative Galaxy is an uber imaginative series that follows the adventures of Arty, and his inspirational sidekick Epiphany as they soar through the Creative Galaxy fixing problem – with art! Whether it’s saving the day with mixed media art, creative snacks – or even slime! – Arty always discovers new ways to come to the rescue for this friends and family.
And Creative Galaxy is stocked full of imaginative arts & craft ideas that can be pulled directly from the series and made in real life!
In fact, we’ve highlighted a few of these crafts via our Creative Galaxy Craft Adventure blog post.
Essentially when it comes to View & Do and Creative Galaxy, all you have to remember is to watch and make!
Learn more about Creative Galaxy via Parents’ Choice.
Let’s Go Luna!
Starter Spark | Travel Time!
For the kids who dream of being globe trotters one day – we recommend joining the traveling performance troupe, “Circo Fabuloso“ and tagging along on the adventures of a hilarious group of friends as they traverse the globe in the animated series Let’s Go Luna!
A simple way to engage the Let’s Go Luna! fans in your home, is to send them on a virtual research trip to a destination of their choice! Get them to pull together fun facts about a place they would love to travel to. You could ask them what types of foods are popular, what does national flag look like, what is the weather like in January? Just give them a list to run with and watch them explore!
Learn more about Let’s Go Luna! via Parents’ Choice.
Starter Spark – Wild Kratts Fan Fiction
It’s time to activate Creature Power and engage the hearts and minds of all those Wild Kratts fans around the globe!
Wild Kratts is an animated action-adventure show that follows Chris and Martin Kratt travel to different corners of the world to meet amazing new animals. While watching, kids learn cool facts about the animals and are entertained by the hilarious hijinks and fun provided by the Kratt brothers.
So how can you bring the Wild Kratts world into your living room? We suggest asking your kids to create their own Wild Kratts fan fiction, in the form of a graphic novel! Get them to pick an animal, research all about it, and then create a Kratts illustrated adventure using their newly found knowledge! And then watch as their Creature Power expands!
Learn more about the Wild Kratts via Parents’ Choice.
We hope these suggestions have helped to inspire you in some new directions and have given you some new tools to elevate your co-viewing efforts at home.
And we would love to hear any View & Do ideas that you come up with based on your kids’ favourite content. Share them on social and make sure to tag @9storymediagroup.