School is currently out for most students across the country. But even with children being out on vacation, it is never too soon to instill a little education with their summer fun. That’s where PBS Kids comes into play. PBS Kids has already released a handful of family friendly DVDs that will both entertain and educate audiences of all ages this summer. Earlier this month it released yet another new family friendly offering in the form of Peg + Cat’s new DVD Out Of This World. This latest offering from the award-winning series is much smaller than its predecessors. But it still offers plenty to be appreciated beginning with its featured stories. That will be discussed shortly. The lessons that are contained therein are just as important to note in the collection’s bigger picture as the stories in which the lessons are presented. The bonus material that is included in the set rounds out the collection’s most important elements. It brings everything full circle here and shows together with the featured stories and lessons why the DVD is, in whole yet a rather aptly titled collection.
Peg + Cat: Out Of This World is an aptly titled new collection from the award-winning PBS Kids series. That is because it proves in whole that it is in fact an out of this world set, even as small as it may be. This is proven in part through the stories that make up the main body of the disc. Unlike previous Peg + Cat DVD collections, this one is much smaller than its predecessors in regards to its stories. It features only for stories, whereas the majority of its predecessors feature twice that number. Not every collection does. But the majority of those collections do double up on that story count. Even featuring only four episodes it still doesn’t detract from the collection. That is because the stories are original and also interconnected. Each story sees Peg and her furry, blue friend visiting their alien pal Richard, who lives on the purple planet for different reasons. “The Doohickey Problem” sees Peg and Cat having to fix their rocket ship because it has broken. And it is up to Richard to help them. The duo visits him yet again in “The Long Line Problem” as he waits to get the latest new yellow gadget. This is an especially funny episode for parents because it is obvious that the writers were poking fun at Apple and the people who wait so rabidly for the latest new Apple gadget even if they don’t know entirely what it does. In “Richard The Third” Peg and Cat have to help motivate Richard as he competes with his siblings (who just happen to also be named Richard). The story plays on the practice of people being called “the first,” the second,” and so on. The set’s final episode “The T-Ball Problem” joins Richard with Peg and Cats T-Ball team in order to take on another team for the purple planet’s “world series.” It’s a fitting way to not only entertain and educate young audiences (and even some older audiences thanks to its lesson) but also build hype over MLB’s road to the “second season” now that said annual road is being paved once again. All four stories have their own identity separate from the others. But they are all connected by one underlying thread—that of Peg and Cat’s visits with Richard. The fact that the people at PBS Kids and PBS Distribution were able to connect all four episodes together all while maintaining the episodes’ identities is impressive in its own right. It shows again that while the set boasts only four stories, they are still four stories that will keep audiences of all ages entertained and educated from beginning to end. The stories are collectively just part of what makes this latest collection of Peg + Cat episodes so enjoyable. The lessons that are tied into the stories are just as important to note as the stories that are featured within each episode.
The stories that make up the main body of Peg + Cat: Out Of This World are in their own right hugely important to the DVD’s overall presentation. That is because each story has its own identity yet is connected to the others by the central thread of Peg and Cat visiting Richard in each story. The balance presented therein makes the stories their own clearly important part to the disc’s presentation. The lessons that are tied into each story are just as important to the collection’s presentation as the stories themselves. The lessons presented here are not just the standard math lessons either. The value of teamwork is taught alongside elementary level counting skills in “The Doohickkey Problem.” “Richard The Third” presents an equally lesson about self-confidence and sense of self alongside its own elementary counting lesson. “The Long Line Problem” and “The T-Ball Problem” are the only stories presented here that focus primarily on math. The prior teaches a basic lesson about ordinal numbers while the latter presets a basic lesson about statistics. Whether for the math lessons, the more personal lessons, or for both, it can be said that the lessons in whole add their own element to the collection. It clearly shows that continued effort by The Fred Rogers Company to instill that sense of self among audiences (and do so in a way that doesn’t exactly mirror the lessons from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) all while also teaching valuable lessons, proving the importance of math in everyday life on a level that makes that importance accessible by younger audiences. There is no denying the impact that this balance of education (both socially and in terms of math) plays in the bigger picture of this collection. Together with the set’s featured episodes the two elements strengthen the DVD’s presentation even more. They still are not its only important elements. The bonus material that is included in the set is just as important to note as the set’s featured stories and their related lessons.
The stories that make up the main body of PBS Kids’ new Peg + Cat collection are undeniably important to the collection’s presentation. The social and mathematical lessons that are tied into the episodes are just as important to its collection as the stories themselves. They are not the collection’s only important elements, though. The bonus material that is included in the set is just as important to the collection’s presentation as its stories and lessons. That is because the bonus material is made up of lessons that drive home the concepts presented within each of the stories and lessons. They encourage parents and teachers to work with children in order to drive home those lessons, too. “Monster Math” is one of those bonuses. It drives home the basic counting lesson presented in “The Doohickey Problem” and “Richard The Third” by having an adult work with a child to build a “monster”–much like the one on the purple planet, who loves all things yellow—out of an empty tissue box and construction paper. The adult then cuts up the construction paper even more, putting numbers on each piece before giving those pieces to the child. From there, the adult calls out the numbers for the child to find and then feed to the monster.
“Triple Addition” is another of the set’s bonus features. It, too echoes the basic counting lesson presented in “The Doohickey Problem.” It does so by having children and parents find household items in order to make their own patterns. The suggested items include candy (to make the lesson educational and tasty), pasta (in its various forms), and different colored and shaped blocks just to name a few. Parents and children can use those suggestions or find their own items. Over time parents and children can build pattern recognition skills using any number and type of items.
“Marble Mayhem” is the last of the bonuses included in the set. This bonus lesson uses dice, marbles, (or whatever item parents and children choose) and a cup. It is a multi-player game that teaches counting skills by having children roll the dice and put the matching number of marbles into their respective cups. The first child to fill his or her cup wins the game. As is noted in the activity, younger children can use just one die while older children can use a pair of dice. It is a simple game that is sure to entertain and educate any child. That is not to discount “Triple Addition” or “Monster Math” either. All three bonus activities offers its own education and entertainment for the whole family. Those bonus activities couple with the set’s stories and their associated lessons to make this collection in whole yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. They come together to make it a collection that truly is “out of this world” whether used in the classroom or the living room.
Peg + Cat: Out Of This World is yet another impressive collection from the award-winning PBS Kids series. It is another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library that is in fact rather aptly titled. That is due in part to the interconnected stories which make up the body of the DVD’s presentation. The lessons that are tied into each story are just as important to note as the stories themselves in noting what makes the DVD so impressive. The bonus activities that are included with the collection round out its most important elements and bring everything full circle. They join with the set’s stories and their associated lessons to ensure children’s (and even adults’) entertainment and education from beginning to end, proving again why this set is so “out of this world.” It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store. More information on this DVD is available online now along with lots more Peg + Cat activities, games, printables and more at:
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