You’ve discovered TVOKids, right? If you haven’t, it’s time to tune in when television gets the green light at your house. Among the ocean of viewing options from commercial broadcasters, Youtube and Netflix, TVOKids is one of the few safe screen spots that kids enjoy and parents can trust.
But it’s not just a series of entertaining educational episodes that air weekdays (6 am to 7 pm) and weekends (6 am to 4 pm). Online, TVOKids.com provides tons of informative and fun resources – homework help, apps, games, contests and interactive activities – for preschoolers (2-5), school-aged (6-11) and parents.
Here are a few reasons why we love Ontario’s public broadcaster:
They get kids curious about math and science: The new live-action comedy series Odd Squad (pictured above) aimed at kids in grades 1-2, helps get them familiar with key math concepts. Our little viewers loved the two kid agents (who work for a government agency run by kids in suits) who respond to strange and goofy situations (like when all the zeroes have gone missing in town.)
Our five-year-old (and preschooler) are huge fans of Wild Kratts, the two brothers Chris and Martin Kratt, who travel to animal habitats around the world. Their stories of adventure, mystery and rescue get children excited about science and nature.
They get kids ready for school: For the kindergarten first-timers, Hi Opie is for you. This live-action series (premiered this fall) teaches preschoolers kindergarten readiness skills through the five-year-old character Opie, a custom-built puppet created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Opie interacts with new real kid friends and gets to know his teachers while learning important life lessons.
For more ABC’s & 123’s, Gisele’s Big Backyard is a super play and learning space. Gisele (and her friends) introduce preschoolers to concepts of sharing and caring, plus some literacy skills (I dare you not to get the Letter Tree song stuck in your head.)
Their online resources are abundant and age-specific: TVOKids.com is divided into two sections – 2-5 and 11 & under. Both areas have videos, games, contests and an area to create and share. The Homework Zone is a resource for kids needing extra help in math, science and literacy skills. It supplements in-school learning with online activity sheets with questions based on the Ontario school curriculum.
They have apps: A lot of them and you can search according device.
They connect with parents: TVO Parents is another resource, just for parents. The Parents’ Toolkit has info on subjects such as childhood development milestones, what parents new-to-Canada need to know and information about the Ontario curriculum.
They are on-the-go: Check their website and listen for announcements when TVO Kids hosts are out and about in the community. Kara Ranger just traveled the province reading Canadian children’s books as part of the Read with Ranger Kara Tour, TVOKids were featured on the Kids Stage at Word on the Street and they offer tours of The Space studio on weekdays at 4:10 pm – must be booked in advance.