One of the highlights at the PBS Annual Meeting was learning more about the upcoming new kids animated math series, PEG + CAT. As a parent and preschool teacher, I know that making math fun can be a challenge. If you miss out on math basics you can lag behind for the rest of your life. PEG + CAT promises to help make math fun for preschoolers and build a solid foundation which will prepare them for school.
The series co-creators Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley, from 9ate7 Productions teamed up with The Fred Rogers Company to bring PEG + CAT to life. The series follows Peg and her side-kick cat as they are met with unexpected challenges. Each challenge requires them to use math and problem-solving skills to fix their problem. Preschoolers are sure to fall in love with the super cute and relatable character of Peg. Peg loves to break out her ukelele and sing when she is making progress but if she isn’t she is known to freak out.
Thank goodness for her side kick Cat who helps calm her down when the numbers aren’t adding up. Cat’s the total opposite approach to dealing with problems seems to always help Peg come up with the solution
Each half-hour episode features two eleven-minute adventures where Peg + Cat are faced with obstacles that require problem solving skills to overcome. Listening to the creators talk I was excited for the show, but also wondered how do they know that kids will learn from the show. Easy. The show is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education through the Ready To Learn Initiative, a program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media. Which means that real kids were actually tested before and after each episode. If the skills weren’t mastered after learning through Peg + Cat it was back to drawing board. Another interesting point that was made had to do with male vs female. Kids as young as second grade relate math for boys and not for girls. By using a relatable female character the series aims to change this way of thinking.
Peg + Cat is part of PBS Kids new multimedia experience which includes interactive games online at PBSkids.org/peg, hands on activities for families and lesson plans for teachers. The clips we saw were beyond cute and sure to put a smile on your child’s face. I can’t wait to utilize all of these experiences next year in the preschool classroom. Peg + Cat premiers on PBS Kids October 7, 2013 with a special one-hour broadcast. For now check out PBSKIDS.org to meet Peg + Cat and try out the interactive games.