NO we didn't break down and buy a TV (it's been five years since we owned one), but I did let my older girl see her first episode of Super Why! While I don't plan to change my stance on TV in our home, my view is softening a bit thanks to meeting Angela Santomero (creator of Blues Clues and Super Why) and learning more about PBS Kids programing at a special event in NYC.
Here's the thing, I can afford a great preschool, books and one-on-one reading time with my daughters. These things are the foundation to build a strong reader and a kid with a lifelong love of books. Not all moms are in the same situation. Some have full time jobs outside the home with kids in daycare and no resource for reading materials. So I decided to open my mind a bit and let in Super Why!
Since this is book month, I couldn't pass up the chance to see if Super Why! was indeed a champion of literacy. PBS sent me link for a sample show. My daughter and I watched as Super Why! (a hero with reading power) saves the day. His pals like to sing and get active. We thought RED the skating girl with "word power" was pretty cool. The show had strong components: letter identification, word decoding, phonetic awareness, phonics and reading comprehension. The characters were sweet and the message palatable. All in all, if your kids are going to watch TV, this seems like a great program. In homes where kids don't have strong reading role models, this show might just spark some interest (studies have linked Super Why! to improved reading skills in low-income families).
This summer Super Why! is hosting a bunch of fun summer events. To kick things off, there is a nationwide event on June 13th. Toys R US will have a Super Why! Play Day from 12-2 pm. To find a store near you and see the line of toys click here.
Looking for free online activities this summer? Click the Super Why! site and join your child in some reading fun. And if you've already got a Super Why! fan in your house, why not support the reading habit with the new line of Super Why! toys. Learning Curve sent me a bunch of these to test. I thought the Super Why Role Play Kit (with cape, mask, and "Why writer"; $49.95) was a good way to inspired imaginative play and the Super WHY! Dress Up Doll - Wonder Redis a "super" alternative to Bratz and Barbie.