*Doesn't talk down to children
Cons:Haven't found any yet
The Bottom Line: Go, Diego Go! is a wonderful animated educational program that I very highly recommend for toddler/preschoolers.
Even animations seem to manage to have spin offs. I dont think of Dora the Explorer being the typical type of cartoon program nor is its newest spin off Go, Diego Go!
Diego Marquez is the 8 year old cousin of Dora and is an animated action adventure hero. He loves animals and helps the viewer learn interesting facts about them.
On each show a Latin American animal is featured, such as a hump back whale, a macaw or a three toed sloth. Through different activities Diego along with the viewing audience rescues one of these animals from different types of troubles.
In the episode with the whale a baby whale is separated from its mother and gets stuck on the sandy beach. Diego calls on all of the whales to splash their tales to get waves going to shore to help the baby get back into the ocean.
During this episode we learn about what the whale eats, the sounds it makes and how it uses its tail. We learn about the whales family and the physical characteristics of whales.
Each episode helps the viewer learn scientific facts about animals and helps them to observe things that are the same or different about them.
Diego wears a rescue pack, much in the same way Dora has a backpack. This rescue pack can become whatever is necessary for the completion of an activity. Things like a ladder or a sled that help Diego accomplish what he needs to accomplish. The rescue pack asks the viewer which thing is appropriate to complete the task at hand.
Like Dora, this program uses lots of singing and uses Spanish words along with English to help children learn in either language. Go, Diego Go! Is an interactive program that encourages the viewer to do what the show is doing. Things like waddling like a penguin or making the sounds of different animals.
Diego has a sister named Alicia who helps him with some his adventures and also there are a couple of monkeys who are usually up to some mischief. The main side kick for Diego however is the young viewer.
At the beginning of the show there is a camera named Click that helps introduce us to what that particular episode will be about. He asks the viewer to click and the picture appears. This is a great way to be introduced to the topic of the show.
During each show Diego uses things likes a computer, field journal and the camera to help in learning about the animals that he is trying to help. All of these things along with Diego and the viewer are what helps to rescue each of the Latin American animals.
Near the end of each show the viewer tries to put together a four piece puzzle using information that has been brought out during the show. The narrator will ask questions and show two different answers. They then give children a moment to say the answer themselves and then the program reveals the right answer, flipping over one of the puzzle pieces. When the four questions have been answered and each panel flipped you will see a photograph type picture of the animal that the show was teaching about in that episode.
I am feeling very positive about Go, Diego Go! It teaches children about animals and includes them in the process of learning. It doesnt just have them sit passively by and watch but encourages them to become a part of what is going on.
I think what has amazed me the most is that Jake has been answering the questions that Diego asks and is trying to say the Spanish words along with him. While Jake has enjoyed watching Dora as well, he has never interacted with the program. I dont know that he has really realized that Dora was asking him direct questions. Perhaps the appeal of this program being a boy action adventure hero has encouraged Jake to take part.
The things that my daycare children are learning is really evident as well. Dee absolutely loves whales and says she is going to be a whale trainer when she grows up. When the episode with the hump back whales came on she knew immediately what type they were and listened really intently to learn more about her favorite animal.
This program is teaching about the environment as well as how to care for animals and also that caring for oneself and others is important.
One thing that I appreciate in this program that bothers me about Dora the Explorer is that it doesn't encourage the children to shout an answer louder. While it does encourage getting up and moving it doesn't say "louder" at any point.
This is definitely a program that I would recommend for children as young as a year and up to around 5 or 6. I do know that my daycare children get very excited when I tell them that Go, Diego Go! is on and that we can watch it. It is a program that I feel good about letting them see.
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Type of Program: Cartoon or Animated
Program Quality: Thought-provoking, original material
Best Suited For: 3 to 5 Years