Pros: Educational, fun, show kids and families can watch together. Teaches valuable lessons, enforces positive values.
Arthur first aired on PBS in 1996, and has been going strong ever since. This animated television show for kids has been teaching youngsters important lessons in a fun and entertaining way for many years now. It is the the highest rated animated TV show on PBS kids, and the second longest running animated series in the United States, with only the Simpsons leading the way.
This animated show is based on the Arthur book series written by Marc Brown, and teaches some valuable lessons. Some of these lessons include things like dealing with the death of a pet, wearing eye glasses, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and Asperger syndrome.
Each 30 minute show is divided into two episodes, which are short enough to keep the attention of even younger children. Between the two shorter segments is a short segment with real people who discuss, and sometimes expand upon the topic of the show. Although I recommend that parents, grandparents, or other caregivers watch programs with their children, I have been watching this one for years with my own children, grandchildren and day care children and would be confident that there is nothing inappropriate for children to watch, even by themselves.
Although geared toward children from around 3-8, even younger children will be entertained by 8 year old Arthur the aardvark and his family and friends. When you watch Arthur, you will be introduced to a diverse variety of colorful characters who come in all shapes, sizes and species. They will teach valuable lessons, while entertaining kids in a fun way.
The show deals with a large variety of situations that could easily happen to everyday people. As an asthma sufferer who sometimes needs to stop what she is doing to take a breathing treatment, my granddaughter can see that there are others who deal with the same situation. Another child who was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, can see that he is not alone either. The lessons go on to cover a variety of topics, including health issues, environmental issues, bullying, and other social issues.
While it is best for parents or caregivers to try to watch this or any other show with their children, this show does a good job of explaining things in a way that most children can understand. I prefer to watch with them though, just in case they have questions that are not answered, of I feel that something should be further clarified. Everything I have seen over these many years was explained quite well though, so I really haven't felt the need for further explanations.
I recommend this show for all youngsters from preschool through around 10 years old. Even older children and adults will often enjoy this educational television show. It is well done, and teaches many important lessons.