Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Noodle and Doodle

Noodle and Doodle

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 2 - 6 yrs.
Producer: Sprout
Rating: TV Y

PBS KIDS Sprout dishes up its original series Noodle and Doodle, a live-action/puppetry hybrid geared toward preschoolers. The program stars Sean, familiar to Sprout viewers as the host of its Sunny Side Up Show, and he's joined by his puppet pal Noodle, and an Etch-a-Sketch-type toy named Doodle. The trio travels around the neighborhood in a brightly colored bus, visiting kids in need of help.

The families they visit are "real," not polished actors, adding to the simple sincerity of the show. Each family appeals to Sean and company to solve a problem. One family asks for suggestions to help decorate for Chinese New Year. Another family is in search of treats to feed their pet cat. Sean, Noodle, and Doodle set to work on crafts and cooking projects, all of which are simple enough for little viewers to do at home. An on-screen graphic directs adults to the PBS website for step-by-step instructions.

The cooking segments stress good hygiene (such as washing hands before cooking); sound environmental practices (recycling empty bottles); and good kitchen etiquette (cleaning up after yourself). Recipes use common pantry ingredients and they're easy enough for kids to complete with adult supervision. The craft projects are clever, yet equally easy, and they use simple items and recycled household scraps, such as cardboard egg cartons and socks. Episodes also include an animated short called "Diggity," which follows the adventures of a dog that heads up a busy restaurant kitchen.

Noodle and Doodle offers a variety of segments but they unfold at a leisurely pace. It's all about having fun, helping new friends, and diving into easy hands-on projects, making the program feel kind of like preschool-on-wheels. It's cheery, visually interesting, and likely to bring a smile to the face of little viewers.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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