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

PEEP and the Big Wide World

PEEP and the Big Wide World

Fall 2015 Website

Families and educators looking for science and math activities to do with preschool-aged children will find a variety of ideas and resources on the website for Peep and the Big Wide World. The site is linked to the PBS series for kids, and thus has a selection of archived videos from the show. Some clips focus on the adventures of the animated characters Peep, Chirp, Quack, and Newton as they navigate science-related problems in their lives (if Newton the turtle flips onto his back so that his head is upside down, will apples fall up? Curious minds want to know). Other clips show real children doing hands-on science activities, such as measuring their own height by building block towers. Tabs for parents and educators link to "Anywhere Activities" arranged by location type or by theme. These include ideas for family science activities such as collecting sounds from the neighborhood or experimenting with blowing bubbles through a straw. Tabs also include links to parenting videos, coloring sheets, and handouts to extend the activities. The entire site also exists in a Spanish-language format, and many of the games are available as apps.

Peep and the Big Wide World is a well-organized site that is appealingly designed for both kids and adults. The videos are gently humorous, and highlight the kind of investigative spirit that is central to scientific thinking (really…why don't apples fall up when we are upside down?). The associated games are the least successful aspect of the site, as they are neither particularly exciting nor particularly good at conveying science concepts. The "Anywhere Activities," however, more than make up for the deficit of the games, as they offer plenty of great ideas for education or just for rainy day fun.

Naomi Lesley   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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