Creative GalaxySpring 2017 Television
Creative Galaxy is an animated preschool series created by the many of the same people responsible for Blue's Clues and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. In fact, the dialogue and story devices in all of these programs are strikingly familiar and even repetitive, but kids love the formula for a reason; there's much to enjoy in the familiar pro-social storylines and educational kindergarten-readiness touches.
The hook in Creative Galaxy is artistic expression through crafts, music, and movement. The star is young alien Arty and, along with his sidekick Epiphany, he navigates a galaxy of creative inspirations. Each half-hour episode features two separate stories, rendered in eye-catching color-splashed animation, with two live-action interstitials featuring kids working on craft and movement projects related to the episode's storylines. And as in Blue's Clues and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Arty directly addresses young viewers, engages them with questions and prompts to help them get in touch with their inner artists.
In "Dad's Birthday Breakfast," Arty mulls over possibilities for a special birthday surprise for his father, a quest that leads to some creativity in the kitchen and a lesson proclaiming "food can be art!" Arty makes a fruity masterpiece for his dad using everything from strawberries to watermelon balls to make a fun face on a pineapple canvas. The second story in that episode, "Dad's Restaurant Birthday," will appeal to kids but it also will please any parent who's ever dealt with a child that gets cranky and impatient while waiting for a table at a restaurant. Arty blasts off to Creative Galaxy where a superhero named Captain Paper teaches him how to pass the time with simple crafts and drawing games that can be done on the back of a placemat.
In "The Birdie Ballet," dance is the artistic medium of choice and Arty and pals Annie and Jackson learn memory tricks to help them recall the steps for basic ballet positions. The first live-action interstitial features kids doing creative movement exercises, then, in a story titled "Artie's Instruments," Arty and his friends accompany Artie's dad to an instrument store. A side trip to Creative Galaxy inspires them to make maracas and an Indian bell anklet called a ghungroo, allowing them to make music and dance at the same time.
This program resides at the intersection of critical and creative thinking, promoting out-of-the-box approaches to problem-solving. It's a tactic that any family into the Maker Movement will appreciate. The key to ensuring that Creative Galaxy is more than just colorful viewing, though, is for parents to watch with their kids and then turn off the TV and break out the craft box to apply what they've seen Arty demonstrate.