Sunday, April 19, 2009

Critter Quest

Ohhh, these are some awesome videos for nature loving kids! Our test group absolutely went wild for these and insisted on watching them repeatedly. Luckily for us parents, these don't carry the annoyance factor that typical cartoons bring, so repeat viewings are a-okay. These are the ultimate resource for any kid who loves learning about bugs, birds, squirrels, caterpillars and more!

Peter Schriemer is the perfect host for this series. He is engaging, appears to take a genuine interest in the subjects at hand and his enthusiasm is downright contagious. He takes us on a "backyard safari" to demonstrate how one's very own backyard can become the most fascinating place of all for exploration. The camera work is also excellent, with up close, clear footage of all the featured animals.

This disc contains three episodes, each tackling different subject areas. Creepy Crawlers Everywhere features all types of insects and small animals: beetles, slugs, walking sticks, pill bugs, frogs and jumping spiders. There's even a neat little lesson on how to build your own beetle trap, using common household materials. Season of Change gives us the lowdown on how different animals prepare for winter. For the coldest season, we learn how these guys must put their survival skills to work by foraging (squirrels and chipmunks), hibernating (frogs and turtles) and migrating (birds). And finally, The Wild Side of D.C., shows exactly which critters call Washington, D.C. their home - from Canada geese to ducks and squirrels, the animals run this town.

Smithsonian Networks is renowned for quality programming, and it's no surprise that Smithsonian Networks Kids offers equally great content. These programs are informative, down to earth (literally!) and utterly fascinating. Bug out on this backyard safari and your kids will be begging to give their own yards a closer look to make their own creepy, crawly friends.

Run time: 90 minutes
Release date: March 24, 2009

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