I was recently asked to check out a kids' show on the Aboriginal cable channel APTN called Planet Echo. I completely (slightly shamefully) admit that I think this is the first time I've ever turned on that channel - it's one that I'm very glad to see is offered on my cable box, but I'm not sure what's on there for me.
I'm happy to report that Planet Echo is a great reason to watch APTN (and I'm sure there are many more) if you are looking for a different & new kids' show with an emphasis on Canada, history and the environment -- particularly if your little ones are aged 7-12. This is a little bit older than my kids, but when we turned it on yesterday afternoon, their interest was piqued.
The show is all about the adventures of two brothers, Chuck (the athletic, academic, science guy) and Andy (the urban, outdoorsy culture hound). Along with the fun characters and some silly stuff, there's a strong environmental science theme. The episode we watched was about trying to find the 'greenest' way to travel across the country.
In addition, given the French-Canadian/Aboriginal background of the brothers, there's lot of great Canadian history and culture thrown in. I very much appreciate these themes when I think about the educational potential of children's television (they do actually learn things from TV sometimes, you know).
The brothers reminded me of the Kratt Brothers, who we've watched on TVO before. Planet Echo seems like something we'll check out again, particularly when the kids are a bit older.
Planet Echo's website also features videos and games for the same sort of age range. I didn't check them out with the kids as we didn't have a lot of time to spend on the computer this weekend, but the website seems user friendly to me. It's also kind of neat that the show ties into the website - they display code words on the screen that I believe you can enter into your profile on the website for more 'points'.
Check your local listings and see what your kids can learn from Planet Echo, fellow Canadians.
Disclosure: to thank me for taking the time to review Planet Echo, I will be receiving a gift card. My opinions are completely my own.