If you have a little boy like I do, it is just amazing to me their innate love for cars, trucks and train sets. Maybe it’s a little more enticing for Gavin because we practically live on the commuter rail in our city, so a train passes by our window several times per day. Ever since I can remember, at 10 months of age, he could hear it coming across the river and would drop anything and everything to run to look out the window and make all the train noises he could which started with an “NNN, NNN.” Years later now he’s completely perfected his train noises and this is still an everyday occurrence. I think we are blessed with having children so that we can learn to appreciate the everyday things that drive us crazy, because it’s the simple things in life that bring such fulfillment to their lives!
A year or so ago I received a DVD with a few episodes of what was then a new show for preschool aged kids called Chuggington. Both Gavin and I were hooked. Most kids are very familiar with Thomas the Train, and I was so excited to see a fresh new take on trains with Chuggington. Chuggington is the story of 3 trainee’s, Koko, Wilson and Brewster, who are growing up and learning all the tough skills of being good train engines. The music is upbeat and catchy. The episodes are short, about 15 minutes, which makes it a perfect time filler, without feeling like I’ve stuck him in front of the television all day. The lessons are practical and geared to preschool aged children who are learning to take turns and be good friends to others.
Even more exciting, Chuggington has partnered up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.gov), to bring good traffic and safety awareness to children ages 2-7 and their family. Though Gavin’s a little young for understanding “The Safety Pledge,” their website has a lot of great interactive videos, activities and games that teach young children all about wearing their seatbelt, riding the bus, wearing helmets when using ride-on toys and crossing the street so kids can “Think Safe, Ride Safe and Be Safe!” As a parent and an educator, it’s always important to find ways to reinforce these skills to our children, without constantly feeling like we are lecturing. What better way to help them learn these skills in a fun way with some of their most familiar toys and characters. These activities provide a way for children to be able to practice and discuss these skills in a safe environment, so they can eventually learn to then generalize what they have learned into real life situations.
Here’s the PSA announcement:
Here’s a link to a review I completed on the Chuggington Die Cast Training Yard Playset with Loop from Learning Curve.
Here’s a link to the Chuggington Safety Site for more information.
We have received a free Chuggington DVD and promotional materials regarding this initiative. Any other opinions are my own.