Peep and the Big Wide World - Science For Very Young Children

Even before my son was born I knew I was going to be that mom. You know the type--organic food I processed myself, exclusively cloth diapers and, of course, absolutely no television, ever. Then I discovered TV shows like Lamb Chop's Play-Along and Under The Umbrella Tree, with their gentle messages of friendship and cooperation, and decided that maybe, just maybe, a limited number of carefully chosen television programs might fit in just fine.

Peep, Chirp and Quack help even very young kids explore the world around them
Peep and the Big Wide World is the perfect science show for preschoolers.

Of all the television programs wearing the educational badge, few wore it as well as Peep. Where a lot of TV tries to shoehorn in a lesson here and there, Peep was pure and unapologetic in its commitment to educational programming.

But the show's true strength, in my opinion, lay in its ability to encourage critical thinking skills. In one episode, the friends notice the ever-changing shape, size and color of the moon. This leads to Quack, the oldest of the trio, to muse that there must be many moons hovering just out of sight. After all, how could a single moon be big and round one day, half a moon just days later and not there at all some nights?

Later seasons missed a step here and there--like the hamfisted attempt to inject math--but the first season, especially, is as good as children's programming gets.

Look for Peep and the Big Wide World on PBS, PBS Kids and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.