Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Archive for November, 2007

Parents More Active in Raising Kids Equals Less TV Time for Kids

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31, 2007
Parents are taking a more active role in the lives of their children than they did 10 years ago, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. For example, in 2004, 47 percent of teenagers had restrictions on what they watched on television, when they watched, and for how long, up from 40 percent in 1994 (Table 11).

A Child’s Day: 2004 examines the well-being of children younger than 18 and provides an updated look into how they spend their days. This series of 30 tables published by the U.S. Census Bureau is based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and addresses children’s living arrangements, family characteristics, time spent in child care, academic experience, extracurricular activities and more.

According to this latest look into the lives of children, about 68 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds had limits on their television viewing, an increase from 54 percent in 1994. More children 6 to 11 found they, too, were living with restrictions on television: 71 percent in 2004 compared with 60 percent 10 years earlier.

In 2004, 53 percent of children younger than 6 ate breakfast with their parents every day (Table 7). That compared with only 22 percent of teenagers who ate breakfast with their parents each morning. Those percentages increased at the dinner table, where 78 percent of children younger than 6 ate dinner nightly with their parents, compared with 57 percent of teenagers.

According to the current data, parents continued to exert a positive influence on their children in other ways. Seventy-four percent of kids younger than 6 were praised by their mother or father three or more times a day (Table 6). The same was true for 54 percent of children 6 to 11 and 40 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds.

Children 1 to 2 were read to an average of 7.8 times in the previous week of the survey (Table 9), while children 3 to 5 were read to an average of 6.8 times in the previous week.

Other highlights:

About half of all children 1 to 5 are read to seven or more times a week; 53 percent for 1- to 2-year-olds, and 51 percent for 3- to 5-year olds.

The percentage of children participating in lessons, such as music, dance, language, computers, or religion, went up for 6- to 11-year olds, from 24 percent in 1994 to 33 percent in 2004 (Table 13).

From 1994 to 2004, the percentage of children who changed schools went down for 6- to 11-year-olds, from 30 percent to 26 percent. For 12- to 17-year-olds, the percentage of children who changed schools dropped from 52 percent to 42 percent (Table 17).

From 1994 to 2004, the number of children 12 to 17 who repeated a grade declined from 16 percent to 11 percent. For children 6 to 11, the rate remained the same at 7 percent.

SIPP produces national-level estimates for the U.S. resident population and subgroups, and allows for the observation of trends over time, particularly of selected characteristics, such as income, eligibility for and participation in transfer programs, household and family composition, labor force behavior, and other associated events.

PBS KIDS sets the table for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

With Halloween just behind us, people in the USA have started gearing up for its next food-centric holiday, Thanksgiving. PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! will offer a full plate of great kids’ content on November 22 and 23 with specials encouraging sharing, friendship and fun.

On Thursday, November 22, PBS KIDS GO! features a special holiday presentation of Arthur’s Missing Pal, Arthur’s first-ever CGI movie. On Friday, November 23, the PBS KIDS preschool destination celebrates “Friend Day” with friendship-themed episodes followed by a two-hour Wordgirl marathon on PBS KIDS GO!. At pbskids.org, kids can send ecards to friends in celebration of “Friend Day.”


ARTHUR’S MISSING PAL, Thursday, November 22 on PBS KIDS GO!

Arthur, like you’ve never seen him before, stars in his FIRST-EVER CGI movie. When Arthur’s dog Pal disappears, Arthur must enlist the help of his friends to track him down. While Pal discovers his newfound freedom, Arthur discovers how much he misses his dog. Good thing Arthur has the gang to turn to — especially his best friend, Buster Baxter who dusts off his old detective gear to get on the case. This canine quest leads Arthur and Buster across Elwood city, deep into the bowels of an ice cream factory, past a giant cow on ice skates, and right up to the point where all hope seems lost. Could the solution to this caper, though, be right in front of Arthur’s eyes? And why has D.W. been acting so funny lately? One thing’s for certain, Arthur is determined to get to the bottom of this case. Follow Arthur, Buster and all their friends through the streets of Elwood City as they sniff out clues and chase after leads…and learn a valuable lesson about friendship, teamwork and responsibility.

PBS KIDS FRIEND DAY shows – Friday, November 23

Monkey Underground – When George stumbles across a gopher hole in the field near the country house, he suddenly finds himself inside a secret world of underground tunnels. Just below the mounds, Mama, Papa, and Junior Gopher have found a hiding place away from Mr. Gopher Getter – the man who plans to de-gopher the entire field. George warns his new pals about the looming trap. But only if George can dig super monkey-fast, and in the correct direction, will he be able to save his gopher friends from being removed from their home.

Cat Mother – Professor Wiseman entrusts George with Lucky, a tiny kitten too young to take care of herself. It’s love at first sight for Lucky when she meets her first dog – Hundley, the proud lobby dachshund. But it’s not such a fast friendship for Hundley, who sneezes when Lucky affectionately rubs against him. Hundley’s allergic to cats! Lucky is inconsolable, having to stay away from her new friend, so George decides to build a substitute dog for Lucky. Can George use his sharp investigation and engineering skills to create an exact Hundley replica?


Fan Mail – Emily Elizabeth writes a fan letter to her favorite pop star and discovers — with the help of Mr. Bleakman — that sometimes wishes do come true.

Hooray for Cleo – Cleo withholds information and makes everyone think she’s a beachball playing star.


The Little Red Hen – “Not I!” “Not I!” “Not I!” is all Red’s friends say when she needs their help gathering apples! This is a super big problem. The Super Readers take off into the story of the Little Red Hen, whose friends won’t assist her either! The Super Readers are willing to lend a hand to The Little Red Hen, but will anyone help Red?


Moving On – Cassie is devastated when her favorite big sister, Sophie, heads off to cooking school. Every spot in Dragon Land reminds Cassie of her sister and makes her sad all over again. Cassie ends up feeling better when she decides to teach her little sister how to cook Goo-Berry Pudding, just like Sophie taught her.

Head Over Heels – Quetzal asks the friends to take a bowl of gazpacho to his sick brother. Along the way, they have to pay a toll to Trumpy the tollbooth troll. Emmy doesn’t know how she will pay. The toll is one cartwheel, and she can’t do one. Her friends give her tips and Emmy keeps on trying, and finally gets good enough to pay the toll.

WORDGIRL Marathon – Friday, November 23 on PBS KIDS GO!

Tobey or Consequences – While Tobey has a babysitter, WordGirl and Tobey get into a battle of words on a real-live match of the game show “Crash or Pie.”

High-Fat Robbery – The Butcher is hosting free barbecues as diversions to help him carry out his crimes; WordGirl takes him down, after discovering his meaty powers are neutralized by tofu!

You Can’t Crush City Hall – Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy is threatening to smush City Hall with his giant sandwich press… unless WordGirl can guess his secret code-word in time!

Two Brain Highway – WordGirl must track down Dr. Two 2-Brains after he escapes from the Prison Warden’s life-size maze, the same week there just happens to be lots of rare cheese to steal from events around town.

Coupon Madness – Granny May goes on a crime spree by using her coupons printing-press to get things for free… WordGirl has to track her down and foil her plan.

When Life Gives You Potatoes… – Dr. Two-Brains has escaped from prison again! WordGirl must find him before he perfects his latest weapon… a ray that can turn gold into cheese. (Luckily, so far, he’s only succeeded in turning gold into potato salad.)

Mouse Army – Dr. Two-Brains has created an army of super-smart mice – but they’ve become too smart! WordGirl must step in and save the city before the mice take over.

Super-Grounded – Becky is grounded for not cleaning her room; when she sends Captain Huggy Face in WordGirl’s place to battle the Butcher, he feels like chopped liver.

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