Peg + Cat

Peg+Cat_8

Peg + Cat is an animated series on PBS  and produced by The Fred Rogers Company. It is based on the children’s book The Chicken Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Bill Aronson. It is a math-based series targeted towards children ages 3-5 years old. The show follows Peg and her sidekick Cat as they go on different adventures together, solve problems, and learn math concepts and skills. According to pbs.org , the goal of the show is to inspire children’s curiosity about math and help them learn skills and strategies for solving math problems in their daily lives.

Peg + Cat is probably the only show that is explicitly about math. Other shows for this age group focus on language or reading, or don’t focus on anything at all. The show maintains the math theme by showing the animation as if it were drawn on graph paper. There are a lot of geometric shapes used as well as using infinity signs for clouds. The show follows the similar pattern of other shows marketed towards this age group, such as Dora the Explorer. A problem is presented and needs to be solved, using math in this case. The main character, Peg, asks for help from the viewer, introducing and practicing a concept along the way. Peg + Cat does a good job of integrating math concepts in a way that is accessible and part of the story. The show is connected to a website as well as online games and apps, which are promoted in the show. The games are free on the website, however the mobile app does cost money.

Common Sense Media gives Peg + Cat 5 stars, and agree that it is appropriate for children about ages 3 and up. They also point out that parent’s will be surprised at how much younger children  will pick up on the basics, as well as suggests that parent’s should watch the show with their children to get ideas of how to incorporate similar hands on math concepts in their own day.

-A. Hamblin

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