Told from the perspective of 5-year old Betsy, Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures is designed to ease a child’s transition from the home setting to a school environment by generating interest and excitement about the kindergarten experience in young viewers.
Nationally aired on PBS Kids, Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures was voted one of TV Guide’s “Must See” shows and in 2010 and 2011; Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures was awarded with a prestigious Parent Choice Award for TV Series.
LENGTH: 24 x 30 Minutes
INTERNATIONAL TRACK: Yes, M&E
TEXTLESS MASTER AVAILABLE: No
CLOSED CAPTIONS: Yes
ASPECT RATIO: 4:3
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2008
RELEASE YEAR: 2011
PRODUCER: Polka Dot Productions
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States
RIGHTS TERRITORY: Worldwide, exclusive of PBS stations, USA
Developed for ages 2-6, Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures series also presents academic lessons to the audience. Each show is comprised of two activities drawn from the kindergarten experience, a behavioral or basic moral and an educational component. The viewer is shown a practical application of the lesson, while being entertained by the adventures of the story. Betsy combines endearing quality entertainment, with true function as it addresses a want in the market for programming that parents can feel confident in allowing their children to watch, while teachers can use the academic based curriculum.
When it comes to the casting of the show, Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures set out to include the finest voice talent. The cast includes Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson and Chucky from Rugrats; Daveigh Chase, Disney’s Lilo, Actor, the late Tom Bosley, Comedian, Fred Willard, Actress, Sally Struthers, Bess Armstrong, Cree Summer, Vicky Lewis and Richard Hor- vitz. Each of them brings many years in voice over talent and audience familiarity to each show.
The overall intention of Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures is to provide excellent educational, entertaining material to our audience, while building a groundswell of children, parent and teacher support for the show.
Episode Descriptions: Season I:
“How It All Began” – Betsy and her friends ﬁnd out what school is like as they start on their ﬁrst day of Kindergarten. They learn that it is better to work together, the importance of responsibility, and a thing or two about salamanders!
“Lost and Found” – What to do if you are lost? Betsy and Billy get lost at the museum and learn not to go somewhere without telling an Adult.
“The Farm Yard Field Trip” – Betsy and her friends’ find out how a real farm works, and observe similarities and differences between the animals they meet there. Also, the class gets a health lesson on the importance of dairy products and the calcium and vitamins they add to their diets, as well as a simple math lesson in basic addition and subtraction.
“Betsy’s Green Thumb” – Betsy and her classmates learn all about how plants grow. Betsy also learns a life lesson about believing in yourself, and that even though something may not seem special on the outside; it can grow into something very beautiful.
“Boots, Boots, Boots” – Betsy, with her new yellow boots, and her friends learn to become increasingly aware of changes in the ecosystem by going out and collecting information about events in their environment.
“Team Player” – Betsy and her friends plan to demonstrate their skills during sports and games week at school. They learn that playing sports and games is about getting plenty of exercise and having fun, not being perfect.
“Camping Out” – Betsy invites her friends over for a camping sleepover and a night of star-gazing turns out to be a little bit scary. In the end she faces her fears to discovery there was no reason to be afraid. Everyone learns a little about the stars and planets and the sun.
“The Tooth Chart” – Betsy struggles with the thought of loosing her first tooth. Upon reaching school the teacher explains “The Tooth Chart” up on the bulletin board. Betsy suddenly gets excited for her tooth to come out so she can record it on the chart in her class. In class, the students learn that losing teeth is a natural part of growing up.
“The Spy Who Taught Me” – Betsy and friends learn that sometimes the people you love can’t always be with you; they need to have some time to themselves.
“Show & Tell – Betsy and friends learn that sometimes the most interesting things come from inside of you, rather than stuff you posses. Imagination is a wonderful thing to have.
“Betsy Buys a Vowel” – Betsy and friends learn the importance of vowels and how to use them. Although some vowels may appear to be more important than others, everyone quickly discovers all the vowels are important.
“ Follow Those Directions” – Betsy and friends learn the importance of following directions and its correlation to following the rules.
“Borrowed Time” – Betsy and friends go to the school library. They learn about how the library works and the rules and regulations.
“Happy Earth Day” – The kids learn the causes and effects of pollution, and that even though it’s a big problem, kids can help by picking up trash and recycling.
“Frisky Business” – Betsy and friends develop basic skills in learning to investigate and observe the world around them by identifying objects using sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. Betsy uses the “five senses” in her investigation to find the clues and solve a mystery.
“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” – Betsy and her friends will learn how to use a calendar to understand the proper order of the days of the week.
“Tickets Please!” – Betsy and friends put on a class carnival. They plan a variety of fun games and activities. Being in charge of the tickets turns out to be a very important job. Math skills including counting, adding, subtracting and the basics of how money works is the key to their success.
“Have You Got The Time?” – Betsy and friends will learn to use the simple time measurement terms correctly while simultaneously learning to read clocks.
“Growing, Growing, Gone” – The kids measure themselves and learn about inches and feet as well as human growth. Billy worries he’s not growing, and we learn all kids grow differently.
“The Treasure Of Sierra Betsy” – Betsy and friends learn about money. The values of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars are all discussed in class. The class learns being able to use money correctly is a very important thing to know.
“Introducing The Post Office” – Betsy and friends start to learn about the people in their community starting with their local post office workers. They learn how the post office works.
“A Berry Sore Stomach” – Betsy and friends learn about basic food nutrition. But they also learn that you need to eat your favorite foods in moderation. Too much of a good thing is not always good for you.
“Lyrtle The Turtle” – Betsy and friends are learning about animals this week. The first featured animal is a turtle. They learn a valuable lesson in responsibility and what it takes to care for pets.
“The Great Gingerbread Man Mystery” – Betsy and friends learn to develop an awareness of the world around them as well as development of their imaginations and the ability to recognize landmarks and locations. When their freshly baked “Gingerbread Man” disappears, they need to use all these skills to solve the mystery and find their “Gingerbread Man”.
“Molly’s First Bike Ride” – Betsy and friends learn all about bike safety and help teach Molly how to ride a bike. Not only do they learn about safety rules but they also learn not to give up trying to learn how to do something.
“An Awfully Frightening Lightning” – Betsy and friends learn the basics about lightning and thunder. Knowledge and facts makes them less afraid and understanding of how to be safe during a storm
“Newton The New Kid” – Betsy and friends learn that the best way to make a new friend is to be a friend. Also they learn regardless if they like something or not, willingness to try something new is important.
“A Colorful Encounter” – The kids divide into groups for an art project involving primary colors. They discover that combining them makes new colors, just as by working together, they can make beautiful pictures.
“A Whole Lotta Air” – Betsy fears her brother has floated away when she and her friends play with helium-filled balloons.
“The Fire Department” – Betsy and friends continue to learn about the people in their community with the Fire Department. The class gets introduced how the Fire Department works and how important it is to their community.
“Responsibilities” – Betsy and her friends learn the importance of responsibility. At first they were all unsure and not in favor of having responsibilities but they learn to appreciate and enjoy having assigned responsibilities.
“Rules Of The Road” – After a chaotic bus ride in one morning, Bus driver Bob explains the rules of school bus safety. Betsy and her friends learn that safety comes first.
“To Tree or Not To Tree – Betsy is disappointed when she is told to be a tree in a play about animals. She comes to realize how important her part in the play is and why trees are so special.
“Something Fishy” – Mrs. O’Conner surprises the class with a field trip to the aquarium. Betsy and her friends have fun learning about ocean animals and get a chance to safely interact with some of the creatures.
“Police Department” A police officer visits the class and explains what the police do to keep the community safe. The class learns there are a lot of rules as well as different types of police jobs and responsibilities within the department.
“Visit From The Doctor” – The doctor talks to about what’s important in order to say healthy. Throughout the day the class learns about the different food groups and living healthy. Living healthy is fun!
“Homework Rules” – Betsy is anxious to get her new play-set but realizes that she needs to do her homework first. Understanding rules and why we have them was an important lesson for the whole class.
“Bread And Butterflies” – Mrs. O’Conner brings caterpillars into the class. It’s fun for the whole class to watch, and learn how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.
“All Washed Up” – The class learns about personal hygiene and germs. Betsy gets a little carried away and learns its best to do everything in moderation.
“Space Rangers” – Learning about space is fun for the whole class. Mrs. O’Conner takes the class on a field trip to visit the planetarium.
“Manners Please” – Betsy and her friends learn about manners. The class also gets introduced to table manners in the classroom as they surprise their parents with a parent’s day tea party.
“ Mystery at Lakeshore Farms’ – Betsy’s class learns about Sorting and Classifying. Mrs. O’Connor takes the class on a field trip to Lakeshore Farms were things are disappearing. Betsy and her friends solve the mystery by sorting and classifying.
“Big and Little” – Betsy and her friends learn the difference between big and little. There is a funny mystery around Bus Driver Bob and his school bus.
“Computer Fun” – Mrs. O’Conner has a surprise for the class in the library. Computer stations have been set up for everyone! Betsy and her friends have fun learning the basic instructions on how to use a computer.
“Making Instruments” – Betsy finds herself worrying that she will not be able to complete her music class assignment. She needs to make her own instrument within one week. During a day out with her Dad at the zoo Betsy figures out the perfect creation for her instrument.
“Dinosaur Dynasty” – The class goes on a field trip to the Dinosaur Museum. Not only do they learn about dinosaurs but also about what a paleontologist does. They have such fun exploring within the museum digging pit as well as at home, digging up things in the back yard of Betsy’s house.
“Treasure Hunt” – Betsy and her friends learn about directions of a map (North, South, East and West). They learn how to use a compass and nature to complete Mrs. O’Conner exercise to find the treasure.
“Betsy in Charge” – Betsy and her friends get the chance to really understand what it takes to run the school. They each get a set of responsibilities in different departments. Betsy and Newton are the principals. They each come to realize how much work and responsibility goes into running the school and being an adult.
Winner of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Parent’s Choice Award
“Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures, a half-hour animated series airing on PBS, finds little Betsy grappling with emotions familiar to those about to enter kindergarten. She worries that other kids won’t like her, is intimidated by the size of the school and the rowdy kids on the playground, and is anxious as she tries to figure out where she fits into this big new world away from home. Betsy soon discovers she’s not the only one worrying – many new classmates feel the same way and, to their relief, they find much of the worrying unfounded. Kindergarten is full of adventure; the show’s storylines center around Betsy and her new circle of friends as they make exciting discoveries in the course of their school activities, such as going on field trips and taking care of the classroom pet. This program is more about character development than it is about academic development – although it is PBS so shows do include some very basic practice with letters and numbers.
Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures shines the spotlight on managing emotions, forming relationships, and taking pride in accomplishments. The animation is simple and clearly inspired by the kind of plain lines and bold colors you’d find in an actual kindergartner’s artwork. Betsy herself is a likable character, so little viewers are likely to trust her reassurances that kindergarten really is cool. Some of the other characters may strike some as stereotyped (Snooty Mean Girl, Brainiac-Boy-With-Big-Thick-Glasses, Street-Smart-Urban-Girl, Crabby Principal) but the points are not belabored. Overall, Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures can be interesting viewing for rising preschoolers, and especially helpful for little ones starting kindergarten.” -Parents’ Choice