There are many superheros out there for my kids to look up to, but one has stolen my heart.
The Adventures of Napkin Man stars a character who jumps off the page (erm, napkin) and onto our television screens, and it's our favourite CBC Kids show. Starring a fabulous Canadian actor (Yannick Bisson,) and paired with a catchy tune that we all find ourselves singing, my girls have become obsessed with Napkin Man - to the point that they dress up in costume and run around the house with capes flying. They call themselves "Napkin Girls."
You see, Napkin Man has special powers. No, he doesn't knock down bad guys or fly around the city. He's much subtler than that. Napkin Man helps us to deal with our strong emotions. He gets kids talking about All the Feels, and the episodes provide tips for recognizing and coping with tough emotions.
And now The Adventures of Napkin Man goes one step further with new Interactive Episodes based on the Season 2 series. My girls were very excited to check out these four episodes, which contain embedded activities designed to get kids engaged with the content.
Even at a young age, kids can feel embarrassed about their looks. My daughter HATES her little curls, and we've had some tough mornings when she worries about the frizzies sticking out from her ponytail. "Bad Hair Day" is an episode all about embarrassment, and helps us learn how to hold our head up high.
The episode stops at key moments in the story, and asks kids to do an activity. In Bad Hair Day, when one of the characters feels embarrassed about his new haircut, a Music Machine pops up so that kids can create a little song that represents that emotion (think of something that sounds like "wahhh, wahhhhhhh" and you'll get the picture.)
I see this as being a key emotion we can teach kids how to feel - it's the gateway to compassion. In "Get Well Soon," a young girl feels sad because her friend is sick. Both my girls loved the Jetpack Jam activity, where astronaut Napkin Man has to catch the "sad stars" to make them happy (while avoiding asteroids of course.)
This emotion is a toughy - no one likes to feel lonely or left out, but I love that this episode helps kids to see that being alone is OK. "Fun for One" is about drawing on your own resources and finding something fun to do, despite being alone. In all of the episodes, my girls REALLY enjoyed the colouring activity; you get to choose an item or character to colour, and then you insert them into a picture of the scene. My three year-old spent a lot of time on this one!
Our family has a beautiful little pug, who is now 11 years old and dealing with some health issues. We know the day will soon come when we have to say goodbye to our family pet, and I'm so grateful for the episode "Bye Bye Boogaloo," which deals with the death of the class hampster. Napkin Man helps the kids think of things they can do when someone dies. It's really important for children to learn about death, and find their own way to honour their feelings.
Who would benefit from watching these episodes?
My girls are 3 and 6, and both really enjoyed the online episodes. In terms of functionality, my oldest had a much easier time clicking the mouse on our laptop and navigating the screens. My 3 year-old fared better on the iPad, where she could tap the screen - however, we still had to help her navigate the activities.
Doing these with your kids provides a big advantage, though, as it opens up the conversation about these emotions. When your child has their next meltdown, we find it so helpful to say "hmm, what would Napkin Man do about this?"
In celebration of the Napkin Man Interactive Episodes, we are giving away ONE (1) $100 Visa Gift Card! To enter, head over to the Adventures in Napkin Man website, and leave a comment here on the blog with which episode (out of the first four) you think your child will enjoy watching. For an EXTRA entry, have your child watch one episode and tell me which interactive activity they liked best (please leave a separate comment for an extra entry)
- We are among several other blogs participating in this campaign. Readers may enter across many blogs, but may only win from one participating blog
- Entrants must be residents of Canada, including Quebec
- The winner can expect their prize in approximately 4-6 weeks
**Congratulations to our lucky winner Dana Lebeau - you were commentor #12!!*** CONTEST CLOSED
Disclosure: I am part of the Adventures of Napkin Man Online Influencer Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.