Dora the Explorer: Education Made Fun
Dora the Explorer is an innovative Nickelodeon cable television show about an inquisitive little girl. The animated series, which began in 2000, teaches children number and letter recognition, Spanish language and memory tasks as Dora accumulates clues and interacts with characters to solve a problem. In each episode Dora must use her trusty Map (who has a personality) to find what she is looking for. He will tell her three places she must look for different items, whether it is under a bridge, on top of a mountain or beside a rock. Once she gets to the designated destination, there are puzzles to solve before she can move on to the next place.
Accompanying Dora on her travels is her monkey pal, Boots. There is also a sneaky fox named Swiper who comes along once in a while and tries to take the things that Dora and her friends have collected. He is usually stopped by the use of the refrain, “Swiper, no swiping!” which young viewers quickly learn to say along with the characters.
Dora the Explorer has been a huge hit with little ones for more than a dozen years. Each episode combines a fun theme with learning opportunities for young fans. With such success, of course, comes the marketing blitz of Dora merchandise of every description. There are toys, stuffed characters, bedding, ride-on toys, soft furnishings, toy boxes, puzzles, books and DVDs available — ensuring that your little one will never be far from her favorite girl.
Today’s technology allows even the youngest fans to interact with Dora through their PC and handheld devices. There are many websites where you can download coloring pages, puzzles and mazes, and play games online. There are also many websites where you can get clip art featuring the characters. Now you can download, print, color or design your own display featuring Dora and her animal friends. Kids get a lot out of visiting these sites because not only are they playing games geared to their level, but they are also learning basic computer skills like logging on, clicking a mouse and surfing around looking for what they would like to do. Parental guidance, however, is a must when kids are surfing the Web.
Dora the Explorer is fun and educational and presented in such a way that your children won’t even realize that they are learning. It allows kids to use their imagination as they help their heroine with her tasks, making them feel like they were somehow a part of the happy conclusion to each adventure.