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PBS KIDS VIPCan you believe that Back-to-School Season is already here? In just about a month, I'll officially have a kindergartener, and that sorta weirds me out. Five years of parenting already? Alas, my friends at PBS Distribution have scored a coup, partnering with Walmart for their “BACK TO SCHOOL PRESCHOOL PROMOTION,” – designed to entertain children during the summer months when school’s out, but prep them for what lies ahead. Parents can find specially marked (and priced) educational, episodic DVDs from CAILLOU, WORDGIRL, ARTHUR and DANIEL TIGER, each covering the major learning categories taught throughout the academic year such as social skills, reading, math, and science. Here's what you can look for...

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PBS KIDSWe're officially in that lull where Summer Learning needs to be a real focus as we hit the midway mark before it's Back-to-School time. With that in mind, PBS KIDS' ARTHUR is getting in on the action with a brand-new (FREE!) online game called D.W. & BUDS BACKYARD ADVENTURE, available to play right now on PBSKIDS.org. In the game, "little explorers join D.W. and Bud as they embark on an epic backyard adventure - all by using their powers of imagination, collaboration, and problem solving. Maneuver past trap doors, collapsing floors, sliding walls, and other obstacles...including snakes...Collect all of the pieces to rebuild some golden statues that MAY look a little familiar." But that's not all that ARTHUR has in store for summer goodness...

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PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)With Addie starting kindergarten this Fall, learning this summer and building on her vocabulary are very important points for us. MARTHA SPEAKS is a great tool - a show "designed to bolster the oral vocabulary of 4-to7-year-olds, engaging them with humor and imagination." We're right in that sweet spot, and if you have a little one that is, too - then this week, tune into MARTHA SPEAKETH WEEKETH on PBS KIDS (check your local listings) to catch new episodes, and then check out the all-new Martha's Steaks game on the PBS KIDS website for even more learning fun! 

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THE ROCK FATHER is a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)June 2-6 is WordGirl Appreciation Week, and that means five new episodes of the three-time Emmy Award-Winning series from Scholastic Media are coming to PBS KIDS (check local listings). Inspired by the May "Word of the Month" - "appreciate" - during Appreciation Week, "young viewers will join WordGirl, Captain Huggy Face and friends on exciting adventures around town as they fight crime and protect the innocent – correcting poor grammar wherever they spot it and introducing key vocabulary words all along the way." To prep for a week of new adventures, here's four helpful tips to aid in teaching kids just what "appreciation" means (something we need to work on here at Rock Father HQ).

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In raising a pair of young girls and serving as publisher of this website, I find myself constantly trying to center the teeter-totter that rides a line between educational and entertaining. Ideally, the majority of the programming that they watch regularly will be somewhere near that middle point, completely making learning fun. Disney Junior's MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE definitely brings the fun, and with it's latest DVD collection, AROUND THE CLUBHOUSE WORLD, introduces young audiences (2+) to the idea of countries and cultures well beyond our own.

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THE ROCK FATHER is a 2014 PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)Earlier today, my friends as PBS KIDS launched a revolutionary, first-of-it's-kind App that gives parents a "super power" - the power to see what their kids are watching, learning and playing on pbskids.org, and to help parents guide and maximize their kids' PBS KIDS screen time. Get ready for imitators, because this is pretty cool...

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