Being the parent of a toddler you watch a lot of children’s programming on TV.
Some is good for them but mind numbing for you, some is dialog heavy and over their heads and then you get some that hit the perfect balance that everyone can enjoy.
Sesame Street is the gold standard for that (especially now that they are on HBO), but there’s a new show that is really good for the younger crowd.
Its called “Terrific Trucks” and is on the Sprout Channel.
They are still on their first season but have made a big impact on me and my son. We first heard about the show during a promo at the minor league Joliet Slammers game last summer.
After than we saw the first episode and have been hooked ever since. Its a staple on our DVR (and my mother’s TV who also takes care of my son), its my son’s favorite show and the one he requests the most (its simply “Trucks” for him), and its what calms him down on a hectic day, well sometimes.
The show is a lot like PBS’ “Bob the Builder”, with a construction site setting, the characters are construction vehicles and there’s always a lesson on teamwork, focus and getting the job done.
Yeah a lot of us adults can benefit from that right?
The leader or foreman is “Tork”, a red dump truck is the calming force at their “homebase” where all the episodes start and stop.
Other characters include “Stotz”, a vain semi tractor cab (who loves truck washes), that pulls a “low boy” trailer and usually on it is “Dug”, a witty excavator.
Also there is “Blinker” a “bobcat” like scooper that recently is more shown as a minor so kids can relate, “Sparky” is a front end loader that is portrayed with a Latin American flair.
To give the equipment life like features they have eyes where they would normally have headlights, it sounds creepy but trust me it works.
There is also “The crew” real live action construction men and women that help out but do not speak.
The tagline of the show is “Nothing’s too tough for a Terrific Truck”, as well as “Terrific Trucks know their stuff”.
The show always start with the characters at a large outdoor sports stadium like scoreboard screen named “Bill”. Bill gives them the job for the day (imagine like a police show that starts out with “roll call”), and Tork explains the job and they head off. The show always ends with “Bill” saying the job is done and then the characters go to the on site wash rack where “The crew” helps clean then from a hard days work.
The exception was the really well done two hour Christmas special “How the Terrific Trucks Save Christmas”, which has a very diverse cast of construction crew, the mayor, an annoying citizen, a villian and of course Santa Claus as they they to preseve a Christmas tradition of tying wishes to a Christmas tree.
The show is usually fast paced but slow enough to have a story to follow and two stories per 30 minute episode, just enough to entrall a small child but not bore them to tears.
I actually enjoy the show myself, they show actual construction work, use the correct terms, have special guests (firetrucks, trench diggers, military vehicles, etc.), so it has the feel of an actual weekly show.
I commend Sprout for having such a balanced family friendy show that we all can enjoy and our children can learn from.
Filed under: Baby