“Nature Trackers” Episodes Encourage Kids to Get Outside, Get Into Nature and Make Their Own Discoveries
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (November 1, 2011) – The PBS KIDS EMMY® -nominated animated children’s series DINOSAUR TRAIN®, will premiere new episodes November 14-18, 2011 on PBS KIDS to encourage preschoolers to get outside, get into nature and make new discoveries by featuring the all new “Nature Trackers Club.”
DINOSAUR TRAIN is an educational and inspiring preschool series that has been a prominent source of fostering early childhood development while entertaining millions of 3-6 year olds since it premiered in 2009. The series mission is to introduce all kids to the joy of paleontology and discovery. The new “Nature Trackers” episodes have a special focus on inspiring viewers to get into nature and make new discoveries. The four-episode run begins with Buddy, Shiny, Tiny and Don building a beachside clubhouse, and the “Nature Trackers Club” is born. The “Nature Trackers Club” will be featured throughout season two of DINOSAUR TRAIN, and highlights activities such as respecting nature, observing creatures and plants, and collecting natural objects.
The Jim Henson Company is also encouraging DINOSAUR TRAIN fans to join the “Nature Trackers Club.” Launching in November 2011, kids and their parents can visit pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain to download “Nature Trackers” activities and receive a free DINOSAUR TRAIN surprise to celebrate their achievement.
Throughout the week of November 14-18, 2011 new storylines will follow Buddy, Shiny, Tiny and Don as they make their own discoveries in nature (check local listings).
“Stargazing on the Night Train/Get Into Nature!”
Premieres Monday, November 14
Repeats Friday, November 18
The Pteranodon family rides a special “Night Train” to another part of the Cretaceous Time Period, where they meet a Troodontid “cousin” of the Conductor’s, Sidney Sinovenator, who knows more about the stars than anyone. Sidney takes the family up to his favorite stargazing spot, “Starry Hill,” and teaches the kids why the stars seem to move across the night sky. Then, when the kids build their own version of a nest on the beach, they get the idea to turn their beach nest into a clubhouse. Shiny thinks that a clubhouse needs a club, and the “Nature Trackers” club is born! The kids decide to make their club about getting outside, getting into nature and making new discoveries. The only problem is: which kid is in charge of the club?
“Shiny and Snakes / Tiny Loves Flowers”
Premieres Tuesday, November 15
Shiny gets over her fear of snakes when Tiny challenges the “Nature Trackers” to meet the ultimate snake: the Sanajeh, a huge Cretaceous snake from what is now India. Dad takes the kids on the DINOSAUR TRAIN to find Sana Sanajeh, who may be huge, but turns out to be quite friendly. Once Shiny and Sana become friends, Shiny returns home with the knowledge that snakes aren’t scary – they’re just another part of nature! Tiny is horrified when her favorite buttercups wilt, so Mom takes her and the family to the Big Pond, where she remembers seeing lots of buttercups in bloom. On the way there, the Conductor gives the kids a visual lesson in “Nature’s Life Cycle,” explaining how a flower grows, blossoms, then wilts, and returns its seeds to the ground, to start the cycle all over again. Tiny finds her flowers at the Big Pond, both blooming and wilting, and can see nature’s life cycle in action.
“Buddy Explores the Tyrannosaurs / Rainy Day Fight”
Premieres Wednesday, November 16
Buddy, an adopted T. rex, wishes he knew more about his T. rex ancestors. So, Dad takes him and Tiny on the DINOSAUR TRAIN back to the early Cretaceous, to visit an ancestor: an earlier version of Tyrannosaurus rex called Raptorex. Rodney Raptorex is a kid who won’t grow up to be as big as Buddy will, but the two boys find that they not only have a lot of differences, they have a lot in common, too. The kids are stuck cooped up in the nest for a long, rainy spell which leads to them fighting. Mom tells them that the rain has stopped enough that they can leave the nest but she gives them an assignment: to go find their own “calm space,” where they can calm down enough to get along with each other again. It works – each kid finds something in nature that helps him or her to calm down and be friends again.
“That’s Not a Dinosaur / Tiny’s Garden”
Premieres Thursday, November 17
The kids visit the Big Pond to attend the Biome Block Party. While attempting to win the leaf-necklace contest, Keenan Chirostemotes claims the Pteranodon siblings can’t compete for the prize for “dinosaur” with the most leaves because they are not dinosaurs. This launches the kids into a song called “That’s Not a Dinosaur”, as all the non-dinosaurs sing their piece. In the end, the game rules are changed to include all creatures, even non-dinosaurs, in all the contests!
The “Nature Trackers” go on a visit to the Big Pond, where Tiny hopes to see her favorite flowers. The Conductor tells her that if the kids gather seeds at the pond, they can bring them home and plant a garden full of those same flowers at the family nest! The kids all get into it, gathering seeds and bringing them home, where they plant a garden, and meet its new inhabitants, including Sammy, a friendly slug, who explains that slugs, spiders, and butterflies all help to make a garden complete.
Craig Bartlett, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford executive produce the new season. The Jim Henson Company oversees all ancillary exploitation of the property, including licensing and merchandising. PBS handles DVD distribution to consumer and education markets. DINOSAUR TRAIN is co-produced with Singapore animation company Sparky Animation, with the participation and assistance of the Singapore Media Development Authority. UK production and financial support is provided by Ingenious Media.
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