Satisfy Your Curiosity ~ Curiosity Quest #Review
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say this up front: I am not a TV-person. At all. Nope, not even movies. Even if I think it sounds interesting, chances are, I can’t sit there and watch the whole thing. However, my guy and the kidlets totally are. While we don’t use a traditional TV service, the kids do watch streaming services and DVDs reasonably regularly, though not constantly – and if it’s educational, I’m that much more likely to say yes. Programs that showcase “behind the scenes” are family favorites, and they even catch my attention once in a while. It’s that combo of “how it works/what happens” with amusing anecdotes and entertaining situations… plus a little “I’m glad that’s not me!” thrown in at times, just for good measure.
They’ve found a new series addiction in Curiosity Quest. We were sent two DVD Combo Packs – Swimmers of the Sea and Produce – to review, and they’ve fallen in love. Geared toward ages 7-14, Curiosity Quest is enjoyable by the whole family – even a mom who doesn’t watch TV. With three episodes, running approximately 30 minutes, on each disk, there’s a lot of information packed into these!
Swimmers of the Sea includes Sea Turtles, Penguins, and Salmon. We’re fairly familiar with each of these – or I should say, I thought we were! Sea Turtles and Penguins are perpetual favorites, so the kids tend to watch anything they encounter about them, and we’ve all grown up in an area with multiple dams and fish hatcheries, including one hatchery less than a mile from our house as the crow flies.
Don’t make the mistake, though, of assuming that because you’ve learned about a subject before, Curiosity Quest has nothing new to teach you.
The fish hatchery episode was fun, and there were a couple things that were new to us, primarily, I think, because this episode is set in Alaska, not Oregon/Washington, and there’s always going to be some variation from area to area. It’s surprising just how entertaining it is watching fish go up a ladder (I love the decor of the one in the pic above!) and if you ever get a chance to visit a hatchery in person, definitely do. It’s pretty much a rite of passage for anyone growing up here in the Columbia Gorge, and chances are, a local hasn’t seen it once, but a dozen or more times.
Oh my goodness, though – I was dreading the episode on penguins. They’re cute, yes, but not when your youngest two kids (11 and 13) revert to penguin walk mode at random after every penguin encounter. Let’s just say, it got a little old clear back with that animated movie…
Though I do have to have a little sympathy for them. It’s a good thing that they can’t possibly know just how much humans are interested in their lack of ability to fly – they’d probably be thinking we were totally crazy, because we weren’t made to fly, either!
Watching the orange harvest episode takes me back ten or so years – not to a real harvest, no, I’ve never seen (smelled?) that – but to a trip my oldest two kids and I went on to Disneyland. The most successful part of the Soaring Over California ride, for me, was that heavenly smell of oranges… and watching this brought it all back. Yum. An orange-growing area would be a delightfully scented place to live in. (Much unlike the onion-growing region I lived in for a while. Let me just say, onion + mint is NOT pleasant.)
Cranberries. Most people think of them during the holidays, and forget about them the rest of the year – unless they really, really, REALLY like them. (Not me. Nor the kids. I think we have three unopened cans of sauce in the cupboard.) Despite this, some people are hard at work growing cranberries year-round. The coolest part about it is the way they’re harvested – they flood the “bog” (what it’s called instead of field) and the berries just float to the top. Much more time efficient than picking by hand, that’s for sure.
This episode is located in Wisconsin, but there is a cranberry growing area on the Southern Oregon coast, not that far from where a friend of mine lives. We’ll be visiting there, probably later this summer, and when I mentioned it to the kids, of course, the first thing they wondered was if we could go see. Not sure what there is to see at various times of the year, but it’s something to explore.
Mushrooms! Who doesn’t love shrooms? While I don’t quite have the guts to learn to pick them myself – I know how my luck is – I find it fascinating how they’re grown for the market. The kids were amazed, too, because what they know of mushrooms is seeing them in the woods – or the yard – and it never occurred to them that the commercial ones we see in the stores must grow someplace else, albeit with similar conditions.
Curiosity Quest DVD Combo Packs are priced at $24.95, and there are a wide variety of topics available, in categories including: animals, instruments, recycling, foods, sports, careers, vehicles, how to, and the environment.
Does your family enjoy edu-tainment shows like this? Tell me about your favorites!