Sunday, 19 April 2009

whistling in the tree tops

It's April. Spring, budding trees, blooming flowers. Well, almost, it's all a bit later up here in Scotland (thankfully I hasten to add as it saves me at least a month of horrible hayfever per year). Time for birdsong and watching nature come out of hibernation. Perfect time for the BBC to launch a new DVD for preschoolers about a community of birds living in a tree: 3rd & Bird.

The series is about a bird community where everyone watches out for one another, and it's aim is to introduce 2-6 year olds to the value of community and the world just outside their own homes. And, the community being birds, there's also an environmental theme to it. The series comes with a rather cute website bursting with activities, games and information on the series. The graphics are just lovely, as is the sound (ok, it did get raised eyebrows from hubby when I couldn't stop playing about and letting Samuel move and whistle for rather long). The child in me couldn't let go of exploring the tree, just flying about purposelessly impersonating a bird character. It's a lovely site, with plenty of entertainment for little ones. My only quibble with the site is that it wakened my curiosity and I was dying to find out when the series runs on Cbeebies and could I find it? No. The products and news pages are still a tad empty, which is probably due to the newness of the series and should hopefully change in time. You can't actually order the new DVD (yet?) and have to rely on winning the competition to get it. I'm also not so sure about the name - is it Third & Bird, 3rd & Bird, 3rd and Bird, Third and Bird? I do get the rhyme but find it a slightly awkward title with so many spelling options plus a bit difficult to make it into my grey matter. Maybe it works better in kids' brains.

As a green voluntary sector gal, the series has my thumbs up for promoting community spirit and environmental awareness and I'm looking forward to actually watching it. The Third & Bird website is above all delightful fun and a treasure chest for mummies, daddies and their babes. Best of all, it stars the world champion of whistling who lends his whistle to the birds.

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