If you think the Octonauts may be some newfangled underwater version of Eight is Enough, they aren’t. The Octonauts are a team of eight undersea adventurers who share their environmental mission of “Explore! Rescue! and Protect!” through fun and educational animated shows geared towards ages 2-6.
Inspired by the original Octonauts children’s book series by Meomi, this series comes alive thanks to charming characters who cooperate as they explore new underwater worlds in their Octopod, an octopus shaped dwelling that does double duty as a home and transportation. The mission-based episodes are formulaic in that young children can always expect their Octonaut friends will work to solve a problem involving a different aquatic creature such as flying fish and narwhals while working to protect the ocean.
Each of the darling Octonaut characters is a different animal with a distinct personality, accent, and role aboard the Octopod. Their individual skills prove useful when working as a team, a message that reinforces themes of cooperation, respect, compassion, and teamwork with each show. Episodes provide children with the opportunity to watch as the crew works together to communicate and effectively solve the challenges before them.
As a parent, I’m appreciative of the positive messaging conveyed by the show. As an educator, I appreciate how the Octonauts makes science cool for kids who are naturally curious. Scientific concepts are introduced to young children through the show’s plot and conveyed in an age appropriate way. The underwater habitat of the Octonauts and their aquatic friends allows kids to learn about ocean habitats and marine life while developing awareness of environmental issues and the natural world. The Creature Feature at the end of each show provides a spotlight on the animal featured in the episode while songs teach kids facts in a fun way and promises you’ll be singing along to the catchy tune too.
Another great detail is how each gender has important roles on the Octopod and provides positive messaging to young girls about females in STEM careers. While Captain Barnacles Bear may be male, Tweak Bunny is the ship’s female engineer and Dashi Dog may be a sweet dog but she also oversees operations and monitors all of the ship’s computers.
I also like how the learning provided by Octonauts extends beyond the animated series. The Octogoodies section of the website provides printable coloring sheets of favorite characters and mazes that help reinforce fine motor skills. The interactive Octonauts website challenges young kids to practice their mouse skills as they join Captain Barnacles and the crew as they explore, rescue, and protect the ocean.
I am an Octonauts Blog Ambassador and this post is part of a sponsored campaign but all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Disney Junior.