Explore the Outdoors on PBS Kids

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Today and this weekend there are plenty of environmentally friendly events and activities to do around town, from helping to clean local parks (like the annual Sweep the Creek here in Montgomery County), to seeing the new Beautiful Planet documentary narrated by Jennifer Lawrence at the A Beautiful Planet at Air & Space Museum.

PBS KIDS is airing special episodes of its hit shows to encourage even our youngest family members to get outdoors and be kind to the Earth. I know it might sound odd to have kids watch TV indoors to get outdoors, but these shows get kids excited about experiencing nature — not just on Earth Day, but every day. To coincide with Explore the Outdoors Week next week, PBS member stations across the country will host local community educational activities to extend the exploration beyond the screen.

Sea Otter Swim

WILD KRATTS: New Episodes Air April 25-29

“Box Turtled In!” – When the Wild Kratts’ Tortuga is accidentally miniaturized and carried off by a coyote, the mothership’s shell defense is finally put to the test. The gang embarks on a box turtle-style mission to get back to the Miniaturizer and restore the Tortuga back to normal size.

“The Other Martens” – It’s a relaxing day at Tortuga HQ when Chris comes in complaining about Martin. Confused, the gang soon discovers that Chris means a bird called the Purple martin and not his brother! Chris is not happy about something else named Martin and when a second creature called Martin comes along – he realizes it’s not his day. But soon, comes to understand what awesome creatures these “Other Martins” really are.

“Sea Otter Swim” – Martin is hanging out with his pet Fruit fly Juice, when Juice suddenly dies. Even though Juice was young, he was pretty old for a Fruit fly. Jimmy wants to know if any animals can live to be over 100 years old. Soon the Wild Kratts are on a mission to discover the oldest creatures on earth!

“Animals Who Live to Be 100 Years Old” – In the series 100th episode, the Wild Kratts head out looking for Black bears, but Aviva keeps seeing a fleeting glimpse of what she thinks is a ghostly white bear. The gang soon realizes that they have stumbled across the rare Spirit Bear of the Northern Pacific. But celebration turns to dismay when they encounter new villain, Ms. Paisley Paver, CEO of Pave Nature Incorporated, and discover her plans to turn the island into a Mega Storage facility.

Nature Cat

NATURE CAT: New Episodes Air April 25-28; encore presentation of Earth Day episode on April 29

“Earth Day Today/Earth Day Every Day” – After going on a nature hike over to Butterfly Hills, the gang notices plastic bags from the local supermarket blowing in the wind. Nature Cat calls for a change in Earth Day plans, and alerts the supermarket of their problem. With an earth-friendly alternative in place for the supermarket plastic bag problem, Nature Cat and his pals are once again sidetracked by a plastic bottle floating in a stream, leading them to discover that recycling can be an action-packed journey and that Earth Day is every day. The encore presentation premieres on April 29.

“Kingdom of Rotting Log/Can You Dig It?” –  Nature Cat and his pals learn about the life cycle of trees in the forest and discover how important rotting logs are after one gets in the way of building their royal castle in the woods. Later, Nature Cat looks to answer a question on his curiosity list: if they keep digging a hole deeper and deeper, where will they end up? With the help of Daisy’s homemade Earthbreaker One machine and their imaginations, the gang goes onward and downward, through the earth, and winds up somewhere very surprising.

“Mud Love/Call It a Night” – To bring Hal’s dream of Mud Appreciation Day to fruition, all of his pals lend a muddy hand, collecting different kinds of mud for the super fun and super messy celebration – expect Nature Cat who later learns to not just get messy with mud, but to observe what it is like, be creative and make something. Then, after losing his beloved hat while playing flashlight tag at night, Nature Cat and his pals act like other nighttime animals and use some of their other senses to find it.

“Woodpecker Picks a Place/Here Comes the Sun” – The gang investigates a loud knocking on Hal’s doghouse only to discover it is a woodpecker. In trying to stop it, they find out more about woodpeckers and exactly what this one is looking for. While on an amazing adventure to see the Golden Sunstone, Nature Cat breaks the compass, but with the help of his friends learns that you can use the position of the sun in the sky to figure out which way is east, west, north and south.

I received no compensation for this post, but as PBS KIDS VIP (Very Important Parent), my family was sent an Explore the Outdoors kit, including a Butterfly net and a gardening kit.