Today’s the 3rd day of National Adoption Month and I’m continuing my trend of picking adoption-related items to highlight! (See the others here).
Today it’s all about Dinosaur Train!
When I first heard of this show, I made fun of it hard core. I remember telling my husband that they were totally pandering to kids who loved dinosaurs and trains (aka most kids). Then I had to eat my words when our little one loved dinosaurs, loved trains, and loved the show.
The plot of Dinosaur Train, a Jim Henson show on PBS, can best be summed up by the theme song that sets up the whole show:
Once upon a time there was a mom,
Her name was Mrs. Pteranodon.
Sitting in her nest she heard a scratch
and said “Oh boy, my eggs are hatching!”
One by one her kids popped free,
Baby pteranodons: one, two, three.
“I’ll name you Tiny, Shiny, and Don”,
then Tiny said “Hey, there’s one more, Mom!”
The last little baby was a different size,
with teeth and a tail and big green eyes.
He didn’t look anything like the rest.
“What am I doing in a pteranodon nest?”
But dear old Mrs. Pteranodon said
“Well, this is your family and I’m your mom!
We may be different, but we’re all creatures,
All dinosaurs have different features!
Come on Buddy, we’ll take a vacation,
I’ll get us a ticket at Pteranodon Station!
We’ll travel the world in sunshine and rain,
and meet all of the creatures on the…DINOSAUR TRAIN!”
Yes, it’s basically This is Us for kids. With dinosaurs. And trains. And time travel. But otherwise basically exactly the same.
Each episode is spent with the Pteranodon family usually getting on the Dinosaur Train which somehow allows them to travel through time to different periods, meeting other dinosaurs, and learning about the world.
Honestly, a lot of the dinosaur stuff is over my head but the gist of the show is just excellent. In almost every episode, the fact that Buddy is a little bit different comes up. Whether they are meeting another T-Rex (that’s what Buddy is) or telling another dinosaur about their unique family, or realizing that Buddy doesn’t look exactly like them, they always address the adoption issue with so much tact, positivity, and sensitivity. I have never been anything but impressed by this show!
Obviously TV should not raise your kids (wait, what!?!). But shows like this can help start dialogue, whether it’s with your child who you’ve adopted, or with your biological child who may have a classmate who was adopted. The show has also “tackled” several other issues, including autism, bullying, being different, etc.