Oobi

Oobi’s like me, Oobi’s like you. Oobi’s got a lot of big things that he’s gonna do. Uma’s his sis — he’s big, she’s small. Kako is his very best friend, Grampu loves them all. It’s Oobi. Oobi, Oobi, Oobi, Oobi, Oobi. He’s got a lot to see, he’s got a lot to do, and he’s always with you.

The first time I saw “Oobi,” NOGGIN’s show about a four-year-old who is a bare-hand puppet, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I mean, it was a puppet out of a hand and plastic eyes held between the puppeteer’s fingers. However, my nephew had been watching it for quite some time and loved it, so I decided to give it a try and let my daughter watch it.

“Oobi” actually surprised me. Even though the characters do not speak in complete sentences (“Oobi, you friends.”), the lessons that this show teaches can be invaluable. Oobi is curious and often learns new things by following his curiosity. Along with Grampu, his little sister Uma, and his best friend Kako, Oobi treats each and every day as an adventure. Oobi also plays games during episodes which help to build math skills and logical thinking skills.

Let me tell you about some of the lessons that “Oobi” can help teach your child.

Meeting People who are Different
There is an episode of “Oobi” which deals with meeting new people. Oobi is at the park with Grampu when he meets someone who is a foot instead of a hand. Oobi introduces himself and asks her name, which is Frida. He then asks Frida if she wants to play catch. When he realizes that she only knows how to kick, he shies away from her. When he explains to Grampu that he does not want to play with her because she is different, Grampu tells Oobi that Oobi can still be friends with someone who is different. In the end, Oobi throws the ball to Frida and she kicks it back. They learn how to play together even though they are different.

Trying New Things
This is one of my favorite episodes. Oobi goes to his friend Kako’s house to have dinner. While he is there, he is introduced to many new things. After Kako shows Oobi the pictures around the living room, Oobi sees a pair of maracas on a table. Kako tells him what they are and shows him how to play them. At first, Oobi is scared because he does not know what to do with them. But after a few tries, Oobi plays them correctly and he likes them. When it is time for dinner, there is a food on Oobi’s plate that he does not recognize. He is afraid to eat it until Kako and Kako’s dad, Papu, tell him that it is okra and to try it. Once Oobi tries the okra, he discovers that it is good and eats it. He brings some home to Grampu who ends up needing a little encouragement to try it. Oobi is thrilled at the new things he discovered and goes around the house singing, “Kako’s house dinner, Kako’s house maracas, Kako’s house okra.”

Appreciating Your Guardian
Oobi, Uma, and Kako all love Grampu. In one episode, they decide to have Grampu Day and they do nice things for Grampu. Unfortunately, things turn out a bit of a mess. Kako is left in charge of making food for Grampu. He throws some of Grampu’s favorite foods into the same bowl which turns out to be a big, spicy mess. Oobi decides to make a sculpture of Grampu, but it ends up being lopsided. When Grampu finds out that the three of them worked so hard to make a special day for him, that is all that matters.

Although I find that “Oobi” lacks in other educational areas, I think that it is a good show for teaching children important life lessons. It is certainly entertaining enough to keep the attention of a three-year-old, as proven by my nephew.

“Oobi” can be seen on the NOGGIN network. Check your local listings for times. Be sure to visit NOGGIN.com for more on “Oobi.”

Jaime’s Score: 4 for Education, 7 for Entertainment, and the Parent Annoyance Factor is 6.

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