Everyone’s favorite little monster Elmo will soon be back in The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo Season Two, and this time he’ll be joined by Thomas the Tank Engine in Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, a reboot of the beloved original series that ended earlier this year. Both shows, in addition to others like Little Ellen and Pocoyo, will premiere on September 13, 2021 when WarnerMedia Kids & Family launches its Cartoonito preschool shows on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.
In a press release, WarnerMedia said the new slate of preschool shows will offer a “modern approach to preschool programming with its proprietary educational framework, Humancentric Learning.” Humancentric Learning was created in order to “help children develop their unique potential and encourage them to treat others with compassion, respect, and fairness.”
“Cartoonito’s offerings on HBO Max and Cartoon Network will reflect a wide array of diverse content that connects kids and their caregivers through relatable stories, lovable characters and meaningful social-emotional learning both in and between the shows,” said Amy Friedman, Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros, in WarnerMedia’s press release.
Starting on Monday, September 13, Cartoonito on Cartoon Network will air every weekday from 6am to 2pm ET/PT. Programming will continue on Saturdays and Sundays from 6am to 8am ET/PT. Additional series will include Bing, Mush-Mush, and the Internet hit Lucas the Spider, which currently has over 3.6 million subscribers on YouTube.
WarnerMedia stated all Cartoonito shows have been crafted with the help of psychologist Dr. Laura Brown, an early childhood education expert. Emphasis is placed on one of the four pillars of Humancentric Learning: Creativity, Caring, Curiosity and Courage. For example, Little Ellen, a comedy about a seven-year-old Ellen Degeneres, “models optimism and resilience to build courage.” Lucas the Spider promotes curiosity as kids watch Lucas explore the human home in which he resides.
According to Daniel Anderson, professor at the University of Massachusetts, and Elizabeth Lorch, professor at the University of Kentucky, children are apt to excel in academics when they are exposed at preschool age to educational programming. Anderson and Lorch say that educational TV has a “positive correlation” to both leisure-time reading and extracurricular activity participation.
Dr. Laura Brown agrees.
“The preschool years are a crucial time for development as children begin to identify, manage and communicate their emotions, build a positive self-image, and begin to make friends,” said Dr. Brown in the press release. “This learning framework aims to support these important skillsets through fun, engaging and relevant storytelling that empowers kids to feel comfortable in their own skin, believe anything is possible, treat others with kindness, and stand up to unfairness.”
Beyond your television, you’ll find additional resources to help children continue to learn off-screen. First, all Cartoonito’s shows will feature a learning badge, which tell you which Humancentric Learning goals the show explores, providing topics for an educational discussion with your kids. Also, Cartoonito’s website will provide learning activities, like games, that the whole family can play together.