On Wednesday, my three year old son Michael took part in a focus group for an upcoming show by Little Airplane Productions, the creators of The Wonder Pets, Oobi and more preschool programming. Beforehand, I told him that his "job" was to listen to the story and then answer the questions that he was asked. He did exactly what I said. He listened intently while the story was being read. Then when the facilitator asked questions, he was quick to answer…too quick. Michael is a lot like me in that he processes information really quickly. As soon as the facilitator asked the question, he was ready with the answer. The other little kids who were participating just repeated his answers until the facilitator started asking them what they thought first specifically by name. We’ll have to work on giving others the opportunity to answer questions first before he goes to preschool next September. I like that he grasps things quickly. However, I hope that he isn’t like I was in school – I would learn everything really quickly, then get bored and talk for the rest of class, distracting the other students who didn’t learn as quickly – not good. I never really got punished by teachers for acting that way but looking back, I see how unfair that was to the other kids.
Anyway, it was neat to see how Little Airplane does focus groups for their preschool programming. They were really great at listening to the kids’ input in order to make the shows great. I said that I would spread the word, so here’s the info:
"For those who have children ages 3 to 5, they are invited (with their parents or guardians) to the offices of Little Airplane Productions to listen to – and offer feedback on – potential episodes for current or future educational preschool shows. Each participant receives a $25 travel stipend and a small gift. Sessions run 30-40 minutes and various times and dates are available; call or email Natascha to schedule an appointment. 207 Front Street, in the South Street Seaport. [212.965.8999; email: [email protected]; http://www.littleairplane.com] "
Later, I found out that Little Airplane also offers tours of their studio (all work on their shows is done in-house) for $10/person. I think that would be fun for the kids to see a "behind the scenes" look at some of their favorite shows, so I plan to go back when the weather gets warmer.