Dora the Explorer is a show for young children and can be seen on Nickelodeon during their Nick Jr. slot. Dora is a young Hispanic girl who travels on many adventures with her best friend, Boots the monkey. Every quest involves something different but teaches children a multitude of educational material along the way. Dora meets many friends along the way, including Isa the Iguana, Tico the Squirrel, Benny the Bull, Swiper the Fox, Big Red Chicken, and of course Backpack (yes, the backpack she carries at all times), and Map (the map that she keeps in her backpack and provides directions to her throughout her adventure. There is also a never ending supply of guests.
The most notable of all the educational material is the fact that Dora is bilingual and she will teach children Spanish words along the way. These words often include shapes, colors, numbers, and movements such as up and down, jump, swim, and climb. Her friend, Tico the Squirrel, only speaks Spanish and therefore she has entire conversations with Tico in Spanish, while translating in English to the viewer. She also comes across other characters that may only speak Spanish. While I cannot attest to whether or not this is effective for children, since my daughter is only nineteen months old and still grasping onto the English language, I can say that it helped me tremendously in my first Spanish class that I took my last semester in college.
Dora the Explorer also focuses on teaching children the basics in education. Color identification is practically a staple in every episode. Also seen quite often are shapes and counting. Not seen as often is learning the alphabet. The repetition is wonderful for children of this age group. The more they see it, the more apt they are to retain the information. It also reinforces what the child is learning from his or her parents or other care providers.
Dora the Explorer is designed to be like a computer simulated educational adventure, where the child is in the drivers seat. Dora will always turn to her audience and ask questions as to what to do next or to help her identify a shape or to count a series of objects. This aspect of the show keeps children engaged.
One of the best parts of Dora the Explorer is how well the show teaches the values of friendship and family and doing the right thing. Dora cares deeply for the people in her life and it is evident and shows through her character.Overall, Dora the Explorer is a wonderful and educational show that is obviously doing well since it has been running for six years already. It is a television show that parents need not feel guilty for allowing their children to watch.