This post has been sponsored by Amazon Studios.
I don’t know if you have any little boys in your house but my little guys love trucks, playing outside and best of all getting dirty. Playing with their trucks in the sand, dirt or best of all mud is just the greatest thing. What’s a mom to do besides directing them to the shower and remembering that someone said dirt is good for them? Did someone say dirt is good for them? I hope so because I could swear I heard that and that is what I am going to continue thinking.
You can imagine their delight when they watched the new Amazon Original Series, The Stinky & Dirty Show. Stinky is a garbage truck and well, the name certainly fits. Dirty is a backhoe loader that is constantly working with dirt and so his name fits equally well. The two are the best of friends and this strange duo are even what you might call heroes. They are quite creative and love challenges. They constantly ask themselves “What If” when trying to tackle issues or when obstacles are in their way. The series is based on the books by Jim and Kate McMullan and was written and developed by Guy Toube. You can stream the episodes free on Amazon if you have Prime. If you don’t you can still watch 1 episode for free.
My kids loved the series from the get go and I enjoyed it as well because it teaches kids good problem solving skills. Problem solving skills are something everyone needs because things rarely go as planned and obstacles, challenges and road blocks are something we all face. In order to achieve our goals we must find ways to tackle those obstacles, overcome the challenges and remove the road blocks. Stinky & Dirty show kids that when things get tough the tough find solutions.
Kids can get frustrated when something does not go as they hoped. This series can help them see they need to think and talk about other ways to figure out the solution. They will learn the importance of negotiation and brainstorming with others. In the end they will see that when they keep going instead of giving up, they can reach their goals. As a mom, I feel this is such an important life lesson. I come across many adults who do not have problem solving skills. If a hurdle comes across their path, they fall instead of learning what they need to do to jump that hurdle. The earlier kids are introduced and learn problem solving skills, the better off they will be.
In the Jump at the Dump episode Stinky & Dirty face many challenges creating a stunt course for Jumpy the stunt cycle who needs a new venue to perform her show. They have to figure out how to make mud that has just the right amount of “sploosh” for Jumpy. Their first challenge is to find a way to direct the water from a spigot to the dirt. When their first idea does not work, they come up with another and when that does not work, they brainstorm another way until they find the perfect solution. The way Jumpy and Stinky talk to each other and ask each other “What If” helps them find the solutions they need to complete their tasks.
In an episode titled The Art of Trash, Stinky & Dirty clean up a vacant lot full of trash to make a park, but when they can’t remove some large items, they turn the items into a trash sculpture instead! This is similar to turning trash into treasure or finding ways to recycle and re-purpose things that might normally end up in a landfill. My kids and I just made some Frankenstein Monsters for Halloween decorating using some old scrap cut off boards that were in our basement.
With some green craft paint, we painted the boards and then added some foam embellishments to create hair, eyebrows and a tooth. We used a permanent black marker to draw the mouth and a paint marker for the nose. Then to really make it authentic we screwed two bolts into either side.
You can have a lot of fun with this and there are other monsters and Halloween critters you can create in this fashion. You can create a mummy if you wrap the board in gauze and add two googly eyes. Make a Jack O’ Lantern by painting the wood orange and using black paint or foam to create eyes and a mouth, add a green bow or green block to the top to serve as the stem.
Whatever you make, your kids will have a great time and learn all about re-purposing and recycling, another great life skill that will improve their world. Let me know if you have watched The Stinky & Dirty Show and what you think. I would love to see your thoughts in the comments.