PBS KIDS will celebrate summer – and the great outdoors – with brand-new one-hour specials from two fan-favorite series arriving in the next two months. From saving wild cats and dogs on the African savannah with Wild Kratts to trekking to the top of Denali in an action-packed new Molly of Denali adventure, these fun-filled and learning-packed specials will let kids and families discover new places, learn about the natural world, and meet new friends along the way.
The specials are part of a flurry of activities, resources and content from PBS KIDS and PBS LearningMedia designed to encourage children to play and learn in their own way during the break, offering new possibilities to youngsters, educators and caregivers after a year of remote learning.
“After a year unlike any other, we recognize that parents and kids are eager to celebrate the potential for learning and fun that each summer day brings,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Through PBS’ wealth of flexible, grab-and-go resources, families can approach the upcoming summer months in any way they choose, chasing kids’ curiosities and seeking out new discoveries from the living room to the park, and beyond.”
Molly of Denali: Molly and the Great One – Premieres June 7 (check local listings) Molly learns about her Grandpa Nat’s dream to climb to the top of Denali – North America’s highest mountain – in honor of the first person to do so, real-life Alaska Native, Walter Harper. Inspired, Molly tries to persuade Grandpa and her dad, a wilderness guide, to make the climb. They agree, but tell Molly she’s too young to make the treacherous journey to the top. Never one to give up, Molly convinces them to let her and Tooey join them on their trek to basecamp and track the climber’s journey.
Meanwhile, Trini is busy preparing for another big event: her mom Joy is on leave from the Army and visiting Qyah for the first time! On the eve of the expedition, an unexpected guest shows up – celebrity outdoorsman Mac McFadden, who’s also intent on summiting Denali. By foot and dogsled, they make it to basecamp and learn more about Walter Harper’s trailblazing expedition. But the trip turns perilous when Mac decides to head out on his own during a storm. Trini’s mom, a helicopter pilot, makes a daring rescue, but is it too late for Grandpa to fulfill his dream?
Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs – Premieres July 12 (check local listings) While “creature adventuring” on the African savannah, Chris and Martin observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over the world to ask about wild cats and dogs and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the kids’ questions, comes up with a diabolical scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The bros, Aviva, Koki and Jimmy race to save the wild animals and help ensure they can continue “living free and in the wild.”
In addition to the new specials airing on PBS local stations, families can tune in to PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel every weekend starting June 4 for themed programming — including nature, space, family traditions, arts, friends and neighbors, water, animals, storytelling and routines. Each of these 10 themes was selected to support key learning areas identified by educators and experts and curated to provide flexible play and learn opportunities, while corresponding with supplemental resources and games that will be sent weekly through the PBS KIDS for Parents newsletter.
And, PBS KIDS will encourage families to play their way all summer long with activities and resources on PBS KIDS for Parents (www.pbs.org/parents/summer) – from a summer activity book featuring scavenger hunts to a summer checklist. Kids can also find curated game collections on pbskids.org and video playlists on the PBS KIDS Video app and the PBS KIDS YouTube channel.
PBS KIDS Read-Alongs, which have featured PBS KIDS friends like the Kratt Brothers and special guest readers including Michelle Obama, Christian Robinson, Kristen Bell, Jenna Bush Hager and many others, will continue this summer on PBS KIDS’ Facebook and YouTube.
Plus, for the many educators continuing to teach, preparing for the coming school year, or seeking professional learning opportunities over the summer, PBS LearningMedia (pbslearningmedia.org) provides updated collections.