In 2013, in advance of the second season of the animated series Julius Jr. airing on Nick Jr., Saban Brands wanted to create a way for parents and teachers of preschool viewers to extend the themes and skills introduced on the show, including invention and collaboration, at school and at home. Saban Brands sought out the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC) as an expert to help translate child development research into fun, straightforward activities related to the show for families and students to explore.
Upon engagement with Saban Brands, we reviewed the latest findings in child development and education research to develop an array of activities that support the development of emotional control and critical social skills, as well as skills related to science, critical thinking, and the creative process. We considered the diverse backgrounds of the audience to make sure the activities were accessible and relevant for all children and caregivers.
CCC created Inventing Time Activity guides, a series of 11 activity guides aligned with the show’s core themes of creativity and teamwork. The guides encouraged children to take everyday objects they find around the house and turn them into extraordinary things like robots, musical instruments, and shadow puppets. Each activity guide also provided parents and caregivers with information about what their children would learn during these activities, and suggested questions and prompts to enable original thought and the ability to see solutions.
The nearly 300,000 yearly visitors to the Bay Area Discovery Museum could pick up Julius Jr. activity guides at the museum, to extend the creative learning at home. Activity guides were also available on the CCC website for caregivers around the country to download and use anywhere.
“Working with the experts at the Center for Childhood Creativity to create materials for parents, educators, and kids has been a special privilege. It was clear from the beginning that their team understood perfectly how to translate the inventive spirit of Julius Jr. to the hands and minds of children, by encouraging creative expression through play, storytelling, music and simply using one’s imagination.”
– Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands