There may be controversy surrounding the influence of the boob tube on young children, but there are shows that get preschoolers thinking before they graduate to a classroom. Enter Bubble Guppies, a Nick Jr. show designed to capture young minds. We dove into this underwater world with Creators and Executive Producers Jonny Belt and Robert Scull — learn how the show helps kids make a big splash in kindergarten, then shop our Bubble Guppies sale.
Gilt Kids: What inspired you to create Bubble Guppies, and why did you choose an “under the sea” theme?
JB & RS: It was exciting to us to explore an underwater world in a way that hadn’t been done before. The Guppies are based on mermaids, but there are boys too, and a whole culture of creatures that make up the adults in their world. In addition to fish, bubbles, and giant kelp, we also have trucks, dinosaurs, and flying saucers!
Gilt Kids: Tell us a little bit about the main characters, and why kids can relate to them.
JB & RS: Molly and Gil are our stars and we’d like to think that they’re characters that kids want to be friends with. Molly is friendly and kind, and Gil is funny and enthusiastic (sometimes to a fault). We also hope that children will see themselves in one or more of our characters.
Gilt Kids: What sorts of things does Bubble Guppies aim to teach children?
JB & RS: Bubble Guppies is set to a soundtrack of catchy, educational pop songs and features a curriculum that infuses the core elements of kindergarten readiness, including math, literacy, the arts, science and socio-emotional development. In each episode, the characters lead the learning process, discovering something of interest on their way to school and exploring that theme from a variety of angles. The series’ educational approach fosters a love of learning and inspires independent thinking by celebrating children’s natural curiosity and the power of everyday discoveries.
Gilt Kids: What types of strategies does the show use to keep kids engaged while they learn?
JB & RS: Above all, humor. We want the show to speak to viewers in the way that you’d play with preschoolers. We try to make it silly yet sincere, and throw in a lot of color and music to keep kids further engaged.
Gilt Kids: What makes Bubble Guppies stand out from the other children’s shows on TV?
JB & RS: The Guppies speak and act like real kids, and their adventures are silly and unique. We like to take traditional preschool ideas and give them a funny twist. For example, learning about colors by racing cars in a “Crayon Prix” or learning the lifecycle of frogs through a Spanish “Running of the Bullfrogs.”