Lessons From 'The Backyardigans'
Unless you have small children or you babysit for small children or your own grandchildren, you probably don't know about The Backyardigans.
When I babysat for my grandchildren when they were much younger, we watched that particular cartoon together. At the time, AJ was 5-year old, Makai was 2-year old, and Tori was only 8-months old.
About 'The Backyardigans'
Nick Jr.'s animated musical adventure series The Backyardigans debuted on October 11, 2004 and ended after four seasons on May 31, 2010. By the time it ended, it had aired 80 episodes. The episodes can still be seen on YouTube.
The series consisted of five characters. Each one of them had two voices; one for speaking and one for singing. The friends were named Austin, Pablo Tasha, Tyrone, and Uniqua. They were friends in every sense of the word. who relied on their vivid imaginations to embark on many exciting adventures.
The series was so named because the preschool friends started out in their own backyard and transformed it into a new place that became the setting for the musical. They used their imagination to go to different places and experience new things.
In every episode, they provided help for someone in need. Nothing was ever off limit for the brave friends who climbed mountains, slid down glaciers, visited castles, went into caves, and sailed across dangerous oceans.
After they encountered challenging experiences, they ended up back in their own backyard. There was always a valuable lesson in every episode.
One Episode of 'The Backyardigans'
One particular episode inspired this writing. The five Backyardigans spotted a kitten on a piece of driftwood as they were paddling down the river on their gondola. They tried to get the kitten to drift over to them, but the kitten was too frightened to move. They had to think of another way to rescue the kitten.
The water began to rise and it seemed impossible to rescue the frightened little kitten. The Backyardigans had never given up on anything, and they were determined not to give up on saving the kitten.
They put their heads together and came up with the idea to make a bridge for the kitten to walk over from the driftwood it was on to their boat. The only problem was that they were in the middle of the river with no materials to make a bridge and no time to waste with the river raging by the moment.
They had a brilliant idea to put one of the oars on the driftwood where the kitten stood. That would be an Instant bridge for the animal to walk across. However, the cat didn't budge. The quick-thinking Backyardigans came up with the idea that one of them should be an example to show the kitten what it needed to do.
One of the Backyardigans left the boat and walked across the oar and joined the kitten on the driftwood. The kitten was allowed to go first until they both were safe in the boat.
The Golden Rule
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Theological Lessons from the Backyardigans
My 5-year-old grandson, my 2-year old grandson, and my 8-month old granddaughter were too young to understand the theological implications, but I did. There were many of them, and they are listed below.
- The Backyardigans saw a kitten in need and they decided to help at all cost.
- They were on their way to someplace, but they changed their own agenda to help the kitten that needed their help at that particular time.
- All five of the Backyardigans worked as a team to help.
- Even when the task seemed impossible, the team did not give up.
- They used the only resource they had. It was an oar to make a bridge to reach the kitten.
- Talking to the kitten didn't help. So, they tried other ways.
- One Backyardigan risked his own life to go after the kitten to show him the way.
- The Backyardigan let the kitten walk across the oar first so he could protect him from behind.
- The Backyardigans put the kitten's safety before their own safety.
- All the friends followed the Golden Rule as stated in Matthew 7:12 to do unto others as they would have others do unto them.
The world would be a better place if everyone would be like the Backyardigans!