Teaching water safety message can be fun!
It has long been proven that children learn best when they are engaged and having fun, so it’s great to see a new Australian animated series focussing on water safety messaging for kids!
Produced by Cheeky Little Media, the ABC and Screen Australia, and drawing inspiration from classic 90’s series Baywatch and hit reality series Bondi Rescue, Kangaroo Beach is an animated action-comedy series for pre-schoolers and their families featuring comic characters and water rescues.
Bondi Beach chief lifeguard Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins (Bondi Rescue) and Ironman world champion Craig ‘Riddo’ Riddington provide essential water safety advice for the series, with additional support from SLSA (Surf Life Saving Aus). “It’s clear the production team is serious about water safety,” says Hoppo. “We even threw them in a rip to understand how the ocean really works”.
Kangaroo Beach creator Tim Bain started his career in children’s television while living in London and writing episodes for international hit series like PJ Masks, Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends and three series of Fireman Sam.
Tim, who grew up on the Victorian coast in a family of surf lifesavers said there are “heartbreaking drowning statistics in Australia every summer…… I felt there was a huge opportunity to help educate young minds – and their families – in an entertaining way, through a fun-filled TV show. The key message is ‘have a whale of a time in the water, while being informed and alert’.”
Tim added ““I was amazed by what Hoppo and Riddo told us at the first writers meeting. There was vital, life-saving information that I’d never known about after swimming at Australian beaches for 40 years. I was very glad to know about it, not just for the show, but for educating my own 3 year-old twins, who are starting to enjoy the water at swimming pools and beaches.”
Made up of a cast of Australian animals, including “Sandy”, a kangaroo voiced by comedian Kitty Flanagan, the series features four young friends, joey Pounce, platypus Gemma, wombat Neville and koala Frizzy, who spend summer at Kangaroo Beach training as junior lifeguard cadets. Each of the 26 episodes features a different water safety message, including “stay calm and float”, “never swim alone” and “supervision around the water”.
At a local level, we have been providing free preschool education for many years using our mascot Paddles the Platypus and stories and animations from Kids Alive, Do the 5. We have seen firsthand the effectiveness of delivering water safety messages in a fun and interactive way to young children, it is amazing how much kids learn when the lessons are engaging. If you would like us to visit your preschool this year just email me – email@example.com,.au – and watch out for Kangaroo Beach on your TV screen!