Five-year-old Peg wants to help her grandma throw a groovy sixties birthday party for her grandpa, who is turning 68. But 68 is a big number! How can she even count that high? With the help of her blue cat, she will go up by tens until she gets to sixty, then advance by ones until she hits sixty-eight. Then Peg will pull out her ukulele and she and Cat will sing a happy song of triumph.
Peg + Cat is a show about math for 3-5 year olds. It teaches number sense, counting, patterning and graphing, and even early algebraic reasoning, through the adventures of a little girl and her talking cat. In another episode, Peg and Cat visit an old west town, where they meet Bad Jack and his gang, a group of pigs that tickle you with feathers shaped like the number 4. The only way to stop him is to use feathers shaped like the number 6 so they will add up to 10, at which point the feathers will disappear and Bad Jack will be defeated!
Peg and Cat are joined on their adventures by a teenager named Ramon, a mermaid, a pig, a dog, and two kindly neighbor ladies. They also interact with a group just called the teens, who are too cool for everything. Each episode tells two stories, each one illustrating several math concepts.
The characters of Peg and Cat are engaging for little kids. At least once every episode, Peg gets overwhelmed and starts to “freak out,” and which point Cat calms her down by helping her count backwards, which is a good lesson not only in numbers but in handling the frustrations young children deal with on a daily basis.
Peg + Cat is based on a 2013 book called The Chicken Problem. The series was created by Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley, and produced by the Fred Rogers Company. The animation is whimsical, the characters looking almost like pictures young children themselves would draw. The background of each scene is designed to look like everything is drawn on graph paper.
It’s a charming show that will help young children understand math concepts, and how to deal with the world around them.
Watch Peg + Cat every weekday at noon on KIXE Channel 9.