Go Diego, Go! is a very popular show with preschoolers, and even many grade-schoolers (heck- my tween and teen watch it happily, too!). The show features Diego, a Latino animal rescuer in his adventures saving animals in many different places and under many different conditions. His older sister Alicia, also an animal rescuer, sometimes joins him on his missions. Diego is an older cousin of Dora the Explorer, who has also been known to join him on an adventure (and vice versa). His parents are animal scientists, and he also has a third sister, Daisy, who is college aged and therefore is rarely mentioned or seen.
Each episode features Diego rescuing an animal from some type of threat- environmental, biological, physical- and in so doing, we learn much about the animal, it’s habitat, natural enemies and friends, different types of land areas (tundra, jungle, rainforest), new words in Spanish, and how to solve problems. It never ceases to amaze me exactly how much can be learned from an episode of Go Diego, Go!
Children are introduced to all kinds of animals- some familiar (like crocodiles and beavers), some exotic (like the Blue Morpho butterfly and red eyed tree frogs), and even some that are endangered (like sea turtles and manatees). In saving an animal, we learn what its natural habitat is, what kind of food it eats, and what its natural abilities and defenses are. Most times, we get to see them in action at some point in the rescue, where the animal must use its ability to help the rescue along.
Diego has the help of his sister Alicia (who usually stays at the base camp to give directions and guidance to Diego on his missions) and his rescue pack, which is a backpack that can transform into anything he needs it to be. Each episode, it transforms into the item he needs in order to save the animal, and can range from a snowboard to a tent to a hang glider- it all depends on the type or rescue he’s performing.
In completing the rescues, Diego frequently travels from one type of climate/ environment to a different one. Many times the animal in trouble is simply in the wrong area for its survival, and Diego must help it get back to where it belongs. Sometimes, the animal in trouble is being stalked or is in danger from a predator, and Diego must go and rescue it. There are also occasions where the animal is injured or stuck, and needs Diego’s help to get better or be released. In all cases, his rescue is filled with excitement and learning, as he shares information about the animal along the way.
Many of the terms or actions involved in the rescue are shared in Spanish as well. For example, in the episode where Diego saves the Macaroni penguin, we learn the word for “hatch” in Spanish; in the episode saving the Pygmy Marmosets, we learn the Spanish word for “jump”. Other Spanish words are interspersed throughout the show as well.
We also learn some words that relate to animal science. One that my toddler loves to sing deals with the symbiotic nature of the relationship between Oxpecker the bird and Hippopotamus the… hippo (ha!). The song is “Symbiotic Friends”, and it explains what the term symbiotic means- how many other preschool shows can boast learning like that?
Little ones (and bigger ones, too) will learn what it means to be nocturnal, what extinction is, what a habitat is, and how some animals have natural defenses like mimicry and camouflage. And all of this is packaged neatly in a great, entertaining show that will teach everyone, kids to adults, a little something new before it’s through.
Check out Diego on Nick Jr. with your kids, and prepare yourself for a new type of learning adventure!