We were happy to receive a copy of the newest Bob the Builder DVD, Bob the Builder – Building Bobland Bay in collaboration with a Parents Blogging Network blog tour. Our family started watching Bob the Builder when it was first on TV and BG was a toddler. BG had always had a fascination with tools, and she adored the show. I was happy to have her watch the show, as it kept her engaged and it included Wendy, a female builder in addition to the eponymous Bob, and we quickly ended up with Bob toys and video tapes.
BG continues to have a fascination with tools (she was in second heaven yesterday when the carpenter was working on our floor!), but at 9 1/2 she has outgrown Bob & Wendy. Er, mostly. We have watched the DVD a few times, now, and I’m sure we’ll watch it many more! The Building Bobland Bay DVD includes some new machines, episodes my girls had never seen, as well as some episodes from two other much-loved series: Fireman Sam and Fifi and the Flowertots. Fifi is a big hit here, so knowing we had a Fifi show made the DVD all the more exciting. I’m glad that the folks who put together the DVD didn’t exclude a “girly” show from a construction DVD!
LG at 4 1/2 was eager to watch the DVD with me, and loved every second. BG and MG (9 1/2, 7 1/2) didn’t sit down originally, but once they joined us, they didn’t get up. The storylines on Bob the Builder are really engaging, and because the stories on Building Bobland Bay are linked, once you start watching one 15 minute episode, you don’t want to get up until the DVD is finished, you want to know what happens next! It’s fun watching “Bobland Bay” grow, and the characters are so much fun it’s hard to get up and walk away. Each of the machines has its own personality, and they really are endearing.
Bob the Builder – Building Bobland Bay is focused on Bob and the crew’s next project; now that Bob and his team are finished building houses in Sunflower Valley, they are building a place for fun near the sea. Mixed in with the construction are some new machines, morals about doing the right thing, trying your hardest, and playing fair; Bob, Wendy, and his crew do a great job of mixing machines and values so kids pick up on the ideals without pounding it into their heads.
As I mentioned earlier, my girls have always loved watching Bob and Wendy, so I didn’t think there would be much of a difference when we watched the DVD with a 3 1/2 year old boy. I had noticed earlier in the day that he was fascinated with the trains and trucks at the local museum, so I was glad we had brought the DVD over for a trial run. I don’t want to be stereotyping, but WOW. He totally enjoyed the DVD on a different level than my girls. Sure, he was engaged by the characters and the storylines, but he was thrilled by the different machines, jumping up and down, and pointing at them. It was a very different experience than watching with my girls who want to listen quietly so they don’t miss any of the dialog.
Our gaggle of girls loved Bob the Builder – Building Bobland Bay, and think it would make a great gift for anyone in the 2-5 age range, but after seeing a real live boy watch the show, I’d have to say that I’d wrap it up as a present for a boy really quickly. And maybe add some pretend tools, or real ones, too.
We give it 5 spotlights out of 5. Our only minor hesitation in giving the stars is that the stories are linked so much that you’ll probably end up with a tantrum if you don’t watch the whole DVD in one sitting.
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