Family Essentials®

5 Great Reasons Parents Can Feel Good About Their Kids Watching Xavier Riddle

December 21, 2020

Posted in: News & Events



We often hear from parents that they experience feelings of guilt when they find themselves using screen time as a way to entertain their kids while they tend to other tasks – like getting dinner on the table, hitting an important deadline, or simply taking a breather for themselves.

The good news is, we have many wonderful strategies to suggest to parents on how to make screen-time a more engaging and educational tool for kids. We hope to transform some of those heavy feelings surrounding the consumption of media into a positive experience for all.

One of the simplest strategies is to actively curate the programming our kids tune-in to. Though this strategy can be simple, it can be a challenge to find both an entertaining and educational series that will hold a child’s attention while also teaching them new things.

That’s why we love PBS KIDS’ animated hit series Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, based on the best-selling books Ordinary People Change the World by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos. In this adventure-comedy, kids follow along with Xavier, his little sister Yadina, and best friend Brad as they travel through time to meet famous heroes of the past and learn how to be their own heroes! Not only is this show highly engaging for kids to watch, but also rich in many social and emotional lessons.

Here are our top five Reasons Parents Can Feel Good About Their Kids Watching Xavier Riddle:

      1. Social Emotional Learning Wrapped into Every Episode

Today, incorporating social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum into our children’s education is integral to their human development. SEL helps our kids develop a healthy self-image and teaches them to effectively manage emotions, learn the importance of goal setting and understand empathy for others.

Every episode of Xavier Riddle centers around teaching kids one important SEL lesson. This is demonstrated by the kids traveling back in time to meet a historical figure, as chosen by the Secret Museum, to help them uncover an answer to a social emotional problem or challenge they have encountered. The show’s heroes then teach the children how to address these challenges in practical and understandable ways, and then summarize the SEL lesson into bite sized, repeatable, and easy to remember messages called mantras.

      2. Amazing Animated Adventures Through Time

The subject of history can sometimes get the unfair reputation of being dull and dry, which in turn can make it a topic that kids are not always thrilled to engage with. This is not the case with Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Xavier Riddle takes history, shakes it up, infuses it with the energy it deserves, and then leads kids through pivotal historical moments, using animated, relatable, and AMAZING adventures.

Whether it be watching Marie Curie on her quest to discover radiation, travelling up Mount Everest beside Junko Tabei, or cheering on Jackie Joyner-Kersee as she breaks Olympic records – kids not only get to learn about these impactful moments from the past, but also get to follow along with these real life heroes as they bring history-changing events to life!

      3. Ordinary Heroes Can Change the World

One of the most empowering messages that Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum delivers is that: Kids like you can change the world!

When Xavier, Yadina and Brad meet Rosa Parks in the “I Am Rosa Parks” episode, they quickly discover that equality can come in small forms. It can be sharing the sidewalk or deciding who can honk the horn on the bus first. While highlighting the courageous story of Rosa Parks, kids are able to understand how they can stand up to bullies, whether that be at school or on the bus, to treat people fairly.

      4. Character EssentialsSM – Xavier Riddle series ties into Kiddie Academy’s Character Essentials

Another reason we love the Xavier Riddle series is the many ways that the themes and characters on show can be used as examples to illustrate our monthly Kiddie Academy Character Essentials traits.

At Kiddie Academy, our Character Essentials program is an important pillar in our curriculum. Each month we highlight key themes to help our teachers develop learning experiences for our students, which provide them with a solid foundation and prepare them for school and life.

      5. Cross platform excellence

Our final note on why this amazing series and worth curating into your kids’ media diet is that the fun does not stop at the screen. The Xavier Riddle adventures extend into games, books and activities, and all with the same standards of quality, creativity, educational content, and fun.

Parents can take a trip to the PBS KIDS website to discover a wealth of learning resources created to help their little heroes learn more important lessons from some of their favorite historical figures. There are plenty of online resources, which includes video clips, teaching tips, and historical figure bio sketches that support students’ social-emotional, literacy, and social studies skills. Don’t miss their additional resources for kids that include printable games, activity sheets, and more.

Parents and kids can read along with the adventures of Xavier and crew in the newly launched Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum books from Penguin. Get ready to learn and explore alongside real life heroes like George Washington Carver, Harry Houdini, Cleopatra and more! See the full collection here!

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is available now to watch on PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS app or online!