Learning History With Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

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Thank you Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

I will be the first one to admit that I love fantasy princesses and super heroes. As the age old saying goes, you are the company you keep, so of course my girls would love fantasy princesses and heroes also. But I wanted a way to show my girls that heroes do exist in the real world and these people do not need super powers or fancy dresses in order to be considered a hero. I wanted a way for my kids to learn that they themselves were capable of being a positive role model. That anyone can help influence our world to be a better place for us all. I was recently introduced to a wonderful PBS show named Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum and this show was the golden ticket I was looking for.

The lyrics from the shows opening song states “Every single boy and girl, has what it takes to change the world.”. I mean, how could you not find that inspirational?

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is a comedy-driven animated adventure available on PBS that is inspired by the popular children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by bestselling author Brad Meltzer and award-winning illustrator Chris Eliopoulos.

The show follows the adventures of Xavier, Yadina, and Brad, as they travel back in time through a secret clubhouse of their local museum to meet famous heroes of the past and learn how to be their own heroes of the present. Each episode starts with humorous introduction of a great historical figure and some quick fun facts about that person that helps kids understand why they are a hero. Then the story telling of the show begins with one of the main characters dealing with an issue that is common for kids. The group then heads to their secret museum to search for a historical figure from the past that can help them find a solution for their preset day issue. The idea behind the show is that historical heroes were once ordinary kids, just like you and me. They had fears, they had doubts, and they had everyday difficulties. If they can work past these, then so can every kid. And with that every kid has the makings of a hero inside of them. Isn’t this such a great concept for our youth to learn?

Brooke and Olivia were so engaged with the show when I first introduced it to them. The first episode they watched featured Leonardo da Vinci and Amelia Earhart. They learned the history of Leonardo da Vinci first and how he was involved in many activities. He did not put his entire focus into one subject because he was interested in several and was successful on all fronts. This helped teach the girls that you do not have to settle for one area of interest. In fact, one activity might help you succeed in another. Amelia Earhart helped teach them not to fear reaching for their goals, even if others or yourself has doubts about your success. Practice makes perfect, whether learning to ride a bike without training wheels or learning to fly a plane.

I was gifted two Ordinary People Change the World books from the series collection. I received I am Amelia Earhart and I am Sacagawea. The books are a simple read, which as a parent I totally appreciate. The illustrations are wonderful just like the television series. Because of this the girls immediately had interest and couldn’t wait for me to read the stories to them. The inner sleeves of the books have a “What makes a hero?” statement that will give you facts about the person your going to learn about before reading the book (just like the PBS series). I also love that once you finish the book, there is a timeline of the accomplishments that the person you just read about had made throughout their life. The collection for this book series has many great heroes, like Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie and Neil Armstrong. I also discovered they have a Walt Disney book which I will absolutely be adding to our collection. How could my Disney loving heart not?

I mentioned earlier that the show is available to watch on PBS, but you can also stream the series on their website here. Their website also has so many fun activities you can print for free! I printed some out for Olivia and Brooke to do after we watched an episode from the series. They even have Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum games your child can play on their website. It is definitely worth checking out. We love this series so much, that I cannot wait to expand our book collection.

My favorite takeaway I learned from Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is that these aren’t just the stories of famous people. They’re what we’re all capable of on our very best days.

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