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24/11/2010 14:05:00

Farmer Foggy DVD

I recently came across Farmer Foggy - a new children's DVD - via a contact on twitter. It is a new venture by a production company who are aiming to familiarise very young children with real life farms and to connect children to the origins of their food. The producer, Martin Phillis, was inspired by his own children's love of visiting the countryside and city farms.

Farmer Foggy is not currently on TV, but is available to buy as a DVD.

The show is built around a cartoon farmer who whizzes around a real life farm on his quad bike and explains how everything works. Most of the footage is real life video of a real farm, and is broken in to segments, with little quizzes to bookmark the sections. The quizzes are provided by Toot the Tractor, the show's other animated character.

The show is aimed at 3-5 year olds and is about half an hour long for all the segments. I have been able to watch the Fantastic Farm Machines show, in which Farmer Foggy shows us all the amazing machines on his farm. If you've got a little one who is obsessed with tractors, they may well wet themselves with excitement at this video, it's a veritable tractor fest. It shows different attachments the tractors use for different jobs, how a combine harvester works, and how foragers are used to make silage. One sequence about tractors moving animal feeds is an unashamed excuse to see some very cute newborn lambs (gunk and all) and some very playful pigs.

The show is a new venture and as such is developing to fit feedback. My personal unease with the length of the segments and the degree of easiness of the games for the upper end of the age group has apparently already been raised and taken on board for their newest DVD Tremendous Tractors, and there are shows planned on Horses and Ponies, and on Where Food Comes From.

My local school,
Orleton Primary, a Food For Life Flagship School, tested the DVD out on their Reception class and also felt that shorter segments on future shows would be an improvement, but all the children (a class of 29) enjoyed the show and it encouraged a lot of discussion about the home lives of those children who also live on farms - including much discussion of lambing!

I think the mixture of a cartoon narrator and real life farm images is a great idea, as cartoons can fail to show reality and real life footage alone can be too dry. The mini quizzes scattered throughout help to keep attention and Farmer Foggy himself is an engaging friendly man.

If you have a child of 4 or less this would be a nice present. Personally I think it might struggle to hold the attention of a five year old, unless they are really interested in farms, but for pre-school children it's a lovely way to visit a farm without the accompanying smelly wellies!

Farmer Foggy DVDs can be purchased from the Farmer Foggy website, where you can also see a sneak 5 minute clip of the video, so you can see if it will appeal to your own little farmer!








25/11/2010 13:48:00 by Mum Of Two

This is a lovely idea. I like that the cartoon is a tour guide to a real farm. Is it going to be on TV at all?

01/07/2011 17:25:00 by Jo Brown

Gonna buy this DVD for my kids. Hope it will be aired in TV though.

02/11/2011 21:14:00 by edward heard

Hi Dont think this is as good as Tractor Ted though which my children cant get enough of. They do books and toys too but the dvds are brilliant.

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