Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn from a Big Red Dog


I was driving my car the other day and I heard a commercial for the great Please Touch Museum, and it mentioned that it had an exhibit featuring Clifford the Big Red Dog.

The commercial noted that the exhibit features a hands-on, activity-filled play space that focuses on “Clifford’s Big Ideas”— 10 simple, tangible life lessons designed to help young children navigate their world. I recalled reading the Clifford books to our kids when they were little, but I didn’t recall anything about his “Big Ideas”.

So I was intrigued enough so that when I got home I went on the web and found more info about Clifford and his Big Ideas.

Here is what I found from the Clifford web site:

Being Big is about being Big-Hearted. It’s about having a Big Spirit. Being Big is something we should all do more often. It only takes a little to BE BIG.

Clifford’s BIG Ideas were borne out of the curriculum developed for the award-winning animated television series – which airs on PBS KIDS. The goal of BIG Ideas is to support children’s growing understanding that the actions they choose make a difference to themselves and others. The BIG Ideas present value-based content that engage children in important life lessons.

So what are the 10 Big Ideas?

  • Share*
  • Play Fair
  • Have Respect
  • Work Together
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Truthful
  • Be Kind
  • Believe in Yourself
  • Be a Good Friend
  • Help Others

Those are great life lessons for anyone, of any age.

My wife teaches these lessons to her pre-k students, and I would feel comfortable putting the 10 Big Ideas on my syllabus as part of student (and faculty) behavior guidelines.

The 10 Big Ideas web site at Scholastic provides more info about each Big Idea, including video clips showing the Ideas in action, as well as activities for children that help to teach and reinforce the Ideas. There is also a wealth of resources for parents and teachers related to the Big Ideas.

So thanks to a Big Red Dog for teaching us, and reminding us, about what is important in life.

By the way, if you are in the Philly area and want to catch the Clifford exhibit, it goes through January 17.

*In the spirit of sharing, if any reader happens to win the next Powerball jackpot, please remember your favorite blogger…


2 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn from a Big Red Dog

  1. I love Clifford! (I remember just one book, though.) He really does have a big heart and big spirit. Our Salsa is like Clifford.

    On the other thing … sorry, I don’t play Powerball. If that rich uncle I’ve never met happens to die, though, I’ll keep you in mind.


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