MEDEA 2009 Highly Commended
'Kaatje' is a hosting concept for the youngest viewers of KETNET, the TV channel for children from Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie (VRT), the Flemish public broadcaster in Belgium. Kaatje is a little girl who lives in a snowglobe (with stars instead of snow) together with her friend Kamiel, a dinosaur and her doll 'Eendje' (little duck). The three of them play together and discover the world while Kaatje thinks she knows everything and is always right, although she also makes mistakes. And Kamiel just adores Kaatje; their adventures are programmed in between the other programmes, so they are hosting little children through their TV hour.
The showcase video of Kaatje, including an interview with Catherine Castille, VRT - Ketnet
The adventures of Kaatje have no link with the content of the programmes, but what is very important in 'Kaatje' is creativity and interaction, stimulating little children to sing and dance along, ... Toddlers and pre-schoolers go through an exciting period of development and learn - both at home and in school - colours, how to draw, read and write, handicraft, ride a bike, climb, tie their laces, play with other kids, … The world of Kaatje (both on TV and online) stimulates a number of these skills through the various online games. Children for example practise hand-eye coordination (through Bumba's shaking game, Kaatje's balloon game and labyrinth game, learn colours, sounds, new words, figures, learn to make associations (which figure does not fit, find the difference and memory game), and Kaatje gives children the opportunity to discover new things and stimulates their imagination.
What the judges said of this entry:
“We like the idea of Kaatje introducing various aspects of technology and new media in an interesting and engaging way for young children: there are lots of things to amuse them, to learn from and keep their attention. This is a well-made production and the cross-medial approach (the combination of on-air broadcasts and on-line) is really strong.
Some very valid pedagogical points about young children and new media were made in the accompanying report and the emphasis on a safe environment was well considered. Excellent approach for children under 6, well-designed and researched, appropriately designed, rich and open, responsible and involving parents as much as possible and desirable.”
About the creation of Kaatje
Franky Audenaerde, who submitted Kaatje as a MEDEA entry, adds: “Kaatje aims at kids younger than 6 and integrates various age gradations in the content and activities. On TV Kaatje and Kamiel stimulate the kids' creativity, they sing, dance and tell stories. The website mainly aims at making kids familiar with the mouse, keyboard, and new media in general. The online games teach the kids the meaning of letters/numbers/shapes and forms/colours/… and we also have a sign language section that teaches kids small words in Flemish sign language.”