10 Lessons Kids Can Learn from Dumb Donald

Dumb Donald is a member of the gang from the animated TV series Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids. Easily identifiable by his pink stocking cap that covers his face except for his eyes and mouth. He also wears a much too big green long-sleeved jersey. He is, as his name implies, not altogether bright. Still, Dumb Donald delivers some teachable moments for kids. Here are 10 lessons kids can learn from him:

  1. It’s dumb to skip school.  Just ask Dumb Donald, who was the only one not to play hooky when the gang decided to spend the day clowning around at the train yards. He may be dumb, but Donald’s smart enough to know he can’t afford to skip classes.
  2. There’s plenty of love to go around. When Donald finds out that his parents are expecting another baby, he panics at first, thinking that he’ll no longer be special and won’t like his new sibling. His fears are unfounded, he discovers, with the help of his friends.
  3. Self-expression should be encouraged.  Dumb Donald has quite an unorthodox look, and he’s fully accepted as he is by the rest of the gang. He doesn’t need to conform to any particular dress code in order to fit in.
  4. Resourcefulness can be music to your ears. Donald plays a trombone in the junkyard band. He’s assembled it from plumber’s pipe and the horn from an old Victrola phonograph. Like the other band members, he’s made resourceful use of cast-off parts to build his instrument.
  5. Fuzzy math and funny math. Dumb Donald may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he makes a very astute observation when tested on his math skills. When he’s asked,”If you got a quarter in one pocket and forty cents in the other, what do you have?”, Donald knows the answer is, “Somebody else’s pants!” Kids can learn the importance of arithmetic skills.
  6. Good grades in honesty count too.  It’s understandable that someone with as much difficulty in school as Donald would be tempted to cheat. To his credit, Dumb Donald learns that a passing grade on a test isn’t worth a failing grade in honesty.
  7. You don’t need to be a jock to win the girl. Donald has to vie with quarterback Hammerhead Rex for the attentions of his love interest, cheerleader Elaine. He tries everything except being himself. A lesson in self-confidence and recognizing one’s self-worth.
  8. Telling the truth to someone you care about can be difficult. Dumb Donald is caught between defending his practical joking cousin Jason and his friends, who are entirely fed up with his pranks. He has to confront his cousin and let him know that his antics aren’t always welcome, and are sometimes dangerous.
  9. Take pride in your parents, and what they do for you. Dumb Donald paints a pretty outlandish picture of what his Dad does for a living as a class assignment. He’s too embarrassed to tell the truth. A lesson for kids in honoring their parents.
  10. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. On the surface, Dumb Donald seems to have every excuse to give up and accept being less than the best he can be. Even though he isn’t very smart, he knows he can’t get any smarter by quitting, and he’d never have the things he wants if he gave up.