Play With Me Sesame
Inviting Children on an Interactive Learning Playdate
The interactive series Play With Me Sesame brings children on a playdate with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters: Bert, Ernie, Grover, and Prairie Dawn. Each episode mixes classic Sesame Street footage with newly created games and activities where the Muppets invite children to join in. Play With Me Sesame extends Sesame Street‘s educational mission through opportunities for active learning. The participatory design encourages preschoolers to express themselves creatively, while the games and activities support such cornerstone cognitive concepts as “same” and “different.” As an interactive experience, the program helps children cultivate skills and attitudes needed to succeed in the social environment of school.
Geared toward two- to four-year-olds, Play With Me Sesame premiered in April 2002 on Noggin. The series extends Sesame Street’s learning approach, seeking to spark children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. Play With Me Sesame offers opportunities for active learning in both on-air and online settings, and focuses on three primary learning goals:
- To help preschoolers understand the fundamental concepts of similarity and difference.
- To encourage and help enable preschoolers to engage in interactive play with other children.
- To support creativity and individual expression.
The program’s “playdate” format encourages viewers to join in on the movement and learning they see onscreen, making television an active experience rather than a passive one. For example, children can dance with Grover and help Bert solve problems in a matching game. As preschoolers join in the play, they are invited to name objects and activities; to spot connections, similarities and differences; and to recognize sequences. The Sesame Street Muppet hosts encourage viewers to voice their discoveries out loud. The Muppets then offer supportive feedback. Between activities, short films and animations provide further examples to help put new knowledge into context.
Play With Me Sesame Online offers additional opportunities to interact with the characters and create and display art work.
A version of Play With Me Sesame airs in the United Kingdom and features two British Muppets called Kit and Domby.
Number of Seasons
Number of Episodes
Season one: 26
Season two: 52
Season three: 26
(Sesame Workshop was the sole producer for Season Three.)