J Milligan is the Creative Director of Sesame Workshop’s Innovation Lab.
A couple of years ago I heard a woman named Margaret Robertson give an amazing talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. She worked for a design studio called Hide & Seek with offices in London and New York that was chiefly interested in the concept play. They seemed really cool and I started following them, thinking that someday we might find a way to work with them on something.
This past spring, Hide & Seek launched a Kickstarter campaign for a project called Tiny Games. It was for: “An app that gets you playing the perfect game with your friends: wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing.” The games took place in the real world, the iPhone just told you how to play. Get some cutlery and play a form of rock/paper/scissors with the forks, spoons and knives. That sort of thing. I loved how they used the phone to generate games that you played with friends and things wherever you were, not on the screen. I thought we could do something like that for parents to play with their kids. And when Hide & Seek posted that they were considering a “Kids” section of the app, I knew I had to act quickly. Read More
In every child there is a little scientist, eager to explore the world around him or her. Merely throwing a rock or a paper boat into a pond to see whether it sinks or floats is in many ways a tiny little science investigation, capable of sparking a child’s imagination and bringing a smile to his or her face.
Yet despite the many ways in which children are naturally curious about science and nature, in the United States there is still a pressing need to improve education for the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. While those may sound like advanced subjects, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests it is critical to introduce certain STEM concepts to children while they are young.
That is why Sesame Workshop is excited to announce the launch of Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More. This digital, interactive destination will include games, engaging videos, and hands-on activities aimed at inspiring young children to laugh and smile while they incorporate STEM concepts into everyday moments. And of course, no exploration of what makes science and math fun would be complete without some help from the beloved Sesame Street Muppets. Read More
From September 13th to 15th, we intended to run a special three-day sale in the iTunes App Store. “Intended” is the operative word there, because we made a mistake somehow. Everything went wrong, Sesame Street Muppet chickens went crazy, Telly lost his triangle, Cookie Monster ran out of cookies, and most importantly, the three day sale only lasted two days. The Count is very upset with us — he really wanted to count to three! (ah ha ha).
So to make it up to him (and all of you who thought you were getting discounted stuff, but weren’t), tomorrow, Saturday September 21st, we’re running a one-day, line-wide, Sesame Street app sale! Click here to open the iTunes App Store and see all of our apps!
Celia Ruiz is a bilingual community outreach specialist for UnitedHealthcare Community and State in Overland Park, Kansas. Through her work she uses Sesame Street’s Food for Thought kit and was kind enough to write about it. To learn more about the ways Sesame Workshop promotes healthy eating in under-served communities, click here.
I work for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas. We have partnered with Sesame Street’s Food for Thought program as a way to help our families live healthier lives. I have been fortunate enough to present this program to children and their families in medical clinics, health departments, Head Start programs and community events. Read More
Season 44 of Sesame Street is finally here! The season, which launches today, is full of fun new additions to the neighborhood. Armando, played by Ismael Cruz Córdova, joins the cast and beloved Cookie Monster hosts a new segment: Crumby Pictures Presents.
The focus of Crumby Pictures Presents is our self-regulation curriculum. Self-regulation is a set of critical skills for preschoolers that affects children socially, behaviorally, and academically. Unfortunately, children often begin kindergarten without important skills such as being able to follow directions, stay on task with focused attention, and regulate their own emotions using concrete strategies. Kindergarten teachers report that over half of their students start school lacking good self-regulation abilities even though they are seen by many as being more essential for school readiness than academic skills such as counting or recognizing letters.
Fortunately, self-regulation skills can be taught during the preschool years and development of these skills happens rapidly. These skills and strategies are at the center of every laugh and lesson learned in Crumby Pictures Present, as well as many new online games produced by Sesame Workshop.
To learn more about Season 44 and all the laughs Cookie Monster, Armando, and the whole gang have in store, click here.
Ander Pearce and his family
Sesame Street’s newest community engagement initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration, was created to comfort and reassure children who have an incarcerated parent as well as provide language and guidance to their caregivers. Since its release, the initiative has been making a real impact on the lives of families and children affected by incarceration across the country. In order to get these materials into the hands of those families that need them most, Sesame Workshop partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections, the third largest corrections system in the United States, to distribute these resources. We recently participated in two events to help distribute incarceration kits to families in Florida: an event produced in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections at Polk Correctional Facility on July 13th, and an event produced in partnership with Bridges of America at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center on August 10th.
Life-sized versions of our beloved Sesame Street characters came to both events and helped make the day especially memorable for inmates and their families. In order to share just how special these events can be, we asked Ander Pearce, an inmate at the Orlando Bridge Transition Center, to write about the experience he and his family had at the August 10th event with Bridges of America. The Workshop would like to thank Mr. Pearce for taking the time to contribute to our blog. Read More
High-quality early learning experiences at home and in school provide the foundation for children’s future academic success. From birth to age five, children are making giant developmental strides, more than at any other time in life. During this critical window, education is the key to unlocking their potential.
That’s why Success for All, America’s largest whole-school reform model for elementary schools, and Sesame Workshop have partnered on a pilot program that provides curriculum-based Sesame Street content to preschool children and their families in Success for All schools. Targeting 4-year-olds and starting this September, a variety of short Sesame Street segments chosen from the program’s 44-year history will be used in Success for All early childhood classes and also sent home as part of a daily “Home Links” program that reinforces the learning with child/parent co-viewing, a practice that helps children better retain the lessons being taught during the show. Read More
It’s not enough to just make healthy food choices for our children. We have to get them excited about healthy food like fruits and vegetables so that they establish lifelong healthy habits. That’s why UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop have come together to produce a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) entitled “Eat a Rainbow.”
The segment, which features Dr. Reed V. Tuckson, Senior Medical Advisor to the United Health Foundation, and Sesame Street’s Abby Cadabby, encourages children to eat food that comes in a variety of colors: oranges, bananas, blueberries, green beans and tomatoes. By including all the colors of the rainbow, children can have fun while learning how to have a balanced diet. The PSA is part of Healthy Habits for Life, a partnership between Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare that includes bilingual (English/Spanish) educational materials that encourage children to eat healthy and help parents make fruits and vegetables fun for their children.
To learn more about the work Sesame Workshop and UnitedHealthcare do to make sure children grow up healthy and happy, click here.
Last week Sesame Street released Cookie Monster’s latest spoof: a hilarious take on Icona Pop’s hit song “I Love It.” Sesame Street launches its 44th season on September 16th, 2013 with a new self-regulation and executive function curriculum. Cookie Monster, the poster-child for someone needing to master self-regulation skills, attempts to explain these concepts while devising personal strategies on waiting to eat a cookie.
Tune-in to a new season of Sesame Street beginning September 16th, 2013 on PBSKids!
We all know that huge benefits come with getting your kids outdoors. Being outside provides an outlet for limitless energy and feeds ravenous curiosity, and studies have shown it may even improve performance in school. Yet, children today spend only half as much time in unstructured outdoor activity as their parents did when they were growing up. Getting outside can be a fun-filled way to inject learning and healthy activity into a child’s life, two things that our new partner,Sesame Street, is always eager to encourage.
If you’re looking for a sunny spot to visit, why not pack up the car and head to a national park where just-for-kids programs abound. Whether it is a day trip, an overnight or a week-long camp out, young explorers will find ample opportunities for adventure in America’s national parks. They can watch bears, deer, and hawks amid sequoias in the Sierras; learn the basic camping skills needed to spend a night outdoors under the stars; or explore centuries-old stone and log dwellings to discover how our ancestors lived – all the while nurturing a love for nature and history that will stay with them always.
To jump start the planning of our family’s national park adventure, the National Park Foundation, the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service, offers Parks for Play, a free, informational download. Discover helpful tips and insider info about park programs and activities perfect for all ages. Download your copy today. It’s free!
For even more inspiration about the fun to be had in national parks, watch and see what Elmo, Murray and the Sesame Street gang discover when they teamed up with the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service to explore the parks. Watch and see how your kids can share the same experiences.