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For more than 50 years, Sesame Street‘s timeless message has been that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, is equally deserving of respect, opportunity, laughter and joy.
The videos, activities, printables, tips, recipes and other resources below teach children how to live their best lives, and they guide parents and caregivers in supporting a child’s social and emotional growth.
Watch a compilation of favorite episode clips from across the decades:
» The collection of fun activities and helpful tips
» Watch a video about KERA’s Sesame Street legacy
» Take our Sesame Street quiz
» See a timeline of Sesame Street history
» View photos from the Sesame Street Road Trip event in Dallas
These 12 collections open up conversations between adults and children on important themes using videos, online storybooks, printable activities, how-to guides and more from the Sesame Street in Communities initiative.
Featured character: Lily
National Poverty in America Awareness Month takes place in January. Lily is a 7-year-old Sesame Street character who faces homelessness.
By sharing Lily and her family’s financial turmoil, their story raises awareness of a central issue facing many Americans: poverty. A child experiencing homelessness, Lily’s story helps to move beyond the stigma that results from homelessness and provides a better understanding to the general public that it can happen to anyone. Lily’s story defies the common stereotypes passersby are quick to label them with and diminishes each one.
Featured character: Elmo
Elmo is one of the many characters in Sesame Street who has always proven the power of friendship. He encourages everyone to remember the important roles friends play in their everyday lives.
Friends share together, care together, and hug together. Elmo and his friends at Sesame Street know all about maintaining healthy relationships. Elmo is designed to show the general public and children the number one rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. Treat people, friends, and family with kindness, with respect, and with compassion. At the end of the day, we may all look different, but deep down, it is important to recognize that we are the same.
Practice being a good friend to others:
Featured character: Big Bird
National Nutrition Month is in March, and so is the birthday of everyone’s favorite yellow-feathered friend — Big Bird! Celebrate with Big Bird by talking nutrition with him.
Childhood is an important time to introduce healthy eating and playing habits, as it does affect growth and development throughout life.
Big Bird is a good model for clean eating and fitness. Sugar and sweets may be tempting and yummy, but Big Bird and his friends show children and parents helpful tips to combat those temptations. They instill healthy habits and tools to help teach children about the basic ideas of nutrition and being physically active in their lives.
Explore these helpful resources on eating well:
To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, which is in April, Sesame Street and KERA Kids would like to re-introduce you to Julia, a Sesame Street character who has autism.
Help children learn about acceptance and embracing diversity — click to view online activities, reads and resources about autism for children and adults.
They’ll help you learn:
• How to talk to children about autism
• About the benefits of a companion animal
• How to prepare for outings
• How to create fun family traditions
• What to say to a parent of a child with autism
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) April 15, 2019
Featured character: Karli
In recognition of Foster Care Awareness Month, which takes place in May, meet the newest member to the muppet family, Karli. Karli is a young girl in foster care.
Fostering a child takes patience, resilience and sacrifice. Children in foster care often experience many transitions and moves. The new resources from Sesame Street in Communities are designed to help children in crisis cope along the way.
• A digital interactive
• A storybook
• Printable worksheets for children
• And resources for foster parents, guardians and caregivers
Featured character: Oscar the Grouch
June is National Safety Month, and it’s Oscar’s birth month! He celebrates it by teaching children emergency preparedness and the importance of safety on the road, in our homes and in the community.
It is important for parents and caregivers to familiarize themselves with safety risks and emergency drills at home, at school and other community spaces. Remind your child/children about key tips that will help keep them safe and healthy at home, during play and during disasters.
Oscar the Grouch is known for living outdoors, so staying safe is a big priority for him. Get the resources you need to help children stay safe indoors and outdoors. Use these tools to help you navigate through everyday situations and unexpected emergencies:
Featured character: Bert
Bert’s birthday month is July — the same as Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. He dedicates the month to encouraging minority groups living with mental illness.
There are numerous factors that can impact a child’s brain development and mental health. So much brain development happens in the earliest years of life, and little ones thrive when they have lots of nurturing interactions with caring adults.
As you listen, talk to, nurture, and comfort children, you’re helping them grow, develop and prepare for success in school — and in life. Bert and his friends at Sesame Street have several helpful resources and educational activities to support your child’s mental health.
» Interested in children’s growth and development? Browse these resources:
» Also, take advantage of KERA’s free Start Smart text service.
• Receive occasional, age-tailored parenting tips and ideas right on your phone.
• Sign up by texting the the word LEARN to 274448.
• Learn more about the service here.
» Read or listen to this story from KERA News about how directories for therapists of color are growing, and why that’s so important.
Having a healthy routine can create happiness inside and out. Whether you challenge yourself to eat more leafy greens or to decrease your time on the web, making a small change can go a long way for your mental and physical health.
Children are not the only ones to benefit from healthy routines. Caregivers can make a change, too. Doing self-care activities and routines together helps caregivers develop healthy habits while also teaching children to do the same.
Remember — doing small, daily acts of self-care and modeling a healthy lifestyle can lead to a lifetime of wellness for adults and children alike.
Here are some tips, videos, activities and guides for small steps you can take together:
Featured Character: Zoe
Zoe’s birthday month is September. Her one wish is to focus on hand-washing during Food Safety Education Month! She also likes to celebrate by talking about access to healthy foods and meal planning.
To be a food safety superhero, take small steps to prevent foodborne illnesses, then stay healthy with nutritious meals and food prep know-how:
» Activity: Helping Families Get Healthy Food
» Video: Exploring Healthy Snacks
» Printable: Recipes, Shopping List, and Meal Planner (PDF)
Featured Character: Abby Cadabby
Not only October Abby Cadabby’s birthday month, it’s also National Bullying Prevention Month! Abby likes to celebrate by showing kindness to all of her friends.
We want to make sure parents, school staff and other adults in the community are equipped to help kids prevent bullying by:
• Talking about it
• Building a safe home and school environment
• Creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy
Get started with the these resources, and be a part of the bullying solution:
» Video & Questions: How to recognize bullying
Featured Character: Cookie Monster
November is Diabetes Awareness Month … the same month as Cookie Monster’s birthday! He has three birthday wishes for everyone:
1. Practice eating a healthy diet
2. Maintain a healthy weight
3. Stay active
Diabetes education and prevention is very important. An estimated 25.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, which is approximately 8.3% of the population.
Fortunately, diabetes can be managed and, in the case of Type 2 diabetes, prevented, with proper diet and lifestyle modifications.
(P.S. Cookie Monster has vowed to slow down on the cookies!)
Check out these tips, activities and educational resources from Sesame Streets in Communities:
» View a list of healthy on-the-go snacks
» Download a printable meal planner, shopping list and recipes
» Watch videos on how to eat well
» Move your body! Get exercise tips
» Complete this printable Moving Together activity
Featured Character: Rosita
Rosita‘s birthday is in December. In spirit of the holiday season, she likes to spend her birth month focusing on the value of giving.
December also happens to be a special time to remember those who are less fortunate. It’s a big world, and we all have to do our part to make it a better place for everyone.
Parents, children need your help to develop healthy relationship-building skills and learn the importance of giving back to others.
These videos, activities and articles from Sesame Street in Communities can help:
Ralph B. Rogers, chairman emeritus of KERA, envisioned a visual guide for childcare providers to help kids prepare for school. In 1990, the Sesame Street Preschool Educational Programming collaboration was born:
What’s the name of Elmo’s pet fish? See how many questions you can answer about the show’s beloved characters:
KERA celebrated Sesame Street‘s 50th anniversary in 2019. One of the ways we celebrated was by attending the Sesame Street Road Trip event. We had great fun with North Texas families at the interactive festival and stage show, which took place July 6, 2019, in downtown Dallas:
Sign up for our Start Smart text messages to receive easy tips on engaging with young children.
Get fun, librarian-recommended book ideas for kids.