Sesame Street Day!
Did you know that November 10th is considered Sesame Street Day? Until recently I was not aware that the longest-running children’s television show had a dedicated day on the calendar. However, it truly is no surprise. The widely loved children’s show has over 4,000 episodes that have been educating and shaping the minds of young children for the last 51 years!
As a soon-to-be mom of three, I have seen my fair share of episodes in recent years. However, it was not until recently I actually started paying attention to the characters and their educational messages.
Typically the television is just background noise for this busy mom. However, my 2-year-old son, Frederick has become engrossed in the show as of late. He loves to watch it sitting on my lap snuggled up with his stuffed Elmo. A few weeks ago after a long day of housework I held him and watched an entire episode.
I can honestly say I was impressed!
The characters of my childhood are still there. Big bird is just as yellow as ever, Oscar is still as grumpy as can be, and Elmo’s world is even more intriguing then I remember.
What really stood out to me were the newer characters and topics added in recent years.
In 2011 Sesame Street introduced a new character named, Lily. Lily is a seven-year-old muppet that is homeless. Homelessness is a very rare topic to be addressed in children’s programming. Sesame Street set out to address the topic to help lessen the stigma associated with homelessness.
In 2015 Sesame Street added a lovable new character named Julia. Julia is a four-year-old muppet on the autism spectrum. As a mom of a child on the spectrum, it warmed my heart to see a show depict the life of a child on the spectrum. Julia’s character helps raise awareness about the varying needs and behaviors of children diagnosed with autism.
More recently Sesame Street has impressively taken on the topic of the current global pandemic. In April of 2020, an episode aired that was solely based on Elmo seeing his grandparents virtually because he was unable to visit them in person. Throughout the episode, Elmo and other characters connect with one another through virtual communication. They also tackled topics such as handwashing and mask-wearing. A personal favorite of my two-year-old son is a 30-second clip of Oscar the Grouch’s PSA about wearing a mask for the current #CaringForEachother campaign.
Enjoy an episode
I could go on and on about the graceful and tactful ways Sesame Street addresses important topics. It is amazing to watch my young children take it all in and learn valuable lessons from the same characters I watched 30 years ago.
So if you ever find yourself having a difficult time explaining a topic to your child, remember, there more than likely is an episode of beloved characters that can help. They will convey the message in an easy and meaningful way.
And do yourself a favor on November 10th, celebrate Sesame Street Day by sitting down and reliving your childhood alongside your children with an episode of your favorite characters from 123 Sesame Street.