Keeping children entertained is tough at the best of times. It is fair to say, though, that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it that much tougher. So how about arranging for something unique and fun – a Sesame Street play date with your favorite characters?
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Why Sesame Street?
Sesame Street turned 50 in 2019, so if you’re the parent of young children today, you’re probably a Sesame Street contemporary. At the very least, you’d have your own memories of Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Kermit the Frog, and others. Why not try making special memories with your own children, and enjoy a virtual playdate with your personal favorite?
Sesame Street is more than just about “the people in your neighborhood” as one of its most famous songs go. We laughed along with Kermit, enjoyed Bert and Ernie’s arguments, and secretly sympathized with Cookie Monster’s obsession. But Sesame Street also taught kids about friendship, kindness, and enjoying each other’s company.
Sesame Street’s human guest stars are almost as popular as its “real” stars. Mr. Hooper’s store is where many of the guests found employment before moving on. Veterinarians, daycare workers, and music teachers, all know how to get to Sesame Street.
Sesame Street has never shied back at tackling social issues, like health (even Cookie Monster eats the occasional vegetables now). While Big Bird had what appeared to be an imaginary friend for years, Mr. Snuffleupagus did emerge from the shadows eventually. Sesame Street also addressed sometimes uncomfortable issues, like foster care, autism, and cultural diversity in its episodes.
But it’s mostly about coming together, as a group of friendly “people” (monsters, birds, fictional creatures, and the like). However, coming together during a world-wide pandemic when the buzzwords are “social distancing” is somewhat problematic. So a little compromise, with a Sesame street play date, could be just what your child needs.
Who was your favorite Sesame Street character?
Is Oscar the Grouch your go-to support Muppet during troubled times? Oscar lived in the garbage, and, as implied by his name, a bit of a Grouch. He might reflect your mood, or serve as a timely reminder that your home isn’t as bad as his.
What about the Count, a slightly Dracula-like creature who probably taught you the importance of numbers? He would be a fun guest, especially if you wanted to help your younger kids with their math problems. Entertainment with education – how is that not a win!
Guy Smiley could host one of his famous talk shows to keep the children entertained. His “Here is your life” or “The Weather Show” could add pep to even a quarantine party. His singing and dancing talents are special bonuses.
But what child doesn’t love Grover, the scared, but not scary, monster? When he’s not helping other Sesame Street characters out, he’s narrating stories about monsters at the end of books. Don’t forget Super Grover, his alter-ego, who would burst into the room when he was needed to save the day.
Have a Sesame Street Play Date
For something different for your children while they’re in quarantine, check out how to enjoy a Sesame Street play date. Elmo has shown that he’s a master of the video chat (even if Grover has difficulties). Interacting via video feed is an ideal way of overcoming social distancing rules while having fun and staying in touch.
This special way to keep your children amused and, just as importantly, reassured, is a unique Sesame Street initiative. Its promoter, Steve Youngwood, hopes that these “will encourage parents and kids to gather and relax as a family.” Guest stars include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway, Tracee Ellis Ross, and, of course, favorite characters like Elmo and Abby Cadabby.
The Sesame Street play date initiative is part of its “Caring for each other” initiative. This is aimed at helping parents deal with their children’s anxiety while assisting them in learning at home. Children (and parents) can view episodes of Sesame Street free to air, and via PBS KIDS Video App.
How to keep children happy during COVID-19
Lockdown or no lockdown, parents have always welcomed help in making sure that their children stay happy and safe. For actual or virtual intermingling ideas, check out what’s on offer at Twin Cities Kids Club in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota. Even the most inquisitive of young minds will find something to keep them occupied, and parents – some activities are free!
Even a shutdown can’t stop the magic shows, festivals, virtual tours, and movie events from happening. When things return to normal, benefits include skating and swimming activities, carnivals, and arts and crafts. And no adventurous child will want to miss out on events like trampolining, paintball, or snow slides (during the season).
But for now, it’s virtual activities that benefit your kids the most, and fortunately, there’s something for all ages. Don’t let your child miss out on martial arts lessons, digital learning sessions, or even ball-handling skills. Daily music and reading sessions, as well as storytimes, are ideal ways to keep even the toddler happy.
Because many of Twin Cities Kids Club activities can be done online, there’s no barrier to joining. Even if you live outside the Minneapolis/St Paul area, you and your family are welcome to enjoy the membership benefits. Both large and small groups are welcome, so be sure to check out the range of discounts available.
Do you need additional help?
A pandemic is something that we should not have to deal with, and yet, here we are. It’s understandable for parents, and children, to feel worried, nervous, and uncertain about what they can and can’t do. So check out what other parents and families are doing to stay safe during lockdown by visiting our blogs.
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Don’t let this lockdown get you or your children down. Visit Twin Cities Kids’ club for information on Sesame Street play dates, virtual tours, or entertainment ideas for your family. Have fun, keep your family happy, and stay safe.