Caring for Each Other
Your friends on Sesame Street are here to support you and your family during the COVID-19 health crisis. We understand that these are very stressful times; our daily lives have been disrupted, and we are all coping with uncertainty. As we create a new sense of normalcy, it's important that we take care of ourselves, so that we can best care for our children.
This site provides content and resources you can use with your family to offer comfort and spark playful learning activities. Children thrive with structure in their lives and they learn best through play, even in everyday moments like mealtimes and morning and evening routines. We hope the content and resources help you and your family breathe, laugh, and play together! And remember—they are not prescriptions you have to follow, but ideas you can use to spark other playful learning moments.
We'll be adding more content on a regular basis, including new messages featuring your furry friends from Sesame Street—stay tuned and sign up for our newsletter for more! #CaringForEachOther
Explore the Tools in the Kit:Read quick facts, download resource guides, and more!
Here are some tips to support you as a parent/caregiver during this time of stress and uncertainty.
Activity Tips—Create Playful Learning Moments with Your Child
Parents and caregivers everywhere are dealing with upended routines, new schedules, and much more time at home. Here are some creative ways to build playful learning moments from morning 'til night. Remember, the word of the day is "flexibility." These are suggestions which you can modify and do at any time of day. Be creative—and most importantly—have fun!
What’s the Letter for Today?
Ask your child to pick a letter—maybe the first initial of his name, like “L” for “Lucas”—then use that letter to plan activities for the day. For “L,” you might read a book about a “lizard” or a “lion,” call cousin “Lucy,” and make “lasagna” for supper. Think of as many activities as you can! Write down your “L” words on a piece of paper, show it to your child, and ask him to say the words back to you.
WATCH: Learn The Letters of the ABCS video playlist
“Let’s Put on a Show”
Pretend to act out your favorite story—or make up your own! You can use stuffed toys or animals and action figures to help set the scene. When thinking “costumes box,” don’t get locked into just fantasy elements like crowns, capes, or wings—toss in any discarded shirt, dress, hat, or pair of shoes from your closets. Socks can become all kinds of props or outfit-elements, and scarves, old towels, blankets, and tablecloths can be a kid’s best friend. Cardboard boxes can transform into sailboats, cars, or even spaceships.
Shapes All Around!
Shapes can be found everywhere! Help your child find and identify shapes in and around your surrounding environment. As you take a walk, point out shapes on buildings or in the street (a door is usually a rectangle, a stop sign is an octagon). In your home, go from room to room (a tabletop may be a square, a mirror might be an oval). During play time, notice the shapes of toys and other play items, and before going to bed, look for the moon to see what shape it is today—from a crescent to a full round circle.
WATCH: Check That Shape video
Dancing is excellent exercise and something anyone can do—including you and your preschooler—anywhere you go. Turn up the music and use dance to liven up your afternoons (or to kick-start mornings, help digest a big dinner, or release the wiggles before bedtime). And you don’t need a lot of space to do it—kids love dancing in a chair or in the car, using their arms and upper body!
Try to include your child as you prepare dinner. Kids can help with lots of tasks, like: wiping off the work surface, washing fruit and vegetables, peeling bananas, tearing lettuce and spinach leaves, arranging foods on baking trays, pouring measured ingredients, stirring and whisking ingredients together, and setting the table.
PLAY: Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck game
Eating With My Sense
While you’re eating your snack or meal, you can have fun talking about how all of your senses are engaged. When eating an apple, you can say something like, “My eyes help me see colors—like the green of this apple. My ears hear the crunch when I bite it. My nose sniffs its wonderful fresh smell. My tongue tells me how good it tastes, sour or sweet!”
Sink and Float
Play “sink and float” in the bathtub by testing a variety of bath items: a bar of soap, a rubber ducky, a toy car, a dry sponge, empty and full small plastic travel bottles, and bath books. Once you discover which items float and which ones sink, place them in two separate containers and then, together, count how many float and how many sink.
The next day, extend the fun and learning by playing the Sink and Float game and check out other fun science activities here.
Provide choices to empower your child to shape the routine. Maybe he can pick two books and one song you both can sing together. Ask him which of his “friends” (plush toys and dolls) he wants to read a story with, or encourage him to make up his own story to tell his friend and you.
As families are spending more time at home together, we selected a few Sesame Street stories for you to take a break and enjoy with your child. We hope they provide not only comforting and joyful snuggle time, but that they inspire lots of playful learning moments. Here are the story descriptions and suggested play activities to extend the learning!
Baby Bear’s 'Just Right' Café
Baby Bear, Elmo, and Abby play restaurant. Baby Bear pretends to be a chef and cooks the food, Elmo pretends to be the host and seats the guest, and Abby pretends to be a server and brings the food. Goldilocks is their first guest and she’ll decide if everything is “just right.”
Extend the learning! You and your child can pretend to play restaurant too. You and your child can make a menu, prepare food, and serve your family members. Order up!
Rudy Rides the Bus
Elmo and Rudy play bus driver and bus monitor, driving a homemade bus and helping their friends get around Sesame Street.
Extend the learning! You can play bus too. Drive around your home making different stops for passengers. Beep beep!
When You’re a Vet
Abby and Elmo play veterinarians. By using their eyes, ears, and hands, Abby and Elmo figure out what’s wrong with their pretend patients and help them feel better.
Extend the learning! Pretend to be veterinarians too. You and your child can give a check-up to one of their stuffed animals. Have fun!
Nina, Elmo, Abby, Big Bird, and Chris put on a play about Little Miss Muffet. With the actors, narrator, costume designer, and set designer jobs already planned out , Nina helps Big Bird find his job as playwright when Big Bird comes up with the idea of changing the ending to the story.
Extend the learning! You and your child can put on your very own play too. Choose a story and plan out the roles and costumes. Have fun!