Like many other parents with toddlers, we are preparing for the 46th season of Sesame Street. Elmo, Abby, Grover, and Big Bird are John, Paul, George, and Ringo to my daughter; woe be to the person who comes between her and her sunny days. In that lull between seasons, when we both know all of the words to the reruns of the Elmo the Musical, I’ve found a few nifty Sesame items that help keep us all happy and sane.
Sesame Street Let’s Cook!, by Sesame Workshop and Susan McQuillan
While waiting for that iconic theme song, you can pass an afternoon cooking with Elmo. The hands-on time helps little ones feel useful, and you get the added bonus of working on math skills and following directions. Plus, if your kid takes a nap afterwards it is just more snacks for you! Everyone wins.
Sesame Street—Read, Giggle & Share: All Year Round!, by Sesame Workshop
This nook book is a great way to take Sesame Street out and about. With games and activities, this is a go-to for the restaurant that is just taking too long, or the unexpected traffic jam. It is short enough that kids can feel successful when they finish the activities, but long enough to get you through to the next coffee break.
123 Sesame Street (My First Library), by Phoenix International Publications
Twelve tiny board books designed to fit little hands. The Sesame Street gang covers twelve different early learning concepts (think numbers, letters, music, kindness, etc.) in short stories featuring your ever-cheerful puppet pals. The handled box is a bonus for this collection if you have kids who love to carry around their favorite toys.
The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street Series), by Jon Stone
Parents and kids can take a brief detour from all of the Elmo and Abby energy with this classic book about Grover. The original was published in 1971 and it brings just as much fun and joy now as it did then. As I learned during my recent trip back home, many grandparents don’t know Abby or Chris at Hooper’s Store, but they remember and love Grover. Watch as your kids and your parents share a Grover story, and your heart will grow three sizes.
The Sesame Street Dictionary, by Linda Hayward Joe Mathieuand Joe Mathieu
For those ever-expanding vocabularies, this book is a fantastic extension of the Word of the Day series on Sesame Street. While you watch the show, flip through the book with your littles. Together you can see if you can find the Word of the Day, a funny picture you can talk about, or maybe a great new verb to describe the way Super Grover 2.0 flies.
Platinum All Time Favorites, by Sesame Street
If nothing on the radio seems appropriate for your toddler, and they are not yet ready for NPR, you can pop in this collection of classics from the show. This CD is a mainstay in our house for bath time, especially Ernie’s song about his beloved rubber duckie.
Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
For those of us who like the freedom of choosing what we want to watch and when, this DVD collection is gold. Want to introduce you kids to the groovy bellbottoms Maria wore in the beginning? Need a classic Bert and Ernie from the 80s fix? Or how about that very first Elmo episode? With 40 years of content, you won’t have to worry about reruns for quite a while, and on days when I know every line of Abby’s Flying Fairy School, that sounds like a true gift.
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, by Michael Davis
If that adult brain needs a bit more stimulation, but you’re still mildly obsessed with Sesame Street (I confess!), then this behind the scenes look is worth the read. You’ll have a newfound respect for the time, physical effort, talent, and true passion that goes into a show that features talking furry monsters and a handful of musically gifted adults. Sesame Workshop really just wants to help kids learn in a fun way, and how it all comes together is fascinating.
What other ways do you and your kids enjoy Sesame Street?