Kids have a lot of questions about what’s happening due to the global pandemic: Why school is closed? Why can’t they see their friends? Why they have to stay in the house? How long does a pandemic last? Well, Elmo, Abby, Oscar, and their pals are here to help. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, has started a new initiative called “Caring for Each Other.” The purpose? To help both kids and their parents deal with the new normal of living with the Coronavirus pandemic.
There’s a website where you can find a slew of resources for dealing with the fear and anxiety surrounding COVID-19. There are tools to help you talk about social distancing, to show you how to create routines so your kids continue to have structure, and to help you soothe and comfort each other in these uncertain times.
The first thing you’ll want to do is watch a video on the home page called “Elmo’s Virtual Hug.” That’s where – you guessed it – your kids can get some virtual love from their favorite furry red pal.
“Elmo knows that it’s hard to be away from all of your friends,” he says in the video. “But Elmo’s mommy set up this video chat so we can have fun together!”
There are plenty of other videos, as well. You can watch past episodes of Sesame Street, as well as clips about washing your hands, going to the doctor, and bedtime routines. There’s even a “Sleep Song” video with Bert and Ernie.
In addition to videos, you’ll find all kinds of ideas for games and activities. A lot of the activity sheets are printable and can be colored in.
“While we don’t always know what to expect, we know that Sesame Street friends have the power to convey simple strategies and messages to help children and the caring adults in their lives find comfort,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, a senior vice president at Sesame Workshop, said in a press release. “With Caring for Each Other, we can help families get through these uncertain times and build hope for the future.”
And now, without further ado… Abby’s Freeze Dance.