Sesame Workshop and LEGO Foundation pair up to produce special COVID-19 episode
As families and children around the world continue to adjust to new routines and ways of living in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sesame Workshop and The LEGO Foundation have teamed up to create children’s content which models playful educational activities for children and caregivers to do together at home.
The focus of playful learning and support in managing big feelings features familiar characters to support children in navigating these challenges and giving children strategies to manage big feelings like frustration or sadness.
In Elmo’s World News, Elmo hosts a pretend news program from his bedroom, calling on Muppet correspondents and children from around the globe to share ways they’re continuing to play and learn while staying safe.
The 25-minute special episode will air in over 13 languages across the Middle East, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and more as part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative.
The special was produced with creatives and puppeteers across multiple continents and also features Weather Reporter Grover who shows how he uses his imagination to “bring the outside inside” by adapting his favorite outdoor activities to create indoor fun.
Special Correspondent Cookie Monster tells viewers about his “Things That Make Me Happy” box, a simple activity families can do together to practice mindfulness and gratitude with everyday objects. Reporter Raya shares a playful and interactive update on ways children around the world maintain daily routines, while the reporting team of Basma and Jad pop in with breaking news on how children are managing and expressing their “big feelings” through movement and dance.
“With so many children around the world navigating new routines, it’s more important than ever to give families the tools they need to cope with challenges and foster playful learning at home,” Sherrie Westin, President of Social Impact and Philanthropy said.
“Play is critical to a child’s healthy development, and that’s especially true during times of uncertainty. Together with the LEGO Foundation, we can harness the power of play to meet the evolving needs of families everywhere and help them build the resilience that will carry them through these tough times and beyond.”
In addition to Elmo’s World News, Sesame Workshop will produce a series of short-form videos and digital activities and tips on staying healthy, learning at home through play, and caring for yourself and others. The short-form content will be released over the coming months to help families through the different challenges and transitions they experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Goodwin, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, highlighted the importance of play based education, calling it “vital” for children’s psychological, emotional, and cognitive health and development, as well as for honing the resilience they need to overcome challenges.
“With more than 1.5 billion children displaced from traditional learning environments, the LEGO Foundation is committed to finding creative solutions to accelerate learning through play amid the pandemic. We are proud to collaborate with our partner, Sesame Workshop, to ensure that children have access to education and develop the critical skills needed to thrive in today’s constantly changing world, and in the future beyond the pandemic,” he said.