As a big fan of Suzanne Collins’s book series, I love how Sesame Street transformed Cookie Monster into Cookieness Evereat, whose goal is to survive the jungle by eating his way through the “Hungry Games.” His companions include parodies of Peeta (now an animated piece of pita), Finnick (wielding a fork instead of a trident), and Wiress (who keeps staying tick tock while holding an alarm clock). For more on the names of popular characters, check out Lisa Milbrand’s “In Name Only” blog post on why names from the Hunger Games haven’t taken off.
Even though your kids might be too young to understand the inspiration behind the latest video, they can still help Cookieness as he faces challenges related to food. Kids will learn basic pattern and shape recognition by guessing which food type comes next in an apple-banana sequence and which food shape comes next after a circle-square sequence. Parents can just laugh along at the funny antics and jokes.
Plus: Sesame Street characters Elmo and Murray recently visited our offices! Below, watch a video where they give tips on tackling picky eating. And watch Elmo and Murray give more advice on bedtime routines and getting along with siblings!
We’ve all been there, walking through the grocery store while our kids ask us for colorful sodas, chips with cartoon characters on the bag, or cookies advertised on their favorite TV shows. Couldn’t they just once harangue us for a pear, or heaven forbid, some broccoli?
Now parents are getting some back-up – furry, funny back-up to be exact.
“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said Mrs. Obama. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about.”
Through her Let’s Move campaign, the First Lady has been a longtime advocate for making nutritious foods more appealing, affordable, and accessible.
The fact that Sesame Workshop is licensing Grover, Elmo, Rosita and friends for free is important because unlike a lot of processed food manufacturers, apple, broccoli, and spinach producers don’t have scads of marketing dollars to appeal to our kids in fun commercials or by placing their products in family movies. But the PMA and Mrs. Obama are hoping that when children see a sticker of their favorite Sesame Street character on an apple or next to salad greens they will get more excited about eating a variety of healthy fruits and veggies.
There is research to back this up. Mrs. Obama cited a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. When researchers gave kids a choice between a cookie and an apple, unsurprisingly the vast majority chose the cookie. But when researchers placed an Elmo sticker on the apple, nearly twice the number of children opted for the fruit.
After the announcement Mrs. Obama, Elmo, and Rosita headed out to the White House vegetable garden where they welcomed students from four area schools to help with the fall harvest. The students dug up giant sweet potatoes, cut pumpkins from their vines, and pulled up dirt-covered carrots. Under the guidance of White House chefs the kids assembled turkey, hummus, and salad wraps. While Elmo and Rosita didn’t share the snack, they extolled their love of fresh produce, already doing their part to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The tantrums and the insistent chorus of “No!”: There’s a reason that the time between Baby’s second and third birthdays is called the Terrible Twos. Help keep drama at bay with play that hones your toddler’s motor skills, improves her linguistic abilities, and fuels her imagination. Need some inspiration? Try these picks from Shop Parents.
Just like Jimmy Fallon’s BFF, Justin Timberlake, Elmo and company are having a moment. Did you catch Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, and Mr. Snuffleupagus on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night? The Muppet crew joined Jimmy and The Roots for a musical performance worthy of letting the kids up late on a school night. This might just be the hippest take on the Sesame Street theme song ever. Who knew Cookie Monster likes to take selfies?
In case you missed it, or just want to watch it again, here is the musical collaboration you can’t miss.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of hanging out with Elmo and Murray, who dropped by to help spread the word about Sesame Street‘s 44th season, which kicked off Monday. (That’s me and Michael Kress, executive editor of Parents.com, proudly posing with the muppets.) The theme of the season is self-regulation, otherwise known as that thing most of our kids haven’t quite mastered. The shows will focus on helping children master skills like managing emotions, making transitions, being flexible, screening out distractions, and remembering rules–all of which will help them in school, or help them get ready for school.
We asked Elmo and Murray all kinds of questions: Do you ever get so frustrated that you want to push or hit someone? What happens when your mom and dad serve you a meal that you really don’t like? Do you fight with your siblings? (They don’t have any, but they still had a good answer about getting along with others.) You’ll see what they had to say in a fun video series we’ll show you soon–and you can show your own children as a way to get them on board with good behaviors. (I know I’ll be showing my girls what Murray had to say about trying foods he doesn’t think he’s going to like.) In the meantime, have your children check out the new season of “Sesame Street”–though I’ll bet they are already–which includes a new segment called “Cookie’s Crumby Pictures,” movie spoofs that show Cookie encountering all kinds of opportunities to show off his self-regulation skills.
There are just over 50 days left until the start of the London Olympics and we couldn’t be more excited! While all of the athletes are undeniably talented, we’ll be cheering a little louder for all of the parents who will be competing. Raising kids and preparing to win gold? That deserves a medal in and of itself.
But there’s one other person (well, more like a monster) we’ll be pulling for: Elmo!
To show the International Olympic Committee (IOC) how serious he is about his quest, Elmo has made a video where he tries a few sports. Yes, he struggles with the hurdles and has some difficulty with weight-lifting, but we admire Elmo’s determination. Those of you with toddlers know how difficult it can be to teach them to persevere.
I just took my son Grant, 3, to Elmo’s Birthday Party at the Sesame Street Workshop today here in New York City. Elmo claims that he is 3 1/2 today (he even had a cake with 3 big candles and one short one), but I think he’s around 10. (Anyone out there keeping count?) In any case, the party was really to celebrate Elmo’s newest DVD: Elmo’s World: Elmo’s Favorite Things which is in stores on Tuesday. At the party, we got a sneak peek. It’s Elmo as you love him, hanging out with Dorothy, Mr. Noodle (actually, Mr. Noodle’s brother, Mr. Noodle) and his kid friends and the subject is, what else: birthdays. Grant laughed out loud like he’d never seen an Elmo episode before — curiously, at home he says he’s too old for Elmo. As far as I’m concerned, you are never too old for Elmo. Love that little red monster. Speaking of monsters, at the party there were two balloon genius whipping up Sesame Street characters for the kiddos. Grant asked for Cookie Monster — check it out. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Elmo made an appearance at the end — the actual muppet himself with I assume Kevin Clash, his puppeteer behind the podium Elmo was sitting on — and Grant was shocked. “Elmo is real, Mommy? I didn’t believe Elmo real!” I said, “Now do you believe?”