Sesame Street has been a leader in children's educational resources for more than 50 years. Since most of today's parents grew up watching the show, there is a level of trust when it comes to quality programming and resources.
The Sesame Street in Communities web portal has resources for more than 30 topics that parents may face -- and some specifically for military families. Here are some of the resources you may find handy for your family, or to pass along to other military families in your community.
A new program designed to help parents start discussions about racism features new Sesame Street friends Wes and Elijah. By discussing "big feelings" and using a shared vocabulary to talk about a positive sense of self identity, this collection of resources helps military parents and caregivers talk about race in a way kids can understand. A "Great Things" music video, an interactive game and professional development materials for those who work with kids are included.
Transitions in Health Care
As military families move, children and their caregivers must find new health care providers to visit. This can be challenging and frustrating, but the resources provided by the Sesame Workshop include a "Visiting the Doctor" game, as well as videos and printables to help children learn what to expect from their visits to their new doctor or dentist.
Deployments & Homecomings
Many military families are learning about homecomings and deployments for the first time this year, and the resources available from the Sesame Workshop can help with the emotions that can arise. The time leading to deployment can be scary for kids; advice included in these resources can apply to parents, caregivers and teachers. Elmo also shares with viewers a video on coming home and lets kids in on the secret that sometimes homecomings are hard.
One of the hardest topics to talk about with kids is injuries, especially those that aren't seen. Several collections of resources from the workshop help prepare children on what to expect when a parent or loved one is injured. From working through rehabilitation and what to expect for long-term injuries and caregiving, parents and children can prepare to deal with the next chapter together.
No one wants to plan for teaching their children about grief, which is what makes this set of resources so important. Included is information on how to tell children someone has died, as well as suggestions on how to say goodbye. This section can be very helpful for caregivers during a very rough time.
Moving is hard on military kids, and sometimes they need a little extra attention during the process. Sesame Workshop has resources to help prepare your kids for their next move, whether it's the first or the fifth time. Grover's moving adventure book -- "When Is Saturday?" -- is a great additional resource for talking to kids about an upcoming move.
Military to Civilian Life
Transitioning to civilian life is a family adventure, and Elmo is ready to join your family on that adventure. This collection of resources talks about communicating with kids, discussing feelings and making sure kids know how to continue friendships from far away.
Keeping a routine despite the unpredictability of military life is essential for parents and caregivers. Children find comfort in routines, even as they grow up, and there are several ways to incorporate them into daily life, including at mealtime, bedtime and drop-off at day care or school. This collection of resources also includes a video and information on how to teach children about their waiting routine.
In cooperation with USAA, Sesame Workshop created a new collection of resources for families as the world continues to deal with COVID-19. Elmo and his dad have a video that thanks military families for their help, and there's another video with tips on how to stay connected with a parent who must quarantine. There are also reading materials for parents and caregivers, as well as printable activities for kids.
If your family needs resources on other topics, the Sesame Street in Communities page has information on subjects ranging from autism to racial injustice to foster care.
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