Would you believe it? Forty years’ worth of fledglings have delighted in the highs and delights of Jim Henson’s colourful, exciting characters teaching something that had previously been mind-numbingly boring and remarkably repetitive.
From those humble beginnings, born into a world that still assumed human brains were fully formed at birth and that completely neglected to allow that pre-schoolers (they were called babies at the time as far as I’m aware!) could harbour any kind of intelligence whatsoever, Sesame Street burst onto the screens with the aim to teach this forgotten age-group how to count to ten. And they did!
It soon became very clear to the organisation funded in part by the US Department of Education that children were in fact capable of counting far beyond 10, and at a much younger age than was previously believed. Kindergartens started to see children coming through their doors capable of counting and reading – all thanks to Big Bird, Bert and Ernie…and friends. Even Richard Nixon (when he was still a goodie!) wrote of his pride and enthusiasm in supporting the show.
Not only does the show expose sponge-like minds to reading and counting, but it also models positive social behaviours and acceptances, allowing children to explore feelings, problems and emotions safely and in a way they can understand.
Sesame Street rules. Bring on the next forty.
Why not have a little play and enjoy some of the fun we missed out on as kids because t’internet hadn’t made it as big as Sesame Street back in the day!
Suggested reading http://www.newsweek.com/id/199141