“Sesame Street” is also here for you on cloudy days.
“Sesame Street” and its nonprofit arm Sesame Workshop introduced a “Traumatic Experiences” portal on Friday to help kids and adults cope with tragic and stressful events.
The portal, part of the nonprofit’s Sesame Street in Communities site, includes videos, articles, workshops and activities to help children under 6 years old understand their feelings and the world around them, as well as helping adults to see the needs of their kids and act accordingly.
The videos star Elmo, Abby, Big Bird and the other muppet and adult characters from “Sesame Street” as the adults teach the muppets how to express their feelings, self-care with hugs, and hit pillows to get their anger out. They are also available in Spanish.
Other activities on the site include breathing exercises, coloring activities and yoga — any of which can be done with parents/caregivers and children together.
“Children need to know — especially during hard times — that they’re not alone. Sesame Street has always been a source of comfort to children dealing with very difficult circumstances, and given how few resources there are for young children dealing with traumatic experiences, we knew we could help,” Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President for Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop, said in a statement. She added that it was especially important now, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting and recent natural disasters.
According to the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, one in four children endure more than one traumatic experience before they reach 18. These adverse childhood experiences include domestic, emotional, physical or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect, witnessing violence, living through natural disasters, parental addiction or mental illness, divorce and parental incarceration.
Sesame Workshop aims to help adults keep these traumatic events from adversely affecting the rest of their children’s lives. The activities and techniques are based on the latest research in childhood trauma and created with the help of childhood development experts.
Using the resources, adults can help kids work through, understand, and move beyond these experiences by being supportive, listening as they try to express their confusing feelings, and physically comforting them.
Other activity portals featured by Sesame Street in Communities feature resources on dealing with bullying, grief, coping with incarceration and dealing with emergencies.