I grew up watching Sesame Street. My now four-year-old daughter continues to grow up watching Sesame Street. My mother swears that my brother learned to read watching Sesame Street. Some 77 million other Americans grew up watching Sesame Street. Millions more found Sesame Street (or International versions of Sesame Street) in their home countries all over the world.
I love Sesame Street. My family loves Sesame Street. Everybody loves Sesame Street. Well, that’s not true. Some people don’t like Sesame Street. But those people are grumps, grouches, and Donald Trumps.
Luckily for everybody but the grouches, we can watch Sesame Street just about anywhere at any time. It runs on television throughout the week on your favorite PBS station, they have a variety of apps for your phone or tablet, they’ve got loads of videos, games, and educational material on their website, and they regularly release DVDs for your home-viewing pleasure.
The most recent of those, Count On Elmo, came out this week. Like pretty much all of their videos, this one consists of one longer story featuring the two cover characters (in this case Elmo and The Count) intermixed with loads of other short stories, songs, and bits all based around a similar theme (this time, counting).
What I love about these DVDs is that they mix in some of their old bits along with the new. Modern Sesame Street is very clever making up lots of movie and pop-culture parodies and inviting hip young celebrities to join in on the fun. I really do love it, and I especially enjoy watching it with my daughter, but sometimes I kind of miss the old style. It was a bit more clunkier and not nearly as flashy, but it had its charm. It also had more of my favorite characters. These days it's mostly Elmo, Murray, and Abby Cadabby, while my old favorites, Big Bird, Snuffie, and Cookie Monster are relegated to smaller, side character roles.
But with Count on Elmo you get to see a good mix of everybody, old and new, sing and play, and have a marvelous time with your children (and maybe even your old self if you give it half a chance).
With a two-hour run time, you can easily throw Count on Elmo on and let it entertain your child while you get a shower, cook dinner, or take a little rest. The great thing about Sesame Street is that you don’t have to worry about commercial breaks clogging your little one’s mind with needs they don’t need or content that’s perhaps a little too adult for them. You can leave the room with them plopped in front of the televisions knowing they are getting quality, educational television that will help them learn and grow. Then afterwards you can reinforce what they’ve learned with number games of your own or discussions on the moral lessons brought forth from the programming.
Seriously, don’t be a grump or a Trump and grab yourself Sesame Street’s Count on Elmo and give your kid a gift that will last generations.