Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Debuts on PBS Kids

There’s a new kid in town, and Daniel Tiger’s his name.  With his vibrant stories and fresh perspective on things, Daniel Tiger is set to bring new smiles to preschoolers and their parents.  Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood offers young viewers a kid’s-eye view of his life, while exploring social and emotional topics.

A spinoff of everyone’s favorite neighbor, Daniel Tiger is a new dimension of sorts of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.  This new animated series, which debuts on PBS Kids, September 3, is the brainchild of Angela Santomero (who brought us Super Why and Blue’s Clues) and produced by The Fred Rogers Company.

At this year’s PBS Annual conference held in Denver earlier this year, I sat with my fellow PBS Kids VIPs and learned about Daniel Tiger firsthand from the creator.  As the son of the original program’s Daniel Striped Tiger, Daniel Tiger is an homage to Santomero’s childhood hero. I remembered just how significant Mister Rogers was to me, too, as I got the chills listening to Mrs. Rogers speak of her husband’s legacy, and got teary-eyed from a montage of memorable shows that helped shaped childrens’ media as we know it.


Recent research proves what Fred Rogers knew all along: social and emotional competencies are the building blocks of doing well in school and in life.

Daniel Tiger explores topics that are relatable to the preschool set, often emotions that young kids can’t quite understand, such as disappointment. The show uses a musical element in the form of cute songs to reinforce the theme.

With Biggie being a preschooler and having experienced our fair share of emotional ups and downs this year, the introduction of Daniel Tiger couldn’t have come at a better time.  Even before our screener arrived Biggie discovered Daniel Tiger on the PBS Video Player app and has been watching Daniel Tiger nonstop. Life’s little lessons as discussed on each episodes truly influence my preschooler who has been having anxiety issues.  Since he can relate to Daniel Tiger, we’ve used his smart advice as conversation starters and also to reinforce certain lessons during some more trivial times.  When Biggie was asked to try something new and sleep with his bedroom lights off, like a big boy, at first he resisted.  But when I asked him what he thought Daniel Tiger would do when he was asked to try something new, he said Daniel Tiger would probably say, “Calm down and give it a try.”


As someone immersed in children’s products and media every day by choice, there’s nothing I love more than seeing something awesome and educational come into fruition as a parent and as a part of the media.  And the fact that this show is heavily influenced by Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, a show that helped shape my own childhood is purely amazing, and being able to enjoy his legacy through the eyes of my kids is surreal.   I can’t wait to watch more of Daniel Tiger and to report back on the other episodes, apps and site!

In the meantime, be sure to catch the debut of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS Kids on September 3 with a special one-hour block of two back-to-back episodes. The series will air daily following its Labor Day premiere. Be sure to check out this cool infographic about the show.

PBS 2012 Annual Meeting: What’s New For PBS Kids

This week I’m so honored to be attending the PBS Annual Meeting in Denver as one of the PBS Kids VIPs (Very Involved Parents.) As a parent ambassador for PBS Kids, alongside a number of influential social media colleagues in the parenting space, I’ve been listening in on several sessions and interacting with some of the brains behind the educational programming at PBS Kids.

Over the years, perhaps you’ve read about how I’ve been to Sesame Street, learned about how SS is ahead of the curve in the educational digital space, hung out with the Electric Company, met Super Why’s creators, shared dessert with Curious George and more. PBS Kids has always embraced bloggers and social media, so I’m beyond thrilled to continue our growing relationship as a VIP.

A fan and advocate for smart, yet cutting edge programming for children, this ambassadorship is, perhaps, one of the most exciting opportunities I’ve participated in to date. It’s beyond inspiring and uplifting to listen to these incredibly creative people behind the shows our kids love.


What I love most about what I do, is that I get to share this information with like-minded parents on my social media outlets, but also, I get to use my voice in this parenting space as an advocate for children’s media.

With two kids, media intake and the content being absorbed, is something I take very seriously. I’ve always championed shows that embody educational, social and creative values that I already teach at home. Excellent programming, to me, supplements the lessons I already advocate at home. With fantastic shows like Super Why, Curious George, Cat in the Hat, the Wild Kratts and more, it goes without saying, PBS Kids’ programming happily fills our mornings in between our own preschool-friendly activities.


So, on the docket over the next few days, I will be learning more about the new show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, listening in on the general session called, “It’s a New Day in the Neighborhood,” and of course, network with my fellow VIPs, as well as meet some exciting Movers and Shakers behind the properties at PBS Kids.

If you’d like to follow the conversation, feel free to check out the hashtag #PBSam on Twitter. Want fun visuals about #PBSam? catch me on Instagram @jenrab

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Through his quirky rhymes and colorful characters, for generations, Theodor Geisel–best known as Dr. Seuss–has urged us to climb mountains, hop on pop and speak for the trees. And today, the world celebrates what would have been the beloved author and illustrator’s 108th birthday.

Cat in the Hat Birthday

Kids of all ages have been celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday this week with enthusiastic celebrations, including nationwide reading campaigns. Although Seuss may have lent his creativity to other fields before flourishing with children’s books, his legacy continues to live on—so much so, not only have his books been reprinted over and over, but his characters have come to life on the big screen, stories have been turned into board games and his rhymes are the subject of an amusement park!

Above all the hoopla that Dr. Seuss’ stories have generated over the years, his messages still ring true all these years later. And if we were to remember anything he said, perhaps the most important message Dr. Seuss shared was this:

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”

For a few minutes or hours today, be sure to pick up a few books and read to the kids!

Just a few of our personal favorite Dr. Seuss titles are: Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who and Cat in the Hat.  You can’t go wrong with classics like these!


I talk a big game about reading to the kids and making sure you disconnect as much as possible, but the truth is, I’m a big advocate not only for reading and writing, but for learning all together.  I love that our kids have the option of supplementing their lessons with intuitive games online, interactive apps, as well as educational programming.  And since we’re talking about Dr. Seuss, the Cat in the Hat which airs on PBS Kids, is no exception.

I love how the show has an emphasis on science and exploring creativity.  Sally and Nick, no doubt, are fun role models for curiosity and exploration; and that Cat, well, he’s knows a lot about that!  And today, in honor of Dr. Seuss birthday PBS is celebrating wit a Cat in the Hat a thon on PBS Kids.  So, after you read your favorite books, be sure to check it out!

I’m so honored to be chosen as one of this year’s PBS Kids VIPs.  This group is a collection of parent bloggers and social media enthusiasts like me who are just as passionate about learning and quality children’s programming.  So, stay tuned for all the PBS Kids-related goodies.


I’ve got two fun Cat in the Hat prize packs from PBS Kids up for grabs!  It contains a Cat in the Hat Book based on the series, a dvd of episodes from the show and a $25 credit to the PBS Kid’s stores!  Just comment below or send me an email to tell me about YOU and YOUR kids’ favorite Dr. Seuss book.  Extra credit: share on the NKT page about how your kids celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday.


For those that have been wondering where I’ve been…I had a baby last month! I’ll spare you the “I was so sick song and dance,” but poor baby was/is a little sick. (Knock on wood) It’s nothing major for now, but it’s been enough to keep this momma down and out. I’m slowly but surely getting back into the groove of things. So, please bear with me as I swat out the cobwebs and get things up and running again.  It’s awesome to see you here! Thanks for hanging out.

So here’s baby boy #2’s debut on NKT: internets, meet Joshua Ellis! At just a month old, not surprisingly, he’s a fan of Dr. Seuss and books in general :)

Joshy Dr. Seuss