Sesame Street Presents: The Body Exhibit at Liberty Science Center Provides Hands-On Fun

Liberty Science Center is no stranger to family-friendly exhibits. In fact, as the most visited museum in NJ and the largest interactive science center in the NJ/NYC metro area, more than half a million students, teachers and parents visit LSC each year.

New this year, everyone’s favorite furry monsters have found their way to LSC. Having debuted in January 2015, Sesame Street Presents: The Body is comprised of a myriad of hands-on exhibits geared to engage the curiosity of the littlest scientists. 

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The exhibit, which explores the human body and how to keep it healthy, features three education zones: Your Insides, Your Outsides and Staying Healthy.

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Your Insides explores bodily functions and weaves familiar monsters into the interactive features. Count’s Organ Organ teaches kids about internal organs with a musical twist; Digestion with Oscar keeps it real with a display that shows kids what happens after the food goes down the tubes and Oscar’s Sneeze Machine allows kids to pull a lever to irritate a big nose that actually sneezes on them.

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Your Outsides allows kids to identify body parts while learning what they do. Wonderful Hands includes puzzles sign language games shadow puppets, among other fun activities. “Your Legs and Feet” shows kids what happens when your legs are in motion and “Use Your Head,” is another interactive feature where questions can be asked and answered about the parts of a head.

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Staying Healthy overviews the importances of staying clean, making smart food choices and getting lots of rest and physical activity. Ernie and Rubber Ducky provide a fun activity with Rub-a-Dub Tub, but Mr. Hooper’s Store is the highlight for hands-on exhibit.


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My 7 and 3 year old quite possibly spent 2 hours in this exhibit. From learning all about how everyone poops to kicking a soccer ball to grocery shopping non-stop, The Body kept both my gradeschooler and preschooler entertained and engaged with educational content and iconic characters we know and love.

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Since we visited on a weekend, the caveat to this exhibit is the high volume of museum-goers. Museums in general can be sensory overload, even moreso when you can barely walk through a crowd of small kids. As with any museum on a weekend, be prepared to wait for interactive features and taking turns with other kids. But truly, the wait and crowds are worth it, especially for the preschool set.

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We enjoyed checking out Sesame Street Presents: The Body, courtesy of LSC and JerseyMoms Media. LSC has hosted bloggers several times, but I seem to always have the most fun when my friends from JerseyMoms Media co-host.


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Not only do my fellow NYC and NJ bloggers get to socialize with our families, but we get to enjoy a day of educational fun. My kids absolutely love hands-on fun—and if it was up to them, the dirtier the better. Learning how to make “blood” was one of the coolest activities I’ve seen for this age group. A big thank you to LSC and JerseyMoms Media for hosting our family.

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And speaking of hosting, LSC gave us passes to giveaway to our readers! If you’d like to check out Sesame Street Presents: The Body with your family, enter for a 4 pack of tickets below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Full disclosure: I am being compensated for my time and travel to LSC. As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.


The Cookie Thief Debuts on PBS Kids on Monday February 16

Cookie Monster is up to his regular shenanigans, except this time, he’s starring in The Cookie Thief on Monday, February 16 on PBS Kids. The all-new one-hour special follows Cookie’s adventure at a cookie art museum. When art goes missing, questions arise as to whether or not Cookie had something to do with it.

Cookie Monster tries to eat the Cookie Art in Sesame Street s The Cookie Thief  Zach Hyman

And in Sesame Street fashion, this special focuses on important emotions and offers teaching moments. As Cookie Monster hopes to clear his name, kids learn about self-regulation concepts including impulse control, following directions and managing emotions.

The Cookie Thief with Rachel Dratch  Zach Hyman


My preschooler, who is learning all about self-regulation concepts himself, absolutely loved The Cookie Thief. Not only did the 3 year old love it, but my 7 year old probably loved it even more. There was action, mystery and culture, what more could we want in a Sesame Street special? Cookie Monster’s starring role in the Cookie Thief is a fun and engaging movie for preschoolers, and one that is perfect to watch while the kids are home for school this president’s day!

Meeting Cookie Monster and other highlights from the 2014 PBS Annual Meeting

Once again, I’m attending the PBS Annual Meeting as part of the PBS Kids VIP ambassadorship program.  This time, the meeting is in beautiful San Francisco, where we’re getting a chance to enjoy the local restaurants after sessions, as well as take in a few sights.



The agenda for the PBS Annual Meeting serves as a preview for the upcoming year for the channel’s various shows and specials.  It’s a chance for the executives at stations across the US to engage with PBS execs, show creators and others involved in creating content for PBS’ platforms.  

Lots of great independent programs, Martha Stewart, How We Get To Now with Steven Johnson are among the highlights so far.

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Because so many of us embrace PBS for their stellar programming, it’s safe to say that we can relate to one—or all—of their current and upcoming  shows.  Like many of you, I grew up watching Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and the Electric Company.  In a home where English was my first language, yet my parents spoke a different language, these educational shows served as a supplement to my immersion to American culture, and ultimately, my version of preschool.  


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Of course, this was *ahem* 30 something years ago, nevertheless, this sentiment rings true today for many families of different socio-economic backgrounds.

My fellow PBS Kids VIP @urbanmama tweeted this today during an earlier session:

@PBSKids is the leader in school readiness.  For families who don’t have access to preschool education #PBSKids DOES teach #PBSam


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After a long day of traveling (ignore my crazy hair and loco face), yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting THE Cookie Monster and his muppeteer, Emmy nominated David Rudman.  Cookie and the man who brings him to life were so lovely in making us laugh.  But really, as if meeting Cookie wasn’t amazing enough, he answered questions for us and did personalized videos too.  I mean, really?


Here’s the quick chat I had with the Muppet of the hour, Cookie Monster.

A big push on the PBSKIds pipeline is Oddsquad.  It’s a little bit Men in Black, Airplane and SpyKids.  Like other PBS Kids’ shows, this new live action show embraces math concepts to solve problems.  It looks like they hope to tap into the school age demo, perhaps that 5-10 category.  Including the snappy humor and strong female leads, I personally appreciated the pronounced diversity among the characters. 

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One of the lead boys looks just like my older boy—this is huge for mixed kids who have often wondered why other shows don’t have characters that look like them.  In a few hours, we’ll be meeting Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman, the witty creators of OddSquad.  I can’t wait for this one!


Stay tuned for more PBS Kids updates on here or catch me on Twitter or Instagram for live updates at #PBSam


Sesame Street Debuts What I Am, Anthem for Little Children, Big Challenges

It may have been the unofficial start to summer, but beyond BBQs and beach time, this past weekend was a time to celebrate those who serve and have served in our military. A product of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Merchant Marines, military service was the glue that held my family together. My dad’s service brought him to the U.S., provided for our family and ultimately, put me through college. I count my lucky stars every day, and now that the Big Kid is old enough to comprehend the military and our service men and women, I felt that it was our duty to help better educate him on the topic.

In line with Memorial Day celebrations, this past Saturday, some characters from Sesame Street performed on The Intrepid, as part of the launch of its newest outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges. This educational message is quite relevant for military, veteran, and other families with young children, to help increase self-awareness, boost self-esteem, and help children persevere through changes.

Rosita, Elmo and Gordon chat about Little Children, Big Challenges

With my dad in the Navy, as a young girl, saying goodbye for months at a time was quite common.  As a result, separation and uncertainty are issues that still sting to this day, but as a parent now, I’m so glad to know there are helpful outlets that can cushion the blow. In the reality that is our world, military families face so many adversities, and sadly, separation is sometimes the smallest of their worries; it’s comforting to know that Sesame Street provides an outlet that embraces these feelings that sometimes only military families can understand.

Matt Rogers, Rosita, Elmo and Gordon sing What I Am

I was honored to be onhand on the Intrepid with my own family to capture the debut of the anthem of this latest outreach, What I Am, sung by American Idol alum, Matt Rogers. As fun as it was to cheer and laugh along with Elmo, Rosita, Gordon and Matt, it was the Quantico Marine Corps Band accompaniment that gave us all the chills. Listening to the band accompany this Sesame Street performance, penned for families going through changes, I have to say, was quite moving and memorable, to say the least.
Quantico Marine Corps Band accompanies Sesame Street What I Am performance

Because Fleet Week festivities were wrapping up at the Intrepid, we were able to take part in a few educational activities. The Big Kids most favorite activity was building his own boat, with supplies and directions supplied by the Navy’s ONR. The Big Kid crafted his boat with Play-Doh, an oversized straw and construction paper mast, as best as a four year old could do, but let’s just say, he wont be a naval architect any time soon.


Our day at the Intrepid, listening to the Sesame Street performance and checking out all the military-related activities was a fun outing; but most importantly, it was the beginning of a dialogue with our children about the importance of our military, and just how much our service men and women and their families mean to us. We will always salute you.

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To learn more about Sesame Street’s newest outreach initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges, be sure to check out their online resources, which includes printables, games and a video.

Want to view the video of What I Am that features Rosita, Elmo, Gordon, Matt Rogers and the Quantico Marine Corps Band?  The video is posted below the jump.
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Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster for Kinect is Family Fun at its Best

Sesame Street is always at the forefront of children’s media, and the video game segment is no exception.  Last month, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released Once Upon a Monster, the first Sesame Street title for Kinect for Xbox 360.

A vibrant, funny, family adventure game, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster features a storybook-like experience that allows kids to explore scenarios with Elmo, Cookie Monster and meet new monster friends along the way.  The game features a helpful co-op gameplay option, which, I think, is inherent for young players.  And according to WBIE, through gameplay, Once Upon a Monster underscores social, emotional and other life lessons, for which Sesame Street is already known.

The friendly, familiar and furry monsters, ultimately, were the main appeal of this game for my preschooler.  The dancing and other adventures, coupled with the sharp graphics, “made” this game for him in the end.  From start to finish, and whether they’re big or little, the game involved players’ movement from head to toe, creating active gameplay that was virtually nonstop.  This would be such a fun alternative to movie night or even a complement to traditional game night.  The co-op gameplay feature gives parents a proactive approach to  stay involved in this specific element of screentime.  And although it may not be the most educational title (as far as letters and numbers go,) I do appreciate that Once Upon a Monster gets kids moving–without a remote!

Rated E for Everyone, this game is ideal for preschoolers to early grade school and their family members.  Change up the holiday family gathering monotony! I personally can’t wait to see my 20-something brother join in on the fun!  Coordination and the ability to comprehend basic verbal instructions are important, but a little monkey-see, monkey-do always helps with that.  Sesame Streeet: Once Upon a Monster for Kinect for Xbox is available in stores now and retails for $49.99.

The kid and I were onhand at the NYC Once Upon a Monster launch, where we had a chance to demo the game before its official release.  Suffice it to say, the kid and I both had a blast moving and grooving to “that monster game” as the kid lovingly calls it.  Check out the kid and a few little buddies checking out Once Upon a Monster at the launch event.

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Visit the official Sesame Street Store and save 15% on Once Upon a Monster with the promo code: SESAMEBLOGGER

This offer expires December 15, 2011.

Full disclosure:  I’m an affiliate of the official Sesame Street Store, and there are two affiliate links above.  As always, I appreciate your readership, and by visiting and shopping through any of my affiliate links, you help me keep this site afloat!
Product sample was provide to facilitate this review; as always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Sesame Place Welcomes 2011 Season with Neighborhood Street Party Parade

With the warmer weather here to stay, for many families, summer vacation is within reach.  And speaking of warm weather fun:  amusement parks, ubiquitous with summer vacations and day trips, marked the start of their summer season over the recent Memorial Day weekend.

But even before the summer season began, as part of their Opening Day Celebration, our family had the chance to preview the excitement that Sesame Place has in store for the 2011 season.


A little over an hour outside of the NYC area, Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA is a popular day trip for city and suburban families alike.  The fun mix of shows, family-friendly rides and water rides make the only Sesame Street-themed amusement park an ideal locale for young families.

As guests of blogger pal Heather from Girl Gone Mom, who is also one of the Sesame Place ambassadors, the Kid had a chance to meet and greet the newest member of the Sesame Place gang, none other than Murray, himself!  As if meeting Murray wasn’t enough, Sesame Place pulled out all the stops and invited the media and our families to meet ALL of the Sesame Place characters prior to the debut of their new Neighborhood Street Party Parade.


The Neighborhood Street Party Parade, a vibrant display of floats, charming performers and cheery characters, was a highlight for my Sesame Street-loving crew.  Favorites like Big Bird to the Count to Super Grover and beyond kept kids and parents smiling from beginning to end! Check out a quick video we took of the new Neighborhood Street Party Parade.

Neighborhood Street Party Parade
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Round Up: Elmo Gear, Gadgets and Goodies

In the past, I’ve profiled a variety of Sesame Street-themed toys, home goods and more.  Last year, Elmo’s image and branding transcended toys and books; we found Elmo on digital media, accessories and more.  Indicative of how connected our kids are these days, you better believe our kids’ favorite characters are following suit.
In honor of Elmo’s birthday, here’s a just a few fun Elmo goodies and gadgets that are worth checking out.

Elmo’s A to Z Wii Game

From Warner Brothers, Elmo’s A to Zoo Adventure is an educational video game that is one of two games that mark Sesame Street’s entry into the gaming sector.  In the game, kids can supplement their alphabet lessons with Elmo’s assistance.  Geared to the pre-k set and up, learning the alphabet gets a new dimension in Elmo’s A to Zoo Adventure where kids can interact with animals and Elmo.  Designed with the help of educational professionals, the details of the video game and the way it’s played cater specifically to the younger kids’ capabilities.?  Having attended the launch event of this game last fall, we’ve had a fun time testing out this game out, and it’s added a fun element to our daily lessons.  I love the little Elmo Wii controller cover–seriously so cute and the kid loves it.  Reluctant to recommend video games to the young ones, Elmo’s A to Zoo game is a great way to change up the usual alphabet-learning routine.

DreamGear Accessories


Ok, so maybe the little guys don’t have their own iphone or ipads yet (or maybe they do?), but companies like DreamGear are helping mom and dads outfit their smartphones and tablets with fun kid-friendly accessories.  The silicon iphone case from DreamGear is durable, fun and washable–perfect for parents that appreciate Elmo’s cuteness.  I received a Cookie Monster case from DreamGear for review and receive so many compliments from parents and kids alike.  Who knew a phone case could be such a conversation piece?  Beyond phone and (fuzzy!) tablet accessories, DreamGear has a whole line of Sesame Street branded gaming and electronics accessories that are suitable for kids.

Elmo USB

I chatted about this cool Elmo USB from ATP case before it hit the market, and I still think it’s pretty cool.  It has room for storage for your files and for a video that’s included.  In addition to it being waterproof, drop proof, the plug and play convenience of these Sesame Street video usbs give our favorite furry monsters even more tech cred.

Earth’s Best

Earth’s Best has had Sesame Street branded food for the wee ones for quite some time, but they’ve been adding more to the mix.  Characters all over food isn’t my most favorite thing in the world, but when the food is a healthier option, then I’m on board.  Earth’s Best offers organic foods that don’t contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  We are big breakfast people, so I have Elmo’s Oatmeal and O’s cereals on our must-try list.

Elmo Birthday Talking Plush

All Elmo fans must have their own plush furry monster, especially the toteable, talking kind.  In honor of Elmo’s birthday, I’m kind of smitten with this Elmo Birthday Talking Plush.  I might have to add this guy to my first birthday present ideas for my Sesame Street-loving nieces and nephews.

Happy Birthday, Elmo!

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All of these fun Elmo gear, gadgets  and goodies can be found on one of my affiliates, The Sesame Street Store.  As always, shopping at my affiliates and sponsors helps me to make this website possible.

Full disclosure:  Select samples were provided for review purposes.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Happy Birthday Elmo!

It’s everyone’s favorite fuzzy red guy’s birthday today, and we here at NKT wanted to send happy wishes to Elmo.  Sesame Street and the gang have touched many families in a myriad of ways, but it’s Elmo that always finds a way to the little ones’ hearts.  Maybe it’s the cutesy talk, Elmo’s World or the fact that he’s just plain cute, there’s no doubt about it, Elmo is well loved by kids young and old.

Through this blog and beyond, I’ve been so fortunate to recall quite a few fun and surreal Elmo experiences, including an unforgettable tour of Sesame Street, the kid listening to Elmo “read” to children on the White House Great Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll and most recently, visiting Sesame Place for opening day and visiting Sesame Workshop with the kiddo.


Jack at Sesame Place

Elmo is well loved in our home, and naturally, he’s a fixture in it as well.  In fact, two Christmases ago, the kid got not one, but I think three Elmo dancing toys.  One can never have too many Elmos, right?

Do you guys have any favorite Elmo memories?  If you do, make sure you check out Elmo’s Facebook page and share your memories over there, too!

Be on the look out for my next post about cool Elmo gadgets and goodies worth checking out.

Sesame Street Rolls out Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget

‘Tis the season for  joy, giving, graciousness…and eating well.  And by eating well, I mean making healthier choices, and helping others make healthier choices, too.

To further underscore the importance of healthier eating among families, Sesame Workshop announced that they’ve partnered with UnitedHealthcare and The Merck Company Foundation, to roll-out  a new outreach program, Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget.

At the Capital Food Bank in Washington, DC, celebrity chef and author, Art Smith, joins Elmo in a healthy and affordable cooking demo during the unveiling of Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget. Photo credit: Gil Vaknin/Sesame Workshop

Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget, part of the company’s on-going Healthy Habits for Life initiative, is a free bi-lingual (English-Spanish) multimedia outreach program designed to help support families who have children between the ages of two and eight, cope with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food.

According to Sesame Workshop, Seventeen million American children—nearly one in four—are food insecure, meaning they do not receive food that meets basic nutritional needs due to financial instability.  Of these children, more than half (9.6 million) are under the age of six, which is all the more reason to help spread this message.
As the country’s economic status continues to take its toll, the number of young children confronting food insecurity continues to increase, as do the subsequent effects on children’s health, school performance, growth, and development, Sesame Workshop said.

As part of this outreach program, 400,000 Food for Thought resource kits will be distributed through UnitedHealthcare, The Merck Foundation and other key organizations including National WIC association, Feeding America, Head Start, Meals on Wheels and other key organizations. The initiative will also include two public service messages promoting trying new foods.

I hope to do my part by continuing to share healthier eating and snacking ideas for kids, including ways to eat well on a budget.

Sesame Street Introduces New Gardening Line

Last year, Michelle Obama visited Sesame Street to tout the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Later in the year, the First Lady cultivated her own organic garden at the White House to further emphasize the value of healthy eating and gardening.

Since then, announcing her Let’s Move campaign, which focuses on combatting childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama has made it her mission to educate families and kids about making healthy choices, including cultivating your own seeds—figuratively and literally.

Mrs. Obama's Garden

So, when Sesame Street, together with Ferry Morse, introduced their new line of gardening products geared to kids, the marketplace area at the Annual Easter Egg Roll was an impeccably-timed venue to help even more kids learn about gardening first hand.  The kid and I had a fun time learning how to plant watermelon seeds, or um, excuse me—wataaaahmelons.

Jack learning how to plant seeds

The Muppets of Sesame Street can be seen on packets of watermelon, pepper, sunflower, pumpkin, garden beans and tomato seeds, for parents and children to plant together.  The new product line also features Sesame Street-themed gardening totes complete with an activity booklet, seeds, tools, labeling stakes and stickers, a mini garden kit and a mini greenhouse with recipe card.


Sesame Street’s new gardening line is a perfect way to encourage kids to be green while going green.  As part of Sesame Street’s My World is Green and Growing initiative designed to support children’s innate curiosity about nature, each product includes educational materials that teach children how fruits and vegetables begin with seeds and grow to become food for the table.  Additionally, it compliments Sesame Street’s ongoing Healthy Habits for Life initiative, helping children develop healthy lifestyles they can practice forever through fun and simple every day activities.  Materials include a booklet with activities for children, planting tips for parents and healthy recipes parents and children can make and enjoy together.  The following items are available now:

  • Seed Packets – $1.99
  • My First Mini Greenhouse – $4.99
  • My First Mini Garden – $5.99
  • My First Gardening Kit (tote) – $10.99

“Research shows that introducing young children to the natural world is the first step towards helping them develop a caring attitude towards the environment,” said Maura Regan, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Licensing states.

Be sure to head to Lowe’s to grab a few gardening items for the kids. I found them at the back of the store, close to the garden center.  Though I wasn’t too impressed with the plastic Sesame Street gardening tools (though, they’d be perfect for the littlest gardeners), the kits do look cool.  Even if you don’t pick up the tote or kits, the seed packets are reasonably priced at $1.99. We’ve got some peppers, sunflowers and green beans to plant!  Let’s hope they fare better than our watermelon seeds which didn’t make it back from DC in tact!