Sunny Day: Behind the Scenes at Sesame Street

October 20 was a sunny day for me. In fact, the clouds—yeah—-they were swept away, too.
Oh yeah, I found the way to Sesame Street.

By way of a shuttle bus, along with several other NYC parent and family-oriented bloggers, I had the unique opportunity to visit Kaufman Astoria studios, home to one of the most beloved streets in history. After we made our way over the Queensboro Bridge, we found ourselves in Astoria, Queens, which is where the studio is located. The white exterior of the studio was a definite contrast to the color and character that resides inside.


In the room where we gathered, we were greeted by some vintage Sesame Street photos, along with a few plush versions of our favorite muppets. But in addition to the familiar pictoral renderings of Sesame Street’s past, there was a blown up screenshot of a new CGI segment that features the cutest fairy in training, Abby Cadabby, as well as a few promotional posters. But it was the exclusive behind the scenes tour of THE Street that made my heart skip a beat.

Sesame Street which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month, quite simply, is an institution. The characters, storylines, songs, special guests—they’ve all moved us for generations (figuratively and literally!)

Considering they don’t offer tours to the public, to receive an invitation to see Sesame Street in action can definitely be grouped in my “awesome” life experiences.



IMG_1823The extremely cordial gang at Sesame Street, including Abby Cadabby and her muppeteer/performer, the very cool and funny Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, gave us a guided tour of the Street itself. I had the chance to gawk at Hooper’s Store, take a photo beneath the Sesame Street sign, oggle at Chris doing a silly song and dance with muppets (about Apps!) and admire the creativity of the puppeteers, handlers, directors, cameramen and all of the crew.

What goes on behind the scenes at Sesame Street transcends the word, “amazing!”

To gather a group of people that talented and passionate, it’s really no wonder why the show has been around for FORTY YEARS.

The upcoming season, which premiers on PBS on November 10, will feature guest appearances by Cameron Diaz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeff Gordon, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Jason Mraz, Judah Friedlander and many others. I learned that one of my faves, Jason Mraz was extremely excited about his Sesame Street experience and seemed borderline stalkerish. haha. Cute! (For the record, I probably seemed full-on stalkerish)

Beyond being loved by so many generations, what’s so fabulous about Sesame Street is, they do what they can to stay ahead of the curve. For example, inviting NYC-area bloggers and engaging with us to create that important dialogue was huge. Even further, one of the reasons Sesame Street invited bloggers was to share their latest developments, so that we, in turn, could share with our readers/followers/whom ever will listen.

A chance to hang out with Abby Cadabby and sit in Big Bird’s Nest?  Um, yes, please!


To emphasize its 40th year of awesomeness in children’s media, Sesame Street upped its ante with its digital presence. In particular, their website,, became even more child-friendly, in terms of navigation, lively graphics and interactive features. When you first log on, you’re greeted by a familiar-faced Muppet, which is sure to lure in the kidlets. You, or shall I say the kids, can create a “My Street” option to personalize their page. But it’s the new games that stand out to me…er, I mean, the kid.


All the games are, once again, extremely child-friendly and interactive. The games can be navigated by character (so hard to choose!), theme (the fall ones are so fun and timely) and subject (we’re fans of the art games.) They can also be added to the My Street option, which gives you easy access to those games that you know and love. What I love most about the new games is that some of them are perfect for the littlest kids who don’t quite have a grasp on keyboard functionality, but show an interest in say, animals.

While I’m not one to park a teeny tiny kid in front of a computer for hours at a time, every once in awhile, it’s fun to let my 2-year old do a little click clacking for a change. With the Old McDonald game, the kid can just peck away at the keys and animals appear with each strike of the keyboard—it’s like magic!


In addition to all the games, the site has tabs for other interactive features such as Playlists and Video. We’re a dancing and singing kind of family, so I love playing the different songs to dance along with the kid. The video features are so fantastic for parents to share their love of Sesame Street with their kids. Alongside of the newer segments [Neil Patrick Harris as the Shoe Fairy is my favorite modern guest appearance video] of the shows are awesome classics, like ones with Kermit, Bert and Ernie and Cookie Monster. Just like the games, the videos and playlists can be navigated by character, theme and subject.


But Sesame Street hasn’t forgotten about the parents. On the parents tab, I love how there’s a different media for milestones [we just watched “cookie is a sometime food” under the 2 years tab] and links to all the goings on at Sesame Street. One of the newer features, however, is the inclusion of B is for Blog: Sesame Family Robinson. It’s written by Marty Robinson who plays Telly Monster and Snuffleupagus and Annie Evans, a writer for Sesame Street.

Their blog gives parents an insider’s look of a true Sesame Street family. Recently married on set, they are now the proud parents of twins, Lyra and Ripley. After meeting Marty and Annie (and their cutie twins, too) on the set, as well as during lunch, suffice it to say, Sesame Street is a family show—in more ways than one. Not only has the show spent the past four decades of making us laugh, sing and dance while talking about family-related topics, the people who make the show happen ARE one giant family. And thanks for the kind shout out, too! [Babyrific is my mama blog]

In Big Bird's Nest

And from the bottom of my heart, it really, truly was an honor to experience the deep family bond on THE actual Sesame Street. It’s my hope that my kid will go on to share the same love of The Street with HIS kids one day.
Happy 40th Sesame Street, thanks for all the laughs, dancing, singing and Muppet fun!

1, 2, 3, 4…

Probably one of my coolest blogger events to date is today’s destination: Sesame Street. I have butterflies and am filled with so much excitement; it’s almost surreal that, together with several other bloggers, I’ll be touring Sesame Street and learning all about their latest advancements. Best of all, I can’t wait to share everything I learn during my day trip to everyone’s favorite street. The only thing that would make this trip even MORE awesome would be if I could bring my Sesame Street-loving kid along, too! Next time…

For now though, I thought I’d share one of my all-time favorite songs from Sesame Street, Feist singing the Counting Song! This one makes me smile every time!

I’ll be back with the word on the street. Enjoy!

YGG Premiere Week & There’s a Party in My City

Happy Yo Gabba Gabba Premiere Week, everyone! I know many of you are huge YGG fans like us, and I’m sure you’re well aware that the new episodes begin this week. There’s all kinds of good stuff happening at Gabba Gabba Land, with appearances from funny man, Andy Samberg; our family fave, The Roots and MGMT just to name a few.

Check out this awesome behind the scenes video with Andy:

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More Time to Play Must-Haves

Zhu Zhu Pets
I actually never saw the Zhu Zhu Pets at the showcase, and to be quite honest, that may have been on purpose.  Besides cats and dogs, I’m just personally not a fan of small, furry things scurrying around—motorized or not.  But that’s just me.  Zhu Zhu Pets are cute little things and perhaps the next best thing to having a real live hamster around the house.  Zhu Zhu Pets are motorized, interactive (they squeak and chirp among other sounds,) can play in their habitats and can enjoy fun accessories such as a wheel and skateboard.  These are so popular that the Associated Press said that Toys R Us and Wal-Mart can barely keep them on the shelves.  After a quick glance at the TRU website, as of today, it looks like they’re out of stock of the pets themselves but it looks like they still have a 3-count set of pets on pre-order that’s set to ship in early December. The pets, themselves, retail for about $8-10 and the activity sets and accessories are $10 and up.

Dora’s Explorer Girls


This new line of Dora toys were some of toys that I was most excited about seeing.  I wanted to see for myself what all the controversy was about with her new look.  I have to tell you, she’s still cute and sassy, and still age-appropriate for the range that she’s supposed to target.  The thing about this line of Dora dolls is that she’s growing up with the kids who grew up watching her.  The dancing Dora had on a dress that looked like something that she’d wear to a fancy party or Quincenera.  She did a simple dance and got up on her tippy toes, as seen on the video above. 

The other Dora doll that I checked out was Dora Links, which is a doll that, you guessed it, links to a computer.  You can create and renew her look by just clicking a few buttons on the computer.  I watched Dora go from a brown-eyed girl to a green-eyed girl, and from no lipgloss to all made up (though her lit up red “glossed” lips were a bit strange looking to me).  In addition to being interactive, Dora Links is multilinguaI, diverse and pretty cool; I thought Dora Link’s interactive features was an interesting innovation to a favorite doll and character. I saw so many more techy type toys that were geared for boys that I think Dora Links stood out for me, being geeky and all.

Battle Strikers from MEGA

Battle Strikers

If you read regularly, then you must already know how I feel about Battle Strikers from Mega.  Battle Strikers made the list for good reason.  We dig it!  Oh, and so can you!

Check out my review and giveaway.  I will be upping the ante and adding a second winner!  Though I don’t have another Tournament Set to give away, I have a bunch of Battle Strikers for the second winner.  Comment on the review if you want to win.  As always, I choose the winners at random and will email the winners directly, so make sure you include a valid email!

TMBG to release Here Comes Science

In addition to the usual parenting responsibilities , if there’s anything I want to do for the kid, it’s to fill his life with cool experiences and great music. I know I may write about new products every day, but truly, nothing quite compares to intangible goodies such as, a love for music.


Exposure to great music can be attributed to nurturing even the littlest music lover’s discerning ear.  I especially love it when music groups that I like go the kiddie route. With the Ting Tings and the Roots at the top of our playlist, it’s hard to not mention the smart and quirky, and perhaps one of the most well known rock groups to cross over into the kiddie genre: They Might be Giants. And giants they are!
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Under the Sea with Jimi Rock

It’s no surprise, really, that online entertainment and education, especially the virtual world segment, has grown at an exponential pace over the last few years. In fact, according to research, over the course of 2008, an estimated 8 million teen and pre-teen kids in the U.S. visited virtual worlds on a regular basis.

One virtual world that I’ve become a fan of, after learning about it from the Go Green Expo this spring is, Jimi Rock Under the Sea Adventures. It brings a whole new perspective to education and exploration, with its emphasis on marine biology and environmentalism. Featuring a kid-friendly interface with vivid graphics, this virtual world has so many interesting and educational facets where school-aged kids can play games, take interactive quizzes, chat with friends create art and even learn about interesting new places and sea creatures.


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Breaking it down with the Imagination Movers

viewmedia-6Music will always play a huge part of our lives, and so, as a fan to various genres, including kid music, I’d like to introduce NKT’s very first exclusive feature!

Just in time for the release of their latest CD For Those About to Hop, the Imagination Movers sat down with me and the kid to chat. The Imagination Movers, who hail from the New Orleans area and appeal to the preschool set and their parents, have been captivating kids on their hit Disney show of the same name. The former journalist, firefighter, architect and teacher break it down to the Next Kid Thing and tell us their favorite Police album and offer some insight to parents on getting their kids interested in music.

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Evian lives young with dancing babe

It’s kind of chilling how just a few weeks ago I posted a moonwalking baby video.  The dancing baby that’s part of the latest Evian campaign gave a nod to Michael Jackson’s unforgettable dance moves, and shows just how much MJ’s music and career have influenced pop culture.

Evian’s latest campaign is as timely as ever.  Known  for celebrating youth, Evian has another dancing baby.  This time, another baby is breakdancing to the Sugar Hill Gang’s classic, Rapper’s Delight (one of the best songs, ever!)

Be on the lookout for Evian’s latest Live Young ad campaign.  These dancing babies will be everywhere soon.  With my birthday just a weeks away, and realizing that I’ll be in my mid-30s, living young is an idea that certainly hits home.