Sesame Street and Headspace Team Up to Encourage Kids to Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
New content includes animated shorts featuring Cookie Monster, Elmo, Grover and Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe, showcasing mindfulness techniques to help children learn ways to manage their emotions
(Santa Monica, Calif. – April 15, 2020) – As a way to combat stress and anxiety during these challenging times, Sesame Street and Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness and meditation, today announced they have teamed up to create “Monster Meditations,” six animated shorts to help children learn the fundamentals of mindfulness, meditation and social and emotional learning. The six shorts will launch on a biweekly cadence, beginning today on YouTube and YouTube Kids.
The shorts, roughly three minutes in length, will feature animated versions of the beloved Sesame Street Muppets having feelings of frustration, impatience, being overwhelmed, nervousness, disappointment, and excitement. Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, will help each monster learn various breathing and sensory activities and other mindfulness techniques to better manage relatable, everyday scenarios.
Examples of the shorts include:
- Cookie Monster impatiently waiting for his cookies to bake. Andy introduces a fun game called “I-Sense” to teach Cookie Monster patience.
- Elmo is having trouble sleeping because he wants to play. Andy teaches Elmo a wind-down activity to help him relax and fall asleep.
“We’re so excited to be partnering with Sesame Street on the new animated shorts,” said Andy Puddicombe. “Learning the fundamentals of mindfulness early in life is an incredibly valuable skill to foster, especially at a time like this, when children and families may be experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. It not only provides children with a greater sense of calm and clarity, but also helps cultivate the qualities of compassion, creativity, and kindness. In knowing that thoughts and emotions do not have to rule their lives, children can grow up empowered, comfortable with who they are, and free to explore their limitless potential.”
“With today’s unprecedented uncertainty, children may be experiencing a range of big emotions like anger, frustration, disappointment, and nervousness,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, SVP of Curriculum and Content, Sesame Workshop. “Through ‘Monster Meditations,’ we are modeling an array of mindfulness strategies and activities to help children manage and regulate their emotions. Whether taking slow, deep belly breaths, shifting attention by playing a game of I-Spy, or repeating affirmation self-talk phrases, we’re helping kids pay attention to what is happening around and inside of them.”
The animated shorts are a collaboration between Sesame Street and Headspace Studios, a multi-platform studio creating and distributing mindful living content to improve the health and happiness of the world.
Headspace additionally offers exercises for kids and their parents, to teach them the basics of mindfulness. Kids can practice breathing exercises, visualizations and even try some focus-based meditation. Headspace for Kids’ visualization exercises are intended to teach children about openness and generosity.
Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Reaching more than 65 million users in 190 countries, Headspace was one of the first meditation apps in the world and remains a leader in mindfulness and mental training. Headspace is committed to advancing the field of mindfulness through clinically-validated research, having one of the largest research pipelines of any digital health and wellness company. Headspace operates a B2B business (Headspace for Work) to offer its mindfulness products and services to more than 600 companies, such as Starbucks, Adobe, GE, Hyatt and Unilever, to help them build healthier, more productive cultures and higher performing organizations. Headspace partners with government entities like New York State to offer mental health resources to its residents as well as many of the world’s most-recognizable brands, including Apple, Amazon and more. Headspace also partners with brands like Nike, NBA and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to offer sport and movement content. In 2018, Headspace launched Headspace Health, a digital health subsidiary pioneering new ways to incorporate the Headspace mindfulness experience into digital medicine. Headspace has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, Apple’s Best of 2018, Samsung’s Best of 2019 and one of CB Insights’ top digital health companies, along with being selected for five Webby Awards in health and fitness between 2018 and 2019. For more information please visit us at www.headspace.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.
Jennifer George Caligiuri