Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!

As you may have seen floating around on social media and news sites today, it has been 45 years since Sesame Street debuted! Words won’t be able to adequately describe just how wonderful this show has been over the years, but I can say I’ve experienced at least 33 of those years watching Sesame Street.

As the oldest cousin on one side of my very large family, and the second oldest on the other, suffice it to say I did a LOT of babysitting in my time. ¬†When Parker was younger, he had a long-lasting Sesame Street phase, and he even had the toys to go along with it. The Sesame Street app was the first one I ever paid for, and we sang the Alphabet Song (“A is for apple you eat one every day….B is for the birds who love to fly away…”) ad nauseum. And, for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of Parker feeding Ernie to a giant dinosaur when he was about 2:

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We wondered why he was always losing Ernie.

I can recall Sesame Street before Elmo, and I know who Rosita is today. The breadth and depth of Sesame Street has known no bounds in terms of character creation. I found myself, on more than one occasion, sitting down and watching Sesame Street with my young cousins, my nephews and nieces. I’d be lying if I said it was only to continue whatever activity we were doing at the time. I watched Sesame Street because it’s an easy way to be transported to somewhere much, much better than where you are at the moment.

When I was earning my undergraduate degree in education, I remember having some conversations centered around the idea that not all play has to be structured around learning. We need free play to develop imagination and problem-solving skills. I don’t know about you, but Sesame Street was definitely a place that not only taught some fun lessons, but taught some really hard lessons to hear. They deal with racism, divorce, death and adoption. Sesame Street has dealt with sharing and acceptance and, in one of my very favorite feature length films, a bird who was a runaway. This little show filled with puppets, people and songs doesn’t shy away from topics, but makes them survivable for children of all ages.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate with Sesame Street, check out these awesome links, or follow the #45SesameFacts hashtag to see what people are saying!

PBS Newshour’s The Rundown Blog

Hello Giggle’s Awesome Celebrity Visits to Sesame Street

The Hollywood Reporter Lists 10 Reasons Everyone Loves Sesame Street

And of course, my very favorite reason for watching Sesame Street, Super Grover 2.0!

image via muppet.wikia.com

image via muppet.wikia.com