Kids' Entertainment

Image courtesy Headspace & Sesame Workshop

Sesame Street Characters Can Now Help Your Kid Unwind Before Bed

Headspace & Sesame Workshop have teamed up for a new podcast that aims to bring a bit of mindfulness into children’s bedtime routines.

Ah, bedtime. A time that, for many parents, can seem synonymous with tantrums about time, epic battles into pajamas, and pleading over teeth brushing. But what if bedtime could actually be relaxing? That’s exactly what Sesame Workshop and Headspace are hoping to accomplish with their new podcast series, Goodnight, World! Scheduled to premiere later this month, the podcast uses Sesame Street characters and proven meditation and mindfulness techniques to help children transition from an active and busy day into a calm and restful night’s sleep.

Meditation experts at Headspace teamed up with early childhood experts at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, to reimagine the meditation app’s popular sleepcasts for children. Developed by Headspace in 2018, sleepcasts use wind-down exercises and low-energy, non-linear storytelling to promote restful sleep.

Each 20-minute long episode of Goodnight, World! will follow a similar format, with characters from Sesame Street narrating a wind-down story before a Headspace narrator takes over to lead listeners on a “sleep journey” using simple, easy-to-follow breathing and visualization techniques. To help bring the stories to life and ease children into a state of relaxation and calm, each episode will include soothing background soundscapes. In one episode listeners may be transported to Big Bird’s nest. In another, they’ll find themselves in Abby Cadabby’s fairy garden. But no matter where the podcast takes listeners, the goal remains the same: to help children more smoothly navigate the transition into sleep.

“Maintaining healthy routines helps young children understand their world and feel secure — especially this year, when we’ve all experienced so much upheaval and disruption,” Gabriela Arenas, Sesame workshop’s vice president of licensing in North America, said in a statement shared with Romper. “Even beyond bedtime and naptime, mindfulness is a powerful tool to help kids calm their bodies and regulate their emotions, skills that set them up for success in school and in life.”

To further help children infuse their days with a bit of mindfulness, Headspace and Sesame Workshop have also partnered with Random House Children’s Books to turn their popular animated Sesame Street Monster Meditation shorts into a six-volume series of board books. Designed for kids between the ages of 2 and 5, the books will feature the same characters, themes, and plots as the Sesame Street Monster Meditation animated shorts, which can currently be viewed for free on YouTube. The first book of the series, titled Sesame Street: Monster Meditation: Being Patient with Cookie Monster is expected to drop July 29.

“Teaching kids the fundamentals of mindfulness and meditation that they can use not only at nap and bedtime, but any time of day, is critical in helping them grow and is at the core of our mission to improve the health and happiness of the world,” Morgan Selzer, Headspace’s vice president of content, said in a statement shared with Romper. “That’s why we’re so excited to expand our resources for families through our partnerships with Sesame Workshop and Random House Books for Young Readers.”

The first episode of Goodnight, World! premieres June 13 on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Breaker. Additional episodes will be released each and every Sunday until Aug. 29. Families can check out a trailer for the upcoming podcast series on the Headspace website.