Helping kids understand why life has been put on hold during the pandemic has not been the easiest task, which is why the upcoming Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood musical special could not have come at a better time. The new PBS Kids' special was created to help little ones understand how to cope with the disappointing aspects of life right now by showing Daniel Tiger himself struggling as well.
A new season of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood gets underway on Monday, Aug. 17 on PBS Kids, and the first episode is a special called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You Sing Along With Me?. In this special episode, 4-year-old Daniel Tiger is upset because he can't get together with his friends to enjoy the Neighborhood Carnival, according to the network. He turns to Mom and Dad Tiger to discuss his feelings, and they work to make him feel better with songs. New ones and fan favorites, which will make it easier for little viewers to sing along.
"We were inspired by the many ways in which families, especially those with young children, are adjusting to the new normal," Chris Loggins, senior producer for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, tells Romper. "We know this is a very difficult time that conjures up a lot of feelings and emotions and we were humbled to hear from fans about strategies from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that are particularly helpful right now."
"We thought, is there a way we can put all of these strategies together in a special episode?" Loggins added. "Thanks to support from PBS KIDS and CPB we were able to create the special sing-along. We hope we can offer children and families something that is exciting, entertaining, and helpful with this special episode."
Back in March, Detroit Public TV released a short video for parents and caregivers called How To Talk To Our Kids About Coronavirus featuring characters from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. The video reminded caregivers to reassure kids that they're safe, emphasize things all families can do to promote good hygiene like washing hands, and answering any questions kids might have. All of this was helpful, of course, but featuring a special musical episode all about Daniel Tiger himself going through some big emotions is a great way to help kids try to understand on a different level.
The media kids consume has an enormous influence on the way they see the world, as the U.S. National Institute of Health explains, so the importance of little ones seeing their favorite characters going through the same issues that they're experiencing cannot be overstated. And the fact that the new Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood will be a sing-along musical is just icing on a particularly empathetic cake.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Won't You Sing Along With Me airs on PBS Kids on Monday, Aug. 17.
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