Tag Archives: Kids

Five Incredibly Catchy PBS Theme Songs

My brain’s wonderful at sopping up theme songs, commercial jingles and mediocre 1990s pop songs like a sponge. Is it a talent? A curse? The judges are out.

When it comes to theme songs, PBS has delivered some true gems over the years. Here are five of those songs that you might have forgotten about … or might still be able to recite word-for-catchy-word.

Continue reading Five Incredibly Catchy PBS Theme Songs

Helping Kids Understand Tragic Images in the News

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
– An important quote from Fred Rogers on a day like today when the news is filled with tragic video and images.

Find resources on helping kids cope with, process and understand tragic events in the news at this link from our friends at the Fred Rogers Company.

Your Daily Dose of Cute, 'Sesame Street' Style

It’s hard to decide which Sesame Street star is the cutest. Whether it’s a touching moment with Elmo or an important lesson from Grover, when it comes to adorable, heart-warming characters and scenes, Sesame Street’s got ’em. (Yes, Oscar, even you’re cute sometimes!)

To honor the spirit of all things cute, I’ve scoured the internet for the most adorable Sesame Street moment in history. My research has produced this gem starring two guests: the always lovable Kermit and an adorable little girl named Joey.

The clip begins with Kermit asking Joey if she can sing the “ABC Song.” “Yes I could,” Joey replies matter-of-factly. There’s only one catch: Joey’s version is a little different from the song we all know so well.

Take a look and let me know which version of the song you prefer! Have a favorite cute moment from Sesame Street you’d like to share? Reply below!

7 Ways to Engage Your Creative Children

I love that my daughter loves art and music, and I’ve dedicated a large part of our fairly small house to art supplies and her projects. I also know that how I respond to my daughter’s creations affects her deeply. Courtesy of PBS Parents, Patti Saraniero at ArtsEdge.org gives us seven suggestions about how parents can talk with their kids about their creative work.

1. Be thoughtful.
Your young artist has put effort into his work. Generic praise that we all use —“that’s great, honey”—gives us away that we aren’t really looking or listening. It can be discouraging. On the flip side, highlighting a weak spot in the artwork can also undermine a young artist. Often your artist is aware of where the artwork doesn’t work as well. If your young actor cannot be heard from the stage, encourage him to talk about what he is doing well and what he wants to continue to work on. When your actor identifies that he needs to better project his voice, offer to help. If he says no, accept that, but be willing to lend a hand when your child is ready for your help.

2. Don’t take over.
For parents who have a special ability or interest in the child’s art area, it can be tempting to “help.” Hold on. Let your child find her own way and wait for her to invite your participation. For example, let’s say the theater has been a very important part of your own

childhood and adulthood. It makes sense that you would want your children to enjoy it, too. So absolutely take your kids to the theater. Speak to them afterward about the experience, and let them know that you are willing to take them again.

3. Get beyond yes and no.
Use open-ended questions that encourage your child to discuss or explain his work. Listen closely to what he says. Try asking “Tell me about your sculpture” rather than “What is that?” Questions such as “What was your inspiration for this song?” encourage young artists to articulate their artistic thinking and process. The arts offer a valuable opportunity for children and teens to practice self-reflection.

4. Teach to learn.
Ask your young artist to teach you about the arts concepts and skills she learned to create the artwork. Teaching is a great way to reinforce learning and build mastery. What kid doesn’t love the opportunity to show an adult how something is done?

5. Encourage the process.
The artistic product is what you see at the end of your child’s hard work. The process of creating the work is as valuable as the product—and, for many kids, more so. When producing a piece of art, student artists must create, revise, polish, and persevere. All of these experiences are useful both in and outside of the arts. Music, dance, and theater rehearsals are great opportunities for your artist to practice not only the art form but also collaboration, compromise, and patience.

6. Effort counts.
Not every artistic product will be perfect (or even “good”). Interestingly, it may be the effort put into creating it that matters more in the end. In each of the arts, there are technical skills that need to be developed. Not every child may be artistically gifted, but with education and practice, every child can develop artistic skills. Encourage practice. Remember the old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice…”? The reason the joke still works is because practice matters!

7. Let their light shine.
Find ways for your child to share his work if he chooses to. With visual artwork, encourage your child to photograph his work to create a digital “catalog” of his accomplishments. Videos and recordings of performing artworks also allow student artists to “collect” their body of work.Parents are an artist’s first and often unabashedly best audience. Whether your young artist has career aspirations in the arts or not, your support, interest, and commitment underscore the importance of her artistic work and viewpoint. Remember, the arts are valuable ways for kids to make sense of life and the world. You can further illuminate the way for them.

For more articles about kids and the arts, visit pbs.org/parents.

"Odd Squad" Saves the World!

Odd Squad Saves the World logo
Watch Monday, Jan. 19 on WPT

Calling all Odd Squad fans! Join us Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. as WPT premieres a one-hour special of Odd Squad, a live-action series from PBS KIDS designed to help kids 5-8 build math and collaboration skills. In “Odd Squad Saves the World,” kid agents tackle high-stakes cases and work together to overcome obstacles and save the day.

Parents, did you know your kids can sign up online to become Odd Squad agents? It’s true! And, they can earn rewards as they play math games inspired by the series. Check out the Odd Squad website, which offers fun and engaging games, activities and videos for kids, as well as parent and caregiver resources.

New to Odd Squad? See what it’s all about in this behind-the-scenes video with creators Tim and Adam.

Simplifying the Holiday Season for You and Your Kids

The holidays are a time of joy and excitement, and no small amount of stress for mom and dad.  For young children, the anticipation and change in routines can cause anxiousness, too. It can be hard to remember that while there is value in creating memories and traditions, it’s far too easy to go overboard and get overwhelmed.

Author Katrina Kenison shares some tips with PBS Parents to help simplify the holiday season. She says, “As the holidays approach, it helps to pause and ask:  What part of this season is most meaningful to me?  What message do I want my children to absorb from our celebration?  What brings us true joy?  What activities and expectations are we ready to let go?”

The holiday season can be an opportunity to make decisions about what is really valuable to your family, and what might be some things you can let go of. Here are some specific ideas from Kenison for paring down your holiday commitments, and getting back to that joy and excitement:

Downscale holiday plans and expectations.  Keep the focus on family, on meaningful traditions and simple activities that replenish rather than exhaust.

Whether you’re decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, or making gifts for grandma, remember that the process is more important for your child than the outcome.  Keep it simple, and you and your child will enjoy it more.

Ask your children what they most love about your family’s holiday.  You may be surprised by their answers.  For my sons, it was:  reading our Christmas books aloud, opening the doors on the advent calendar, our annual carol sing with the next-door neighbors, lighting the ting-a-ling on Christmas Eve. . .

Take away the pressure of going “all out” with every occasion, and you may find that your whole family enjoys time spent simply being together even more.

Go to PBS Parents for more tips on simplifying your holidays.

PBS Kids Fall Updates

Fall brings turning leaves, pumpkin patches and yes, more of the awesome kids programs you’ve come to expect from WPT.

The fall PBS Kids schedule, effective Sept. 1, includes a new offering: an extra half-hour of Sesame Street every weekday at 1 p.m, and weekends at 8 a.m. As Sesame Street celebrates its 45th season, this new half-hour show offers even more opportunities to learn and grow. According to PBS, the show “will help kids learn a variety of skills, including the school readiness skills — such as impulse control and socio-emotional lessons — for which parents are increasingly seeking resources.” Each half-hour episode is a shortened version of a one-hour episode, which makes them perfect for families on the go.

For those who receive our monthly program guide, Airwaves, keep an eye out for the September issue, which features a special insert including a PBS Kids schedule for your fridge and a bookmark for the littlest viewers!

View the complete updated schedule below, and be sure to join us this fall! Watch on Wisconsin Public Television during the day and anytime at pbskids.org.


Mark Your Calendars for Get Up and Go! Day

Attendees enjoying Get Up and Go! Day 2013
Kids enjoying Get Up and Go! Day 2013

The WPT staff enjoys Wisconsin summers as much as our viewers do, and that’s why we’re happy to provide Wisconsin families with new opportunities to be active and enjoy the outdoors.

PBS Kids Get Up and Go! Day 2014 — Friday, August 1 from 10 a.m. to noon — is one such opportunity. Mark your calendars to join us at locations across Wisconsin, or watch live on WPT. Favorite Kids characters will be at each location!

This year’s Get Up and Go! Day locations and special guests include:

Kohl Center Plaza
601 W. Dayton St.
Special appearances by PBS Kids host Miss Rosa and Peg + Cat.
Musical performance by PBS Kids host Mr. Steve.

La Crosse
(Three locations)
La Crosse Public Library
Main Library, 800 Main St.
North Community Library, 1552 Kane St.
South Community Library, 
1307 S. 16 St.
Special appearance by Curious George.

Eau Claire
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
400 Eau Claire Street
Special appearance by Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Appleton Public Library
225 N. Oneida Street
Special appearance by The Cat in the Hat.

We hope to see you there! And, if you would like to see a sneak peek of the event, check out Mr. Steve’s performance of the “Get Up and Go!” song at last year’s Get Up and Go! Day:

Funding provided by Meriter-UnityPoint Health and Friends of Wisconsin Public Television. 

PBS Kids Doubles the Fun!

June/July Airwaves
The June/July issue of Airwaves, WPT’s member publication and program guide, highlights PBS Kids updates.

I didn’t have imaginary friends as a child, but I did have a furry green friend who lived in a garbage can, and even a big yellow-feathered friend who talked up a storm. Yes, I was an avid Sesame Street viewer. I lived and breathed the show, and — much to my family’s chagrin — refused to sing anything but “Come and pay (sic), everything’s a-OK,” morning, noon and night.

Luckily, the show I loved so much is alive and well today. And that’s not the only show PBS Kids has to offer. Today’s young minds have access to a plethora of educational and witty programs, from Peg + Cat to Dinosaur Train, and everything in between.

PBS and WPT understand the importance of children’s programming, and that’s why we make every effort to listen to viewer feedback. Recently, that feedback prompted a revamp of the PBS Kids schedule, and we’re excited to announce that the new and improved schedule debuts on June 2!

The new PBS Kids schedule delivers double the fun by offering back-to-back episodes of kids’ favorite shows, including Wild Kratts, Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Arthur and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Starting every weekday at 6 a.m. and running until 5:30 p.m., the new schedule is bound to make kids love summer even more than they already do.

Sesame Street won’t be left out of these updates. Elmo, Cookie Monster and the other colorful characters will now greet viewers at 9 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. We’re sure that Oscar the Grouch will appreciate the extra beauty rest.

Be sure to tune into WPT to view these programs and more. And, don’t forget that you can stream these programs any time at PBSKids.org!

Gov. Scott Walker and Sesame Street Find Fun in Healthy Eating and Being Active

At the 2014 National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, governors from across the United States met up with a few of our favorite Sesame Street friends to talk about healthy active lifestyles and good eating choices.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker even took a chance to spend some time with Rosita and Abby Cadabby to talk about the importance – and fun – of eating healthy and pursing an active lifestyle. Watch Gov. Walker and the Sesame Street gang in the videos below. To see some of the governors from other states, visit the NGA’s website here.

Explore more ways to eat healthy and exercise more at sesamestreet.org/healthyhabits.

Want to learn more about WPT’s efforts to help kids grow up healthy and active? Visit our WPT Kids page online now!