One of the reasons that parents allow their children watch Sesame Street is because of the early reading skills that the television program teaches its young audience.    During each episode there is a letter of the day, and with 26 letters, each letter should get a day for itself.     The Letter of day is usually mentioned more the once during the episode and that gives preschoolers an opportunity to learn recognition and phonics.   But, even after the Sesame Street program is done reinforcing the early reading skills that the children have been introduced to is very important.   Parents can play and humongous role in developing their children’s early reading skills. 

There are many ways that parent can help their children to learn phonics at home.  With the many preschool programs , like Sesame Street, and the free resources on the web and apps, it has become even easier for those that are part of this technology driven world.  But sometimes there are some rudimentary and basic ways that are just as beneficial and fun for children.   By themselves and in combination, you can aid your child in learning phonics and creating the building blocks to a lifetime love of reading.


First, parents can practice writing the letters of the alphabet with their children and then saying the sound that the letter makes.    If your child does not know how to write their letter, you can hold their hand as you write the letter.     You can also get handwriting worksheets that have letters that your child can trace.   There is also the idea of getting sidewalk chalk and then going outside and writing letters on the pavement.   Each child will respond differently and be more receptive to different activities.  

Secondly, parents can watch clips about letters online.   Doing a web search, will bring up several different kid friendly video clips that teach both letter recognition and phonics.  I strongly suggest that you sit through the videos clips with your child to make sure there are no questionable ads  or other content that may follow the original video; as adults, we know that the information super highway sometimes gives us more information than we actually need.   Going to YouTube and typing in your search directly will yield several different great videos.
Another option is for parents to watch DVDs with their children that teach phonics.   There are many different old and newer phonics DVDs available for purchase both online and in stores.  Although you may want to get some Sesame Street DVDs about letters there are also great ones made by the Leapfrog Company and others.  

With all the recommendations mentioned, one of the best ways to teach early reading skills to your child is by simply reading books to him or her.    Although learning phonics is wonderful, there are some children that have learned to read by just recognizing the word.     When you read to your child at a young age, it helps to instill a love of reading.   Try to choose books to that has a theme that is interesting to your child because it will encourage him/her to pay attention when you are child.   For example, if you have a child that loves trains, try reading a book about trains.    There are so many books available that there are tons of options for you to choose from.

As you teach your child phonics, remember to relax and be patient.   Try to make it a fun as possible for both you and your child.   Not only are you creating a great foundation for your child in their education, you are also creating wonderful memories.

Counting is one activity that requires no special gadgets.  Counting is one the most basic things that our little mathematicians need to know as the go on through life.   Although children will debate about why they need to learn algebra or calculus, they will never be able to debate about why they need to learn to count.   It’s a fundamental requirement for about every other subject that they will study throughout their lives.     Learning to count can be so much fun, that preschoolers may not even know that they are learning to count.

One thing that parents can do to make learning fun is by creating a song for counting.    There are several songs from popular children television show that your children will probably know already.  Sesame Street has created several different count songs from the decades that it has been part of our culture.  There are also popular children songs that are have been sung for several different generations.    You don’t have to rely on the television for some melodic counting inspiration.  “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” is a nursery rhyme that has been sung to melody and spoken.  The rhythm and rhyme of the song makes it easy to remember.   

One thing to do is read books about counting.  The reading counting books is way to encourage reading at the same time that your child can learn about numbers.   Reading books that have counting are available from many sources.  Visiting the public library will give you access to a wealth of books with many different topics.  You can pick a topic that best fits your child’s interest and the subject that meets your educational goal.   There are so many counting books that you can get ones on counting different objects. 

Playing electronic games  is  another way to practice counting.  First, there are a lot of free counting games to choose from online or as an app.   An internet search will bring up several different counting games that you can play with your preschoolers.  There are also several different apps that you can get for your phone or tablet pc.  Along with the free ones that are also paid ones from many different sources.  

Probably one of the simplest ways to teach your child to count is to just count with him or her.  Sometimes we make life a little bit more complicated than needed.   Counting object throughout the day as you go about your normal activity is simple and hardly requires any extra time.    You can count the shoes on your feet.  You can count the pieces of mail that you get from the mailbox.   You can count the steps you take to walk to the mailbox.  You can count the plates as you set the table.  You can count the all the doors in your home.   Your home can be your child’s classroom to learn about counting and other things.  

Is it ever to early to learn science?  Some may say that children just need to focus on the basic things like numbers, letters and shapes and then leave the other subjects for later.  But the curiosity of children seems to override that thought.  Children, as soon as they can communicate, are constantly asking questions about the world around the world around them.    These are moments that parents can take to teach children about science or any of the other subjects that preschooler is interested in learning. 

Preschoolers are curious about everything and this curiosity makes it a great time to teach them about science and the world around them.   Some of the facts that they will ask about, you know already.  Some of the others will need a little research.  But a little trip to the library will give access to a book that will provide most of the information they will need at this point.   Not only are they learning about science your also are helping them enjoy books.   Sometimes, when children are young they are only exposed to the non-fiction books, but there are many interesting non-fiction books that have great facts for them to learn and they will be able to see that in the science books you can read together.

Another way for them to learn is by watching videos.  There is abundance of videos on the internet that offer instruction on science.  You can find some for children of young ages that teach basic science concepts that preschoolers will be able to understand.      Another great place to find educational science videos is your local public library.  Just like it has been a place for educational books, the library has become a place to have educational material in different media forms.  

You can also find educational science show for young children.  “Sesame Street” hat have increased the amount of science in their program by creating a lot more science and technology content.   On PBS, where” Sesame Street”  airs, you can find other great science shows like “Sid the Science Kid” that explains a lot of science concepts at the level of a young child.   

Science will be a required part of your child education.  Now , while they are young, is a good time to have them develop a learning new things that they can take into the future. 

Kids grow up.  After a point they may not be asking how to get to Sesame Street, but how to get away.  I know it seems like a shock to read that from a site called Sesamestreetelmostore.com, but it is a fact of life.   Sesame Street has a intended audience that includes toddler, preschoolers, and very young elementary aged children.     I believe most at Sesame Street accept that fact, and wish all their former viewers well as those big kids build on what they learn from watching the program over the years.

Parents do not want to lose the valuable skills that were taught or reinforced by watching Sesame Street.  So while the children are still hungry, direct them to different learning opportunities.

You can always find some other great educational programming on PBS for your children.   Although PBS does stand for Public Broadcasting Station, another great meaning could be Positive Brain Stimulation (Yes I love PBS).  They are go-to source for educational programming for children and adults.    To check out some of the programs that are available you can visit PBSKids.org.  They will have some shows that may not be available on any of you local PBS stations, but your local PBS station website should have the available program posted online.
Building on what you child learns on Sesame Street also means to continue to foster a love of reading.  We have heard it said so many times that we sometimes take it for granted.  Children, like adults enjoy doing what they love.   People will do more often when it is something they love.  Creating an environment when they will enjoy reading is the key.  For some children it will be a little bit harder but most children can find some things that they enjoy.  
First, children should be introduced to books as early as possible; during the infant stage would be great.  If you have not started reading to your child, starting now is better than never. They may not listen to the whole books, but incorporating it into their lives will make it feel natural.   Reading daily or as often as possible is another key point.  You can also make your child feel special by getting him/her a library card.  Many public library systems do not have an age requirement for children for a library card as long as there is a responsible parent or guardian signing for the card.  When you go to the library allow your child to find books that have topics he enjoys.  Picking out one or two that they may not have considered, but looks interesting is also a good idea.
Moving beyond books and television, we can also explore some online learning opportunities.   There are a ton of online sources and more are continuously being added.   Some online resources:

  • PBSkids.org
  • Starfall.com