Parents' Guide to

Big Heart World

By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Promising resource for developing social, emotional skills.

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This social and emotional learning initiative for preschool-age children has some notable contributors, including The National Head Start Association. Big Heart World, created by a nonprofit and Nickelodeon, features music videos, coloring activities, games, and other items designed to help parents assist their young children in practicing social-emotional skills. In addition to book recommendation and SEL vocabulary lists, the site plans to host events like music classes and panels. According to the developers, upcoming content will feature monthly themes.

Although the site's creation seemed to align with the pandemic -- one description says it "aims to help parents and educators address the pressing social and emotional needs that young children have right now during COVID-19" -- the content isn't necessarily tied to that situation. Presumably, the developers may have been referring to the lack of contact caused by social distancing, which undoubtedly has posed some social and emotional challenges for kids. But the pandemic's resolution shouldn't diminish the site's value in any way. It's fairy new -- as of August 2021, roughly four months after its launch, there still wasn't a ton of content. But what's available generally has some merit. The items listed in the Activities section, for example, are fairly diverse and include baking and eating bread to learn about culture, teaching babies and kids to recognize similarities and differences, and practicing saying hi in different languages as a way of understanding others. If the developers maintain the schedule they've described, Big Heart World could serve as a strong foundation for parents to help kids learn about themselves -- and form relationships with other people.

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