What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sesame Go is a paid video subscription service that features new and classic Sesame Street content, plus episodes of Pinky Dinky Doo, a show focused on storytelling and word fun. All videos are shown within this content-on-demand site's browser, so you won't have to worry about your kids ending up on YouTube or other venues that may contain questionable content. However, if you live in Canada, Europe, or another country, you may not be able to access Sesame Go; the system is currently only available in the U.S.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- thinking critically
- personal growth
Responsibility & Ethics
- respect for others
Engagement, Approach, Support
The Sesame Street videos, featuring familiar characters like Elmo and the Cookie Monster, should be a hit with kids. Content is available in full-length 60-minute or shortened half-hour versions.
Descriptions provide a quick look at the learning concepts in videos to help tailor content to a child's needs; concepts, which focus on literacy, STEM, the arts, and health, were developed by a content and curriculum team and educational advisors.
Closed-captioning is available, unless you're using an iPhone. The site links to an online store with Sesame Street items and information on its learning-based research model. But there's a somewhat surprising lack of tips or activity ideas.
What's it about?
The Sesame Go on-demand video service features more than 150 clips from the 45-year-old Sesame Street TV show, plus Pinky Dinky Doo videos, based on the book series by Jim Jinkins, which stress storytelling skills. Parents can click on each video listing to see a synopsis and find out what learning topics are covered in an episode. Some clips feature celebrities, like chef Alton Brown, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Nicole Kidman. Families can test out the site for free for two weeks; subscriptions cost $3.99 a month or $29.99 a year.
Is it any good?
Like the Sesame Street TV show, SESAME GO's segments offer valuable emotional development lessons and provide information to help kids learn about basic concepts like letters and numbers. All videos here are appropriate for pre-school-age or older kids; but they aren't free. Access isn't too pricey -- you can sign up for a year for under $30 -- however, a number of parents may question why they're paying for something kids can watch for free on PBS.
Sesame Go does provide one big advantage over the Sesame Street TV show: Parents can, in theory, choose episodes based on the lessons they include -- which can be a big advantage for kids who need or want to improve specific skills. Unfortunately, though, the site doesn't make it all that easy to sort through its content. And what about the kids? Because the videos feature familiar Muppet faces and the timeless, engaging Sesame clips, they should enjoy using Sesame Go. However, to help parents decide what kids should watch, the site should consider listing videos by subject, educational goal, or primary skill. Adding activity ideas or other information would also help parents build on what kids are learning.
Families can talk about...
Families can discuss telling a story. The site's Pinky Dinky Doo characters practice storytelling in a variety of ways. Ask your child: What elements do you need -- in what order -- for a story to make sense?
Talk to your kids about their favorite Sesame Street character. What positive traits and qualities do they have?
Talk to your kids about screen time limits, even with quality educational programming.