Mindfulness and meditation app Headspace and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street” have announced a new podcast project that uses meditation and mindfulness techniques aimed to help little ones relax during their bedtime routines. The first episode will launch on June 13 with 11 subsequent episodes launching every Sunday through Aug. 29.
Developed by a team of early childhood and meditation experts at Sesame Workshop and Headspace, “Goodnight, World!” reimagines the sleepcast format to help children practice transitioning from their active days to naptime or bedtime. Each episode includes: a wind-down story narrated by a rotating cast of Sesame Street friends; a “sleep journey” led by one of Headspace’s sleepcast readers, designed to help kids prepare their minds and bodies for sleep; and a soundscape of music and relaxing sounds that evoke places like Big Bird’s nest and Abby Cadabby’s fairy garden.
“Maintaining healthy routines helps young children understand their world and feel secure – especially this year, when we’ve all experienced so much upheaval and disruption,” says Gabriela Arenas, vice president, licensing, North America, Sesame Workshop. “Even beyond bedtime and naptime, mindfulness is a powerful tool to help kids calm their bodies and regulate their emotions, skills that set them up for success in school and in life. We’re thrilled to work with Headspace to make the practice accessible to families everywhere!”
Episodes of “Goodnight, World!” are structured to follow families through a bedtime routine. In the opening stories, Sesame Street characters model the feelings of reluctance that many kids experience before bedtime – and tap into the same mindfulness strategies described later in the episodes. Guided “sleep journey” meditations use techniques like belly breathing, visualizations and affirming self-talk to help kids independently manage the transition from waking time to bedtime.
“Teaching kids the fundamentals of mindfulness and meditation that they can use not only at nap and bedtime, but any time of day, is critical in helping them grow and is at the core of our mission to improve the health and happiness of the world,” says Morgan Selzer, vice president, content, Headspace. “That’s why we’re so excited to expand our resources for families through our partnerships with Sesame Workshop and Random House Books for Young Readers.”
To help kids and families build mindfulness skills they can use in any situation, Headspace and Sesame Workshop are also working with Random House Children’s Books to adapt their
Sesame Street Monster Meditation series of animated shorts into a six-volume series of board books for children ages 2-5. The books will include the same characters, themes and plotlines as the popular videos. The series launches with Sesame Street Monster Meditation: Being Patient with Cookie Monster on June 29 and continues with Sesame Street Monster Meditation: Getting Ready for Bed with Elmo on Sept. 28. More books are planned for 2022.
“Sesame Workshop and Headspace have created something truly exceptional with their ‘Sesame Street Monster Meditation’ video series,” says Sonali Fry, vice president and director, classic brands and preschool publishing, Random House Children’s Books. “Through entertaining stories that feature fan-favorite Sesame Street characters, they provide young children with valuable mindfulness techniques. We are excited to continue their mission through our new collection of board book adaptations, which will introduce emergent readers to a variety of helpful meditation exercises for every occasion.”
Available on all major podcast distribution platforms and in the Headspace app starting June 13, “Goodnight, World!” will join the “Sleep by Headspace” library of stories and sleep music. To learn more, visit https://www.headspace.com/goodnight-world.