Mindfulness and meditation company Headspace has created a podcast with Sesame Workshop — the nonprofit behind Sesame Street — launching this month to teach little ones techniques for relaxing during their bedtime routines. Titled Goodnight, World!, the first episode releases June 13, with 11 more to follow, dropping every Sunday through August 29.
The “sleepcast” was developed by early childhood and meditation experts at Sesame Workshop and Headspace, to help children practice transitioning from the activities of their day to naptime or bedtime. Each episode will include a wind-down story narrated by a rotating cast of Sesame Street characters, a “sleep journey” led by a Headspace sleepcast reader, and a soundscape of music and relaxing sounds inspired by Sesame Street settings 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,” said Gabriela Arenas, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President of Licensing, North America. “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.”
The episodes are structured to follow the typical stages of a bedtime routine. In the opening stories, Sesame Street characters model the same feelings of reluctance that many kids experience before bedtime — and tap into the same mindfulness strategies described later in the episodes. The guided sleep journey meditations use simple techniques like belly breathing, visualizations, and affirming self-talk to help kids independently manage the transition from waking time to bedtime. By the end, the listeners should be ready to say goodnight.
“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,” said Morgan Selzer, VP Content at 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.”
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 videos. The series launches with the release of “Sesame Street Monster Meditation: Being Patient with Cookie Monster” on June 29, followed by “Sesame Street Monster Meditation: Getting Ready for Bed with Elmo” on September 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, VP & Director of Classic Brands & 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.”