If you’re looking for educational programs for your kiddos (or something to soothe your soul), I highly recommend Fred Rogers iconic show.
I recently stumbled across a website that provides a weeks worth of Mister Rogers episodes for free! The episodes span the years of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with each set going through a complete storyline.
I’ve found that watching an episode before bed is like balm for my soul. It is greatly helping to reduce anxiety and stress, remind me of kindness in the world, and just makes me feel all sorts of calmness and joy.
It has also reminded me of how Mister Rogers’ encourages curiosity, exploration, and problem-solving across a wide variety of subjects that meet educational needs and standards. The most obvious connection is with the recent inclusion of Social and Emotional Learning (“SEL”) skill development, but the suggestions and ideas from the show also help children learn how to make music, build things, and learn through experimentation. These are foundations of Next Generation Science Standards, and give kids life-long skills like independent learning, making and using models, learning through experimentation and observation, and many, many more.
You can also use Rogers’ episodes as jumping-off points for challenges or questions to pose to your child. For example, with an episode about whistles, you could use the following prompts for self-directed learning (with some “I wonder why…?” splashed in there):
- What do different objects sound like? What do you notice about the different sounds? What are some objects that sound similar? What are some objects that sound different?
- What are some different ways to make instruments? How many different kinds of instruments can you make?
- Hint: give your child some assorted things from around the house: containers (clean things from trash/recycling are great), rubber bands, cardboard, wooden spoons, metal spoons, string, felt or fabric, toothpicks, etc. etc.
- What are some different ways to make rhythms? What does mad sound like? What does happy sound like? What does confused sound like? Write a song about what you’re feeling and perform for me later!
A few everyday materials and the right prompt can keep your child occupied and learning for hours on end. Please leave a comment if you need any other help or suggestions!
Here is the website, enjoy!