Creative Creative Works Coronavirus

Sesame Street updates viral song to help parents during coronavirus outbreak


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

March 30, 2020 | 3 min read

Sesame Street is leveraging its knack for relaying important messages to children in an absorbing way, as it builds on its 'Caring for Each Other' initiative to help parents and children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Washy Wash

The team has created animations to encourage them to stay physically and mentally healthy to help support families through this trying time.

The animations contain information about healthy habits, resources providing comfort and activities that caregivers can use to spark learning on reading, math and science.

To remind children of the importance of washing their hands during the coronavirus outbreak, Sesame Street has updated its viral song Brushy Brush – an oral health initiative with Elmo, that starred celebrity stars Bruno Mars, Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman. The video was so successful, it has since racked up 1,042,056,855 views on its YouTube channel, so far.

The new version, called Washy Wash, is joined by a tutorial by Grover on how to sneeze and cough safely. The PSA films continue with an animation called Caring for Myself, Caring For Others and Time to Wash Your Hands.

Available in 18 languages, the spots are to be distributed through a range of partners in the US and globally, including HBO, PBS Kids and local PBS stations, Univision, the Ad Council, YouTube, Sesame Street in Communities partners and international broadcast partners.

Further, messages of love, kindness and fun will be posted on a regular basis on Sesame Street social media channels, including Snack Time with Cookie Monster, Singalong with Elmo, Move & Groove with Abby Cadabby and Grover, and Story Time with Alan.

“Sesame Street is there for children and families whether it’s a sunny day or a stormy one, and unfortunately many families are facing unprecedented challenges right now,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice-president of US social impact, Sesame Workshop.

“Through 'Caring for Each Other', we’re committed to supporting families for the duration of this crisis and beyond — equipping them with the tools they need to get through this together and look to the future with hope and optimism.”

Additional tools will debut today (30 March) on its website, include coping strategies, child-friendly explanations to tough questions and ways to help everyone stay healthy. Also included are self-care tips for caregivers.

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