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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting
Creating shows for preschoolers is my “thing”. I dare say that I have a “secret sauce” that I put forth in all my shows.  This  enables me to immerse myself in this age group and create something that they will not only LOVE but learn from.  Well, I met my match when it comes to creating travel experiences that kids LOVE and learn from – – Meet Kate, my new best friend from Firenze, Italy.
Family Trip to Italy
Kate Collins-Manetti had formed Buongiorno Principessa so that “we can all experience Italy with the feeling that we are each someone’s special princess”.

To say Kate knows the best restaurants, hot spots, guides and secret itineraries throughout Italy is just the beginning.

This Colorado native has been living in the heart of Tuscany for the past 15 years and has certainly done her homework on the subject.

Those who know me have heard (perhaps a bit too much) about our incredible family trip and I really shouldn’t take the credit.  So I asked the Queen of Italian travel to share her Top 6 Tips for travelling with kids 10 and under in Italy.

1) Plan to do LESS!  

Kids can’t tour like adults. You’ll all have more fun if you back off the touring and leave time to relax at a nice park, stop for gelato breaks etc.

2) Please and Thank you
Teach your child (regardless of how little they are) a few words of Italian before they come.  Italians for the most part love children, and having your child say buongiornoper favore & grazie, will make people smile & bend over backwards to help you (not to mention getting your kids excited about another language).

3) Museums – Do your research!
If you want to hit some of the bigger museums (i.e.. the Uffizi in Florence), consider getting a guide who is specialized in working with kids & families – you will all get so much more out of the experience!  If you want to go on your own, try and choose a handful of artworks (possibly based on your child’s interests) that you can look at more in-depth with your child so that the experience is not just a blur.  Also consider smaller museums where there will be much smaller crowds & possibly more kid-friendly exhibits – places like Natural History or Science Museums.
Family Travel Kate Collins-Manetti of Buongiorno Principessa
4) Gardens and Piazze
Make sure to allow time for kids to be kids & get out the wiggles.  Italy has some amazing gardens which are fabulous places to explore as a family.  The many piazzas are also great for kids to run around, kick a soccer ball with some Italian bambini, see a market, etc.
5) Eating
While Italians love kids, restaurants do not usually cater to children (no colouring books & kiddy menus).  So consider bringing your own colouring books or activities (you can usually find great kids’ activity books on specific cities), &  you can always order pasta in bianco (pasta with butter or oil) or milanese (fried chicken – but sometimes veal) for pickier eaters.  That said, a new place can be a great opportunity to get kids to try new foods.  And remember, when ordering pizza, if you want it sliced you will have to ask (they will happily do this for kids).

 Kate Collins-Manetti Travel Tips Florence Italy

6) More Practical Tips/Concerns
Changing Tables are few &  far between in Italy as are hand sanitisers – bring lots of wipes for smaller children.  If travelling in summer, be sure to bring sunscreen and bug spray.  Make sure kids (& adults) wear very comfortable shoes as it is likely you will be walking more than you are used to. Consider bringing a small & inexpensive umbrella stroller which is more portable than the large city strollers many people travel with (& you won’t stress if it gets lost or damaged during air travel which is relatively common).
Grazie Mille Kate!!
Contact Buongiorno Principessa: kate@bgprincipessa.com
Photography:  Claire Zurek
by: Alexandra C | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids


Miss Elaina aka Addison Holley

Miss Elaina is an impulsive & imaginative preschooler. She has a big heart and even bigger ideas! Behind the adorable pigtails is the talented voice actor, Addison Holley.

We had the opportunity to ask Miss Elaina’s Addison a few questions about herself and her role on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.


Hiya toots! How old are you and where are you from?

I am 12 yrs old and live in Burlington, Ontario, which is just outside of Toronto.


How are you similar to your character, Miss Elaina?

I have fun playing Miss Elaina because we share a lot of the same personality traits. One being we both have big personalities! We also both love playing with our friends. Oh, & we both like doing cartwheels. However I don’t do everything backwards!


If you had to pick one favorite episode, which would it be?

I love them all, but if I were to choose one I would have to say the Thank You Day episode. I really liked the message it sent.Miss Elaine & Daniel Tiger Family


What’s your favorite book?

My favourite book is A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.


When you’re not in the studio recording, what’s your favorite activity?

I love to dance, hang out with my family, play with my dogs, and draw!


ADDISON HOLLEY is 12 yrs old & has enjoyed every second that has been spent in the world of entertainment, as her passions include voice work, on camera & live stage where most recently she played Emilie in War Horse. Currently she can be seen in many animated series such as My Big Big Friend as “Lily”, Ella the Elephant as “Ella”, and Peg+Cat as “Tessa”.

Knowing the history of where Daniel Tigers Neighborhood originates from makes it even more special knowing the role Mister Rogers played in children’s lives. Some of her on-camera work include TV series work such as Baxter and Really Me (both on family channel), a reoccurring role on My Babysitters A Vampire, & a short film “Rosie Takes The Train”.  Addison also adds dancing to her list of loves and spends a lot of her time training in all styles.


At the end of October 2011, I was asked to make a statement at a US Senate hearing on The Value of Public Media in Education. While 170 million Americans watch, listen to or use the services & programming of public service media each month, the importance of federal funding is clear, regardless of party affiliation. Federal funding for PBS is on the chopping block yet again. Here’s my speech from 2011 about how it has affected my life and so many more!

US Senate

I am Angela Santomero.

I am a Mom.

I am the creator of quality educational media.

I am a dreamer.

I am a teacher.

I am the result of PBS.



The first official meeting of the CPB board was held on April 26, 1968 – the day I was born.

The Mister Rogers Neighborhood PBS program debuted and my mother put me in front of the television set, at 3 months old, in my infant seat.  Halfway into the program she said to my Dad, “I know she’s learning.  I’m not sure what, but I can see her learning.”

I did learn.

Because of Mister Rogers I learned that I was special.  I learned that someone liked me just the way I was.  I learned what to do with the mad that I feel.  I learned to be respected for my feelings.  I learned that someone out there understood me, a child, in this world of adults.

My brother was born when I was 14.  I was fascinated by him.  My first real child development case study.  I watched him as a preschooler, kick at the television set because of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  It was at that moment that I knew.I knew I wanted to positively harness that power of tv and give back to children what Mister Rogers gave to me.  Enough bombardment, to use Freds words, we needed smart shows for kids that understood and respected them.  In 8th grade I was given an assignment to write a paper on a person who I admired.  I wrote about Fred Rogers.  I learned that he had a child development degree and a vision for how television could be used to educate.

Angela Santomero Fred Rogers PBSI grew up and followed in Fred Rogers footsteps.  I have a masters degree in child developmental psychology with a concentration on instructional technology and media from Teachers College, Columbia University.  I studied how children learn and how they learn from media.

My vision was to create the very best educational curriculum and put it on television with a show that millions of kids will want to watch and benefit from. PBS made this happen.

I wanted to be a teacher by harnessing the power of television.  I co-created Blue’s Clues in 1995 with a kindergarten readiness curriculum and in 2007 created Super Why for PBS with a  reading curriculum based on the skills the National Reading Panel deem critical.  Longitudinal studies of both shows, independently, proved that kids who watch the programs score better on standardized tests that kids who do not watch. Because of the opportunity given to me by PBS, kids are not only learning to read from Super Why, but loving the POWER to read.

I now have the great honor of working with the Fred Rogers Company creating Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, using Fred Roger’s socio emotional curriculum as the foundation.  Early research with teachers had them saying, “This is what kids need today.  They need to see expressions of love, of care, of trust.  Of time spent on a child’s feelings and their view of the world.”

I believe it is imperative to give children strategies to help them deal with anger, disappointment, how to cooperate and share.

Mantras to show love and to celebrate the wonder of being a child.  I believe in the whole child and teaching them how to think constructively and not what to think.  I believe in respecting children, empowering them, challenging them and loving them.  And I won’t rest until our shows are the most watched television shows that teach children the fundamentals of being the best they can be.Daniel Tigers Neighborhood

In a world that is so full of “bombardment” we need public television to be the light that leads the way for our next generation to grow with the belief in themselves, in who they are, what they feel, to learn empathy, understanding and to care.

Fred Rogers’ vision and insight into the magic of childhood is a national treasure for tens of millions of us children, because he used media and technology to reach into the homes and lives of kids nationally and not locally.  To quote Fred, “you are the only one like you. ”  If all kids grow up knowing and believing that, even if only through television, then we have done our job at PBS.

I am what happens when you continue to support PBS.Angela-Santomero

I am that little girl who absorbed these wonderful messages, good educational curriculum and was given a role model through television.
Fred Rogers on PBS inspired me and millions like me.

And I hope to inspire at least one more “me” to change the world.  One preschool show at a time.


If you are able, please consider signing the Parents Together Action petition to save PBS. Thank you!!

Hi. Come on in!

Our first (animated) baby turned 20 this year and it honestly feels like yesterday that a puppy named Blue was introduced to Steve for the very first time! So with Blue’s Clues now 20 and Nick Animation turning 25, how could I not sit down with Nickelodeon Animation Podcast’s Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) to discuss the origins of Blue’s Clues and what made it stand out from the pack for such a period of time?!Nick Animation Podcast

While it’s true that our firsts are forever ingrained in our headspace, Blue, Salt, Pepper, Mailbox, Paprika, Tickety and the rest of the Blue’s Clues family will forever take up a little spot in my heart, regardless of their 2-Dimensionality.  And of course my BFF & co-creator, Traci Paige Johnson, joined us for our 40 minute talk below:

While Blue’s Clues changed the way kids interact with television, it changed the way I viewed the power of a medium that many gave little respect to.

Blues Clues LogoLord knows, my other kids (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why!, Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof etc.) would have never been created without their older sibling teaching me, and many others, a lesson or two.

 Special thanks to Hector Navarro at The Nickelodeon Animation Podcast for being such an amazing host on this podcast!

iTunesscreenshot-2016-12-16-14-28-46 screenshot-2016-12-16-14-29-05


by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids

Want a signed copy of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Nighttime in the Neighborhood”? Nighttime in the Neighborhood

To celebrate Halloween, you can win a signed copy of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood book!!

To Enter:

  1.  Simply LIKE my Facebook page  (If you already have, thank you & jump to #2)

  2.  Tweet a costumed photo of your child over to me on twitter @AngelasClues with “@AngelasClues Halloween Giveaway” somewhere in the tweet by Wednesday Nov 2

I’ll sign a copy of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood story, Nighttime in the Neighborhood” for the winner and post their winning photo on my site (winner chosen on midnight Tuesday 11-2).

By entering this contest, you agree to have your photo posted on AngelasClues.com.

All decision making will be final & entirely up to the discretion of our Fearless Judges: Mr. Willy Wonka & Miss Veruca Salt.

Good luck & have a Boo-tiful Halloween!