Blue’s Clues

Aug
27
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Parenting

Back to School

Throughout the years, the back to school theme has made its into many of my preschool TV scripts. Probably my favorite one is the Blue’s Clues script I wrote when Steve (our main character) goes back to school, leaving for college in 2002..YIKES! Feel free to not do the math here. Blues Clues Logo

We wrote 3 episodes leading up to the introduction of the new host, Joe and Steve’s going back top school. This way, when Steve left for college, Blue and the kids at home were already comfortable with the idea of Joe. The key was getting the audience used to the change before it actually happened. Who knew that, still today, many parents are up in arms about the change?! But back to my point, which is that the process was pivotal.

I try to always look at everything from the kid perspective. So, every fall I have a few back-to-school prep steps that seem to help the kids with the transition.

I hope that these 5 Tips will help you through a seamless transition:

Start the back-to-school routines a week before school starts: We go to bed on “school time”, start doing some “homework” and try to keep our nights low key. This especially helps with the stress of the mornings, when school starts back up.

Get the wipe on/wipe off calendar ready: We keep track of everything two months at a time. My kids are encouraged to add to the calendar as well. However, they think: “If it’s on the calendar then we do it!”..hence all of the waterpark and trampoline room notations

Blues Room Back to School

Put a bulletin board up in plain sight:  We use this for all of the paperwork that goes back and forth (permission slips, projects, field trips). Sounds simple but it’s amazing how quickly our papers get lost or overlooked without it.

Have a spot for the inevitable miscellaneous stuff: We empty a whole drawer in the kitchen for each of my girls for them to put all of their “stuff” in. We keep art projects (big paper plate man? Cute! On the fridge then in the drawer!), homework that has been returned, anything that comes home in the “folder!” Then we organize it into a big bin, labeled with each child’s name, at the end of each month. This keeps everything in one place while we’re busy during the school year.

Schedule Playdates: If my girls are feeling anxious about seeing old friends, playdates with our school friends are imperative. It also gets them excited about seeing the rest of the gang at school.

Please let us know what tips have helped you & your family get over the September Blues

Jul
14
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Parenting

EHnBlue

Happy Birthday to my (newly) 10 year old! There are no more children with single digits in my home [sigh].

But while there’s a lot I miss about her younger years, there’s so much I have to look forward to on the road ahead.

 

Thank you for your inspiration and for being the incredible person that you are! Enjoy 10!

May
29
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, My Projects

Creative Galaxy

Creative Galaxy (the animated & interactive, art adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music & dance) has received the green light from Amazon Studios for series production!

The Creative Galaxy series will be offered on Amazon Studios’ subscription video service at the end of this year.

It’s really rewarding to hear that customers loved Creative Galaxy. It’s been a passion project for me to bring the best arts & creativity to kids with Amazon and I’m so excited that kids are going to be able to enjoy a full season of the show early next year!

Creative Galaxy

We need more innovative kids programming that puts a strong emphasis on creativity & education. I’m proud & honored to be collaborating with Amazon to make these shows for kids.

Thank you, thank you EVERYONE that viewed & commented over at Amazon Studios on Creative Galaxy & Sara Solves It! And regarding Sara, rest assured, she hasn’t been shelved. So stay tuned!!

xo

Angela

Angela's Clues

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on”  - Albert Einstein

May
22
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Stuff We Love

App-Screenshot-iPadMy super friend Traci Paige Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University, joined me in 1994 to create Blue’s Clues which ran for 10 years on Nickelodeon. Traci’s unique style of cutout animation became the signature look for Blue’s Clues & beyond. Today she is the co-owner/ founder of the media company, Yummico.

 

How was creating Blue’s Clues different than creating Yummiloo?

When you and I created Blues Clues, we had Nickelodeon (with their resources and money) behind us. In contrast, I created Yummiloo with scotch tape and rubber bands – not literally, but certainly in spirit. I came up with the idea and did the design & animation with my husband in our basement. Yummiloo has been a bootstrap operation from top to bottom.

 

Was there a specific instance with one of your boys that gave you the idea that “we need something about food for kids?”

I actually do remember a very significant ‘aha’ moment. When my 3 yr old, Emmet, was around one & a half, I was feeding him and he refused to eat his broccoli. Tired and frustrated, I reached into his toy bin and pulled out a little plastic gorilla. I spontaneously play-acted the gorilla swinging over to his plate, roaring: “YUM… broccoli!” Then I had the gorilla pretend to eat it. I hadn’t planned to do this beforehand, I was just improvising in the moment. But it worked! The gorilla’s interest in the broccoli changed Emmet’s attitude, and he began to eat it too. I took note. Modeling and play, when introducing new foods, is a powerful combination.

Aside from this one particular instance, I’ve felt a general frustration with the way we, as a culture, present food to kids. There are so many things out there that are working against parents who are trying to get their kids to eat right: the ubiquity of unhealthy treats, of relentless commercials, and of kids menus stuffed with only chicken nuggets and white pasta. We parents need all the help we can get.

Yummiloo came out of this frustration, and out of a realization that there wasn’t a nutrition series for preschoolers involving good stories and pre-school relatable characters. I’ve done a lot of research on this issue and it all states that the “window of opportunity is open” in preschoolers and this is the time to introduce a variety of foods. They want to model good behavior and want to do what’s good for their bodies. Yummiloo’s mission is to make “real food” as irresistible to kids as “fake foods”. I want to take the tools of visual media (like those employed in advertising) and use them to get kids to want to eat right, to want broccoli and apples and be a true “food adventurer” setting the foundation of healthy eating for the rest of their lives.Plum

 

You and I share a vision that shows for kids should be richly textured, smart, interesting and layered. How is Yummiloo all those things?

Yummiloo is a world that kids will want to jump into… and it’s made entirely of real, healthy food. The messages and curriculum aren’t “skill & drill” but are couched organically into the story. There’s hide and seek for the youngest viewers while teaching about composting for the older set. We’ve built the message of modeling healthy food into Yummiloo’s very design. It’s “delicious media…good and good for you.” Like all the shows we create, it inspires kids even AFTER the screen is turned off.

Yummiloo is so beautiful! As an artist, what was your process in designing it?

Honestly, I was really inspired by the power of advertising – by the way a gorgeously photographed burger in a TV commercial can make you want to eat a burger (or pizza, ice cream, etc). I wanted to take the tools and techniques of Madison Avenue and employ them in the creation of a world made entirely of healthy food. To do this, we went to the market to get the freshest foods available; we lit and photographed them to bring out their color, their shape – and their overall ‘yumminess’; then we brought them into the computer. These photographed foods were the foundation, the inspiration, out of which the world took shape.

 

Have you heard any feedback from kids? Are they asking to eat more broccoli trees?

Funny you should ask – we just got a post from a mom whose thee year-old asked for a plum while in the produce section of the supermarket… and she had never had a plum before. It’s in its early days, but kids seem sparked. They’ve really responded to the world and enjoy pointing out the foods they see hidden in the landscape. I’m encouraged. This is the perfect age to get kids excited about fresh foods.

 

[continue..]

May
22
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Stuff We Love

App-Screenshot-iPadMy super friend Traci Paige Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University, joined me in 1994 to create Blue’s Clues which ran for 10 years on Nickelodeon. Traci’s unique style of cutout animation became the signature look for Blue’s Clues & beyond. Today she is the co-owner/ founder of the media company, Yummico.

 

How was creating Blue’s Clues different than creating Yummiloo?

When you and I created Blues Clues, we had Nickelodeon (with their resources and money) behind us. In contrast, I created Yummiloo with scotch tape and rubber bands – not literally, but certainly in spirit. I came up with the idea and did the design & animation with my husband in our basement. Yummiloo has been a bootstrap operation from top to bottom.

 

Was there a specific instance with one of your boys that gave you the idea that “we need something about food for kids?”

I actually do remember a very significant ‘aha’ moment. When my 3 yr old, Emmet, was around one & a half, I was feeding him and he refused to eat his broccoli. Tired and frustrated, I reached into his toy bin and pulled out a little plastic gorilla. I spontaneously play-acted the gorilla swinging over to his plate, roaring: “YUM… broccoli!” Then I had the gorilla pretend to eat it. I hadn’t planned to do this beforehand, I was just improvising in the moment. But it worked! The gorilla’s interest in the broccoli changed Emmet’s attitude, and he began to eat it too. I took note. Modeling and play, when introducing new foods, is a powerful combination.

Aside from this one particular instance, I’ve felt a general frustration with the way we, as a culture, present food to kids. There are so many things out there that are working against parents who are trying to get their kids to eat right: the ubiquity of unhealthy treats, of relentless commercials, and of kids menus stuffed with only chicken nuggets and white pasta. We parents need all the help we can get.

Yummiloo came out of this frustration, and out of a realization that there wasn’t a nutrition series for preschoolers involving good stories and pre-school relatable characters. I’ve done a lot of research on this issue and it all states that the “window of opportunity is open” in preschoolers and this is the time to introduce a variety of foods. They want to model good behavior and want to do what’s good for their bodies. Yummiloo’s mission is to make “real food” as irresistible to kids as “fake foods”. I want to take the tools of visual media (like those employed in advertising) and use them to get kids to want to eat right, to want broccoli and apples and be a true “food adventurer” setting the foundation of healthy eating for the rest of their lives.Plum

 

You and I share a vision that shows for kids should be richly textured, smart, interesting and layered. How is Yummiloo all those things?

Yummiloo is a world that kids will want to jump into… and it’s made entirely of real, healthy food. The messages and curriculum aren’t “skill & drill” but are couched organically into the story. There’s hide and seek for the youngest viewers while teaching about composting for the older set. We’ve built the message of modeling healthy food into Yummiloo’s very design. It’s “delicious media…good and good for you.” Like all the shows we create, it inspires kids even AFTER the screen is turned off.

Yummiloo is so beautiful! As an artist, what was your process in designing it?

Honestly, I was really inspired by the power of advertising – by the way a gorgeously photographed burger in a TV commercial can make you want to eat a burger (or pizza, ice cream, etc). I wanted to take the tools and techniques of Madison Avenue and employ them in the creation of a world made entirely of healthy food. To do this, we went to the market to get the freshest foods available; we lit and photographed them to bring out their color, their shape – and their overall ‘yumminess’; then we brought them into the computer. These photographed foods were the foundation, the inspiration, out of which the world took shape.

 

Have you heard any feedback from kids? Are they asking to eat more broccoli trees?

Funny you should ask – we just got a post from a mom whose thee year-old asked for a plum while in the produce section of the supermarket… and she had never had a plum before. It’s in its early days, but kids seem sparked. They’ve really responded to the world and enjoy pointing out the foods they see hidden in the landscape. I’m encouraged. This is the perfect age to get kids excited about fresh foods.

 

[continue..]

 

Why an app first? Do you feel a strong connection with interactive media and teaching kids about healthy foods?

When the iPad first came out, my creativity was sparked. I couldn’t help thinking that if we were making Blue’s Clues today, we’d be making it for the iPad – with real interactivity! Also, from an utterly pragmatic point-of-view, an app is a wonderful way to launch a brand fast – and for relatively little money.

 

What is your ultimate goal with Yummiloo?

My ultimate long-term goal for Yummiloo is to help foster a generation of healthier eaters – and thereby a healthier generation! In the short-term, I hope to make Yummiloo a trusted brand and a helpful ally to parents like me. It’s certainly not just a single app – but a property that will hopefully live on all devices, across all media.

Rainbow Power App

What kinds of stories do you tell in the app? What can kids and parents expect when they play it?

We have so many stories we want to tell, it was hard to pick just 1 for the first app. But eventually, we settled on the Yummiloo ‘Rainbow Power’. In it, the Yum Yums are headed to their annual carnival, but the Rainbow Machine which powers the carnival is empty. Kids at home need to help Rooty and the other Yum Yums harvest as many different colored fruits and vegetables, teaching food identification and where food comes from. Just as it takes all the colored foods to power the carnival, it takes all the colored foods to power YOU!

 

I love that you & your handsome husband Bob worked on this together. How was that different from working with me?! I was your work husband! :)

It is such a joy to work with such a talented designer, writer and big picture thinker. We’ve been wanting to do a project together for a long time & the end result has been fabulous. It’s so wonderful brainstorming ideas, stories, and characters together. Then when designing, he takes my initial sketches/ideas & does “his magic”. He translates them into the computer adding textures, shadows, and makes them come to life. We complement each other so well. He’s also the most patient person I know, letting me make infinite changes and tweaks to get it “just right.” It’s a luxury to work this way and I’m so grateful for him!

Feel free to visit Yumiloo’s website and download the $1.99 app

May
01
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Super Why!

I met with The818′s Morgan Shanahan via Skype the other day to discuss my new creative arts program, Creative Galaxy, math based program, Sara Solves it, (Amazon Studios), the preschool tv biz, Fred Rogers and much more.

With our never ending to-do lists, it’s fun (and necessary) to sit and talk about why we do what we do.

See Morgan Shanahan‘s complete postBlue’s Clues Creator Angela Santomero Launches Two Shows Via Amazon” at BlogHer & don’t forget to visit Morgan at the the818.com

Feb
06
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues

Blue's Clues

..always surprised when I bump into an old friend in NYC! Blue’s Clues

Jan
31
2013

Amazon Studios

I am proud to announce that Amazon Studios, the original movie & series production arm of Amazon.com, has greenlit for production our creative arts curriculum Creative Galaxy. Amazon Studios announced today that Creative Galaxy is 1 of 5 children’s test pilots which have been selected.

“Our children’s series come from industry luminaries with credits such as Blue’s Clues, Sid the Science Kid and Dino Dan. We think parents—& our very youngest customers—are going to love the magical combination of entertainment & learning that they’ll discover in these children’s series.” said Roy Price (Dir. Amazon Studios).Amazon.com

My incredible team at Out of the Blue Enterprises and I are thrilled to be working with Amazon Studios & can’t wait to soar into a creative arts curriculum with Creative Galaxy. We know that art can have a powerfully positive effect on children & through our proven signature approach to preschool television, we will actively help young viewers learn how to think creatively in their own lives. Working with Amazon Studios has been fantastic & we look forward to jumping further into the production process.

Creative Galaxy is an animated, interactive art, adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music and dance. The series was created by Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why! (the Emmy-nominated literacy series), Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Related articles:

 CNN Money     Deadline | HollywoodKidscreen

 

The Verge Tech Crunch  Variety

Oct
25
2012
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

Our Annual Halloween Photo Contest winner will receive a signed copy of my favorite Super Why! Halloween story.

To Enter:

  1. Simply LIKE my Facebook page if you haven’t yet (If you did already, Thank You & jump to #2)

  2. Send a photo to me at Angela@AngelasClues.com – Subject: “Boo

  3. If you tweet I entered my costumed lil’ pumpkin in @AngelasClues #Halloween giveaway! Check it out! http://bit.ly/VpVRAfyour submission will be entered twice

I’ll personalize a copy of my Super Why! Halloween story, “The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Halloween” for the winner and post their winning photo on my site (winner chosen on Halloween eve).

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

Sep
27
2012
by: Greg | Filed under Blue's Clues, My Projects, Parenting

What does one do when life seems to fill up your to do list..why, get a new puppy of course!

Introducing..Samoa.  Our latest (Bichon Shih Tzu) addition!