Kids

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting

While strolling along Sesame Street last week, I bumped into Murray Monster (side note: puppeteer is my friend, Joey Mazzarino, who also played Roary on Blues Room).  While Murray was lively and nothing shy of entertaining, what I loved about our day was that he always has the kids’ best interests at heart.  He also reinforced in me the idea that we should make time to play with our children whenever and wherever we can..even though this furry red monster threatened to steal my gig!

See my interview with Murray Monster on PBS.org/parents/theparentshow and let me know of any questions you may have.

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting

As a little girl I always wanted to go camping with my girl scout troop.  But every year, my allergist wouldn’t let me go due to my asthma and allergies.  So, when my 7 year old had a camping trip planned, I was excited to go..but then I realized what I was in for. Crammed side by side on a buggy floor (Daddy long legs in abundance!) with 16, 7 yr. olds and a handful of moms!  But look at the face on my daughter!

All she could talk about was how we all had one big sleepover!  Together!  And we had smores, had a hike, sang songs, picked dandelions, had a Girl Scout flag ceremony and came far too close to sitting in a patch of poison ivy!  Through the eyes of my 7 year old, this was the life!  It is such a good reminder for me to look at life through my daughters’ eyes.  Because you only get to be 7 once, and the joy and exuberance to sleep on a cramped & buggy floor will be thrilling..only for a short time.

Special shout out to our amazing Daisy troop leader, Virginia for spending her time making memories, empowering our girls, and growing their confidence.  And for giving the 7 year old in me a chance to FINALLY go on a girl scout camping trip.  Thank you!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, Kids, Parenting

PBS Kids & iVillage are hosting a Summer Learning Twitter Party, Tuesday May 24th 9-11pm EST

We’ll be discussing The iVillage + PBS KIDS Summer Reading Community Challenge to promote summertime reading and other important (& fun) summer tips.  I’ll be a brand panelist @angelsanto, along with: @pbskids @kateklimo @ericaperl @angelamatusik @kellywallacetv @theaumsmama @sharonmomof6. The moderators will be: @jylmomIF@Dadventurous@troypattee and @MomItForward.

It looks like an incredible group of people and an informative night..with prizes & giveaways as well!   #gno information!#gno featured

Pull up a keyboard & join us!

 

 

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting

You know that first moment when you knew you were going to marry the boy you were dating?  My moment was when I saw Greg hold his sister’s newborn daughter, Morgan.  As soon as we heard she was born, we drove five hours non-stop from DC, in our senior year of college.  We got to the hospital right after visiting hours, but rather than listen to the nurse, we did what any 20yr old would do and hid in the bathroom until the nurses left.  And then we met Morgan.

She was five hours old, all of 5 lbs and had long chicken legs that she refused to keep under the blanket.  Greg scooped her up and talked with her about how happy he was to meet her.  I swear Morgan smiled right at him and we both melted.   We have watched Morgan grow and have enjoyed her every step of the way.  Her many first words, her silly faces, her love of ice cream and corn on the cob.  We were there on her first day of kindergarten and coincidently my first day of graduate school.  And now….she has graduated college!    

It’s one of those milestones in life when everyone needs to stop their crazy busy lives, travel to Rhode Island and spend the day celebrating someone they love.  Even our niece flew in from New Orleans to be there.  I was so proud. We played the game, “One of the many things I love about Morgan is…” and everyone had amazing things to say…. Her smile, her creativity, her sense of humor.  But her mom said it best, “Morgan is the type of girl that crawls into your heart and you never let go”.  I firmly believe that life is all about stopping to celebrate and to tell and show people, while they are still here, how you feel about them.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Anna Quindlen recently reflected on parenting. She reminded us to stay in the moment and not get burdened by all the things we “have” to do. The dishes can stay in the dishwasher .  But traveling 5 hrs to meet the baby that will stay in your heart forever and being there when she graduates college is what life is all about.  Congratulations, Morgan!  I’m so proud of you!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting, Research Parents Should Know About!

What do we do when our kids nag us to buy things that we know they don’t need? Set up an allowance. It is a great opportunity to give your kids the experience of managing their own money. It’s based on the same philosophy I use with my shows. I want kids to be interactive—to point and yell and participate because I believe that they learn better that way. Similarly, giving kids money in the form of allowance, enables them to learn about money—mistakes and all—by using small amounts of it..

[see Angela’s entire Greenwich Magazine Article]

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting

As a creator of childrens television programs, a reviewer can be your best or worst friend.  It seems that kids tv is the last thing reviewers want to talk about.  It’s not as sexy or interesting to them as say, reviewing the season premiere of Modern Family.

Every once in a while you meet a reviewer like Tim Goodman.  Tim understands and appreciates the vision behind educating children through television.  He asks great questions and sees the value of a solid curriculum married with great stories, characters kids love and good humor.  As the Chief TV Critic for The Hollywood Reporter, Tim would like parents to read his reviews and make choices for themselves about what kinds of shows they are opening the door for their children to play with.  I still have the review that Tim wrote when we premiered Super Why!

So, as an avid viewer of Modern Family, I get it.  But I always want to meet the critics who can help me spread the word about my shows so we can empower kids who will strengthen our next generation!  Well, Tim and I met up at this year’s Television Critics Press Tour in Pasadena, CA and we chatted about the blueprint for good tv, viewing tv from a child’s perspective and shutting it off if it doesn’t sit well with us.  See my interview with Tim Goodman on PBS.org/parents/theparentshow and let me know what you think!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects, Parenting

It’s not often that I hang out with astrophysicists during my day.  But if they’re anything like Neil deGrasse Tyson (director of the Hayden Planetarium), I’ll make it a point to more often!  My interview with him for The Parent Show reminded me of what I truly love about kids..their creative process.  They’re not all about getting the right answer..but the creative journey that takes place while learning.  This inquisitive nature of children allows them to make ideal budding scientists.  Take a guess who often gets in their way though?

Oh, and he loved our Blue’s Clues “Sink and Float” game with Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper (physics for preschoolers!) and our Blue’s Clues Planets episode (which was displayed at NASA!)

[See Angela’s interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson on PBS.org]

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids, Parenting

This is something we do quite often on television.  It’s part of our philosophy behind creating shows with a foundation in education but that kids want to tune in.  We always incorporate humor that is age appropriate.  But, we also always use humor to diffuse a situation.

For instance, in Super Why we have this intense moment (probably not “intense” to most people but for us this scene was intense!) when Super Why finally confronts the BIG BAD WOLF.  We have been searching for him the whole episode and he is finally here. And he is BIG.  And he is BAD.  So, what do we do? First we ask why.  The Wolf says, “Because it says so in my story, I am the Big Bad Wolf.”  Hmph.  Point taken.  So, in true Super Why style we change the story to save the day.  We turn the BIG BAD wolf into a SMALL GOOD wolf.  And you know what happens?  He cries hysterically (amidst violins in the background) because he has no friends.  If only (sniff) he had some friends (sniff) he wouldn’t be so BAD and blow down the pig’s houses.  Well, this was HYSTERICAL to our audience.  And it diffused the tense situation.  I need to try that at home.  Not sure I can change the mood of my daughter when she is acting all BIG AND BAD but I’m sure I can find a way to keep my emotions in check and DIFFUSE WITH HUMOR!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Stuff We Love

There is little question that an effective arts program can do wonders for our childrens’ emotional intelligence, problem solving and further development.  With this in mind, about 7 years ago, we enrolled our daughter (at the time, age 3) in HiArt! A well conceived arts class which as explained in their literature is “not your neighborhood art program”. It’s a class overflowing with art, music, movement, etc. to inspire our budding artists (& ourselves).

The class we had enrolled in alternated museum trips every other week to expose the class to more intimate gallery spaces where the kids could sit on the floor and sketch on their art pads or get a more personal, up-close view of some of the work. The following week would be met in Cyndie’s (program director) beautifully  lit art studio.  This was filled with all types of vibrantly colorful and textured media, to work on more elaborate creations..all while listening to the themed opera which played throughout the semester.

If you’re around the Big Apple, check it out.  If you’re not, simply go to the HiArt! website to be inspired & incorporate that creative philosophy at HOME!   There’s no wonder why HiARt! is entering it’s 14th year in downtown NYC!

by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting


This is what WE have to say about that!

 

Hope (10yrs):  This is me, Hope.  Sure, my mom is a preschool television person and all.  But, she still doesn’t have to try to say catch phrases every 5 seconds.  But those little song jingles do help.  My second grade teacher taught me “6×6 = 36!” she would make it sing-songy and be silly.  And it stuck in my head.  So, maybe my mom does have a point…..

 

Ella(7yrs):  This is me, Ella.  My mom is incredible.  It’s fun that I can see what she is doing because it’s on tv!  In the Stars in the Sky episode of Super Why it was fun to see cartoon me in it!  I love my mom’s work.  It inspires me to make something new one day when I grow up that helps the world.