Important SEL Skills Kids Can Learn From Watching Sesame Street

From kindness to resilience.

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Sesame Street Characters

Now entering its 50th year, Sesame Street continues to set the standard for high-quality educational and family programming. Big Bird and the gang have come a long way since they first swept the clouds away, but those core values haven’t changed. Sesame Street is still a place that teachers and families can trust to help young children learn the social-emotional skills they need to be successful at school and in life. Check out some of our favorite Sesame Street clips that teach important SEL skills:

Not giving up

Hailee Steinfeld joins the monsters of Sesame Street to sing about persistence. The lyrics encourage kids to approach problems with, “I wonder… What if? Let’s try!” That ability to bounce back when things don’t go the way we planned is such an important skill.


We love us some Mr. Noodle. This little clip will delight young viewers, as silly Mr. Noodle tries to figure out how to get a long board inside his house. The commentary from Elmo, Cookie Monster, and friends is gold, as they give Mr. Noodle ideas to solve his problem.

Being an upstander

Sesame Street has never shied away from difficult topics (remember when Mr. Hooper died?). Now, they’re tackling racism. In this song, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Gabrielle, and Tamir give kids examples of what they can do and say when someone is being treated unfairly because of the color of their skin.

Managing big feelings

Young children need help managing their emotions. In this “Monster Meditation,” Rosita is nervous about the first day of school. The video reminds Rosita that it’s OK to feel nervous and guides her (and young viewers) in a special meditation called “Belly Buddy Breathing.”

Taking turns

Most kids struggle with learning to share. In this short skit, Julia (Sesame’s first character with autism) and Samuel can’t agree on who gets to play with Superpup Rose. Fortunately, it’s Mega Mommy to the rescue with her superpowers of caring and understanding!

Caring for yourself

Kids should be able to identify things that make them feel comfortable and safe. In this clip, Telly talks about the things that give him comfort, like making a blanket fort, snuggling with and talking to his mom, and having a nice bowl of tomato soup.

Preview the new season of Sesame Street, where kids can learn more valuable SEL skills, such as curiosity, creativity, and persistence:

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Important SEL Skills Kids Can Learn From Watching Sesame Street