App Review
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

  • Blue monster teaches kids how to calm down and think through frustrating situations.

  • After considering three options, kids choose what the monster will do.

  • Parent section includes tips and strategies.

  • Kids will relate to the five common situations.

Quick Take
Pros: Kids will relate to the everyday problems and learn strategies for dealing with them.
Cons: Belly-tapping and bubble-popping run a bit long for young attention spans.
Bottom Line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Adorable, familiar Sesame Street characters engage kids, who'll have fun actively helping the blue monster deal with problems.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Kids are empowered to choose how the monster deals with each situation; strategies will transfer into their personal toolbox for dealing with similar situations.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Verbal instructions walk kids through each step. Language options include English and Spanish.

Our Review
What's It Like?

Sesame Street's newest human resident, Mando (introduced in the fall of 2013), narrates while kids and a blue monster together tackle everyday frustrations -- like struggling to tie shoes, dealing with separation anxiety, taking turns, and going to bed -- and learn how to deal with them. Students must work through one problem before unlocking the next. Animated video clips show the blue monster's problem, then kids tap his belly to help him breathe deeply and calm down. When the monster is calm, students tap thought bubbles, which produces three possible strategies. Students get to choose which strategy the monster will try and then see him do it in another animated video clip. The technique of breathing, thinking, and doing is reinforced throughout.

Is It Good For Learning?

Kids will identify with each of the five problems, and they'll not only learn to calm down with deliberate deep breathing, they'll also be introduced to three possible strategies for working through each problem. While waiting for a turn on a slide, for example, kids learn they might sing a song, count items around them, or ask a grownup for help. The parent section includes even more tips for helping kids develop resilience by giving them tools for solving everyday problems. Every detail is backed by research. Most scenarios include an option for going to an adult for help, so kids will learn to try to solve their own problems, but still know they can go to a parent or teacher for help.

How Can Teachers Use It?

Although Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame is designed for parents to use at home, teachers can use it in class as well. Teachers or counselors could work with kids individually or in small groups, using the scenarios to model calming and decision-making strategies. Teachers could also use it as a whole-class, culture-creating activity. They could start the school year with a mini-lesson a day on how to handle a frustrating situation, working on breathing, thinking, and doing. The class could adopt the phrase "Breathe, think, do" as a reminder to themselves when they're getting frustrated. After working through the five scenarios, kids could work in small groups to create skits about frustrating situations not included in the app, showing how they could work through them using the "breathe, think, do" technique.

This review of Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame was written by

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