Moving can be challenging, especially for preschool children. Military families move often-the average child moves six to nine times between kindergarten and high school. The Big Moving Adventure mobile application, developed for the Department of Defense in partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, lets kids create a muppet friend to help through the moving process.
“Moving can be stressful, and kids need to express feelings and say goodbye to people and things,” said Dr. Kelly Blasko, psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. “The muppet characters in this app help make the move a fun experience.”
Children can use the app to help their muppet friend make decisions on a variety of move-related issues like which toys to pack in a box and which to take along in their backpack. Children watch the muppet say goodbye to their house, military base, and classroom and playground friends. Finally, at the new house, children help their muppet unpack, settle into the home, and make new friends.
“Sesame Workshop has always been at the forefront of creating resources for families with young children to help address some of life’s most difficult issues,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for Community and Family Engagement at Sesame Workshop. “The Big Moving Adventure is part of Sesame Workshop’s contribution to military families who face the challenge of helping a child cope with this major transition and help our kids reach their highest potential.”
Military parents face unique challenges during a move, and the app helps their young children through the experience. A separate parents section contains additional move-related topics and tips.
The Big Moving Adventure mobile app is the newest addition to a portfolio of multi-media resources developed by Sesame Workshop, in collaboration with the Defense Department, to help military families with deployments and life transitions. While developed specifically for military families with children 3 to 5 years old, it is useful for all families with young children experiencing a move.
The mobile app is available for download from the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon for Kindle Fire. Users have downloaded the free app more than 130,000 times since its release in December.
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., serves as the primary Defense Department office for cutting-edge approaches in applying technology to psychological health. T2 is a component center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, and aligned with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
T2’s mission is to lead the innovation of health technology solutions for psychological health and traumatic brain injury, and deliver tested, valued health solutions that improve the lives of our nation’s warriors, veterans, and their families.
Telehealth and Technology’s advanced health technology solutions are user-friendly, valued by our warriors, and cost-effective. The center also supports the Department of Defense’s goals of increasing access to care, establishing best practices and quality standards for health technology and telehealth, and reducing both military suicide rates and the prevalence of stigma associated with seeking behavioral health services. For more information, visit us at http://www.t2.health.mil.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps, and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org