The Sesame Street resident is teaching kids simple recipes and inviting them to share a virtual cookie every Tuesday.

By Mike Pomranz
April 14, 2020
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Alexander Tamargo / Contributor/Getty Images

As a freelance writer, I’m used to working from home—so in some ways, coronavirus isolation isn’t significantly different from my day-to-day life. But some differences are huge—like having a four-year-old continually running up to my desk asking to watch videos on my computer (as if the YouTube videos on the phone I gave him an hour ago are somehow different than the YouTube videos on my laptop!) But thankfully, when it comes to educational content, a well-known performer who’s also working from home has us covered: Cookie Monster.

On March 31, Sesame Street debuted a bite-size new series of videos called “Cookie Monster Snack Chat” with the promise of a fresh episode every Tuesday (ostensibly until Cookie Monster and the Sesame Street crew are allowed back to work).

Admittedly, the first episode is pretty much by the books. The two-minute “Share a Cookie with Cookie Monster” invites kids to virtually share a cookie with the furry blue guy—but only after he tells them to “please make sure that your hands are nice and clean” (a reoccurring theme for obvious reasons). Granted, it’s not going to make up for your kid missing out on three months of school, but my son enjoyed it.

Comparatively, last Tuesday’s episode felt a bit more inspired, with Cookie Monster showing children how to make a smoothie. Again, this isn’t the kind of tutorial that’s going to have you throwing out all your existing smoothie recipes, but if you’re in need of a two-minute jumping off point for a fun and healthy activity with your kids, Cookie Monster can definitely inspire them to break out the blender.

And in case you’re in one of those quarantine-induced dazes where every day of the week feels the same, well, good news: Today is Tuesday. And though Sesame Street hasn’t posted a new Snack Chat yet, something should hopefully be hitting the channel soon.

It’s all part of Sesame Street’s pandemic-inspired “Caring for Each Other” initiative which also includes a star-studded virtual playdate hosted by Elmo airing tonight on HBO, PBS, and other networks. “Your friends on Sesame Street are here to support you during the COVID-19 health crisis, as families everywhere are creating a ‘for now normal,’” they write on their website. “Children thrive with structure in their lives, and they learn best through play—even in everyday moments. So our site is filled with content you can use all day long to spark playful learning, offer children comfort, and focus a bit on yourself, too. After all, it's important that we take care of ourselves, so that we can best care for our families.”

Speaking of focusing on myself, how old is Cookie Monster exactly? Because once my kids have chatted snacks with him and gone to sleep, I wouldn’t mind firing up Zoom and sharing a beer with my old childhood friend. If he’s available, that is…