Study: 'Sesame Street' Can Help Your Kid Reach Success in School and Work

Kids who are introduced to the show before the age of 7 reap the benefits the most.
Save article
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2019
bert and ernie from sesame street which is now proven to improve children's educational level
Photo: Peter Bischoff / Getty Images

Lots of preschool TV shows boast educational rewards for kids, but how many can actually prove it?

Celebrating 50 years and counting, Sesame Street is in a league of its own. The long-running show is not only beloved by grandparents, parents and kids, but it can actually help viewers later in life, says a new study published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and reported on by People. According to the study, the series helps improve school performance for children, particularly boys, who tune in before turning 7 years old. That’s not all. It also suggests long-term effects which last all the way into the workplace.

The research examined data from the US census in 1980, 1990 and 2000, to see how kids who watched Sesame Street did in school and their jobs later on compared to those who didn’t watch it. Kids who were introduced to the show early on were linked to positive experiences in school and the workplace. Particularly, those who had a high exposure to the show were 14 percent more likely to attend the age-appropriate grade in middle and high school.

The benefits aren’t only limited to school success. The long-lasting effects suggest kids who watch Sesame Street are more likely to be employed and earn a somewhat higher wage in the workforce. “The magnitude of the estimated wage effects are consistent with forecasts based on the estimated improvements in test scores and grade-for-age status brought about by the show’s introduction,” the researchers say.

There you have it. A guilt-free reason to let your little one occasionally watch TV (just try to stick to the AAP’s screen time guidelines).

Save article

This Petition Wants Moms to Get Paid Monthly for Their Invisible Labor

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/28/2021

Teaching Toddler at Home?

Cindy H. Liu, PhD, clinical and developmental psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Psychologist

Childcare Costs Continue to Rise So Far in 2020, Survey Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
07/02/2020

Many Parents Remain Skeptical About Daycare Amid Pandemic, Survey Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/17/2020

Why You Shouldn’t Phase Your Big Kids Out of Midday Naps, Study Says

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
06/03/2019

Professor's Powerful Act of Kindness for Struggling Parent Goes Viral

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
03/04/2019

This State Wants to Enforce a School Dress Code for Parents

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
01/29/2019

Mom's Hilarious Parody Video Sums Up Kindergarten Parent-Teacher Conferences

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
08/31/2018

Mom’s Back-to-School Nightmare: Bus Driver Forgets 5-Year-Old on Bus

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
08/31/2018

Chrissy Teigen's Back-to-School Confession Brought Out the Best Mom Comments

Laurie Ulster
Contributing Writer
Published
08/21/2018
Article removed.