Preschool Clues: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World

Preschool Clues: Raising Smart, Inspired, and Engaged Kids in a Screen-Filled World


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The award-winning creator of Blue’s Clues, Super Why!, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood shares the secret sauce behind her shows’ powerful, transformative results in the form of eleven research-based, foundational “clues” to ensure that preschoolers flourish academically, socially, and emotionally during this critical time.

The preschool years—when children are between the ages of two and five—are the most influential, important years in a child’s life. Studies show that pausing to interact, playing to solve problems, diffusing with humor, and using repetition are the hidden clues conscious parents use to raise successful kids and help them learn critical thinking skills, foster empathy, and nurture their sense of self-worth.

Angela C. Santomero, MA, the award-winning creator of children’s television phenomena knows this better than anyone and has spent decades working to instill confidence in her young viewers. In Preschool Clues, she breaks down the philosophy behind her shows—educating, inspiring, and empowering kids—into concrete strategies that parents and educators can incorporate into their family and classroom to set their preschoolers up for success, such as:

-Intentionally pausing to foster bonding, independence, and resilience
-Developing empathy and confidence through soliciting preschoolers’ help
-Becoming “fluent” in the language of preschoolers: Play
-Igniting your preschooler’s curiosity
-Being an involved co-player everyday
-Designing a healthy media diet

In Preschool Clues, Angela shares the latest research from top thinkers in child development and education. Through her practical, straightforward advice and inspiring, conversational approach, you will not only understand exactly what your children are learning from the shows they watch and why these shows are so effective, you’ll know exactly how to apply these same proven approaches in your daily life and with the same powerful results.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501174339
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 512,116
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Described by Joanne Rogers as “a modern day Fred Rogers,” Angela Santomero is the cocreator of Blue’s Clues and the creator of Super Why!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Creative Galaxy, and Wishenproof. Her work has been cited in numerous publications including Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller, The Tipping Point. She lives in New York with her husband, daughters, and their two dogs. Her first book is Preschool Clues.

Deborah Reber’s teen books include Doable, Language of Love, Chill, In Their Shoes, and Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: The Real Deal. She is also the founding editor-in-chief for Heart of Gold, an online destination for teen girls passionate about entrepreneurship, social activism, and volunteerism. She recently moved to Amsterdam with her family. Find out more at

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Note from the Author xiii

Guilt: Introduction xv

Watch, Learn, Know

Watch: The Big Question 3

Should preschoolers be watching television at all?

Learn: Building Your Healthy Media Diet 9

Watch TV, not too much, make it interactive and educational

Know: Laying the Groundwork 25

Inspire our preschollers to learn and grow

Play, Pause, Repeat

Clue #1 Play 39

Playing Opens the Door to a Preschooler's World

Clue #2 Pause 63

Pausing Helps Preschoolers Find Their Voice

Clue #3 Repeat 83

Repetition Leads to Learning and Mastery

Think, Resolve, Respect

Clue #4 Think 105

Unlocking the Genius Within

Clue #5 Resolve 121

Conflict Develops Grit, Coping Skills, and Strategies

Clue #6 Respect 142

Respectfully Communicating Builds a Preschooler's Self-Worth

Help, Model, Observe

Clue #7 Help 167

Asking Preschoolers "Will You Help Me?" Develops Empathy and Confidence

Clue #8 Model 187

Modeling Shapes Our Preschooler's Behaviors and Experience

Clue #9 Observe 205

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary Can Spark Our Preschooler's Passion

Laugh, Sing, Celebrate

Clue #10 Enjoy 227

Singing and Laughing Makes Parenting Easier

Clue #11 Celebrate 246

Celebrating Small Things Grows Preschoolers' Sense of Optimism and Intrinsic Motivation

Epilogue 265

Notes 269

Acknowledgments 277

Index 283

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