Parents of preschoolers, get ready. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the heir to the empathetic television throne of Fred Rogers, is back. Season five kicks off this week with a new episode every day and a brand-new COVID-19 special designed to help kids make sense of the pandemic, quarantine, and what they can do to make the best of a bad situation. Ugga Mugga, he’s back.
“Season 5 of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood will showcase even more relatable storylines and fresh musical strategies to help keep preschoolers learning, growing, and navigating the world around them,” said Paul Siefken, President, and CEO of Fred Rogers Productions. “In addition to the upcoming special, the season will include episodes about sudden changes at school, separation from family members, staying safe, hospital stays, respecting one’s personal space, disappointment, generosity, and grown-ups taking care of you.”
Here is everything you need to know about the new season.
When do new episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood premiere?
A new episode drops every day this week. To find out when it will air, you can check your local PBS station’s schedule. Alternately, new episodes will be available to stream on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS video app the same day they premiere on the network.
The COVID-19 special is out today, and you can find it the same way you can find the five regular episodes.
How is the COVID-19 special meant to help kids?
“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Won’t You Sing Along with Me?” does, as its name suggests, give kids a chance to sing along to some of their favorite songs from the show in an effort to comfort them in a difficult time.
The special will put Daniel Tiger in his audience’s shoes, as the cancellation of the Neighborhood Carnival “leads to lots of big feelings and questions, including what to do when he misses people he loves, how to keep himself and others healthy, and how to find ways to enjoy the extra time at home with his family.”
What are the new episodes about?
Most episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood tell two separate stories around one theme, but the first episode of season five — “Daniel’s Substitute Teacher” — only has one. It’s the story of a school day that Teacher Harriet takes off and how Daniel adapts to having a substitute in his classroom, learning than unexpected change doesn’t have to be bad.
The remaining four episodes revert to the two-story, one-theme formula.
On Tuesday’s “Prince Wednesday’s Accident/Daniel and Miss Elaina’s Kite Accident”, the theme will be…accidents. Daniel and company learn that accidents happen to everyone — even adults — and that telling an adult when an accident happens is a good idea.
On Wednesday, the focus will shift to the importance of rest. In “Quiet Time at School/Naptime in Blanket City,” Daniel learns the different ways to settle down, the benefits of resting even in the midst of fun activities like playing with trains and building blanket forts.
“The Fire Drill/Daniel and Mom Go to the Market,” which comes out on Thursday, is all about staying safe in an emergency. The first half shows what happens when the fire alarm goes off at Daniel’s school and some firefighters come and teach the kids about staying safe in an emergency. The second half captures a different kind of emergency — getting lost at the store — when Daniel is separated from Mom Tiger at the market.
The fifth and final regular episode premiering this week is “Daniel Waits with Dad/Margaret’s New Shoes,” a pair of stories about the importance of waiting and how to pass the time without getting bored. What parent of a preschooler wouldn’t want them to absorb that lesson?