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Need virtual Elmo hugs? Sesame Street has new COVID-19 resources for kids

V is for video playdates!
/ Source: TODAY

As families across the country follow guidance to socially isolate at home, many are wondering: What do I say to my kids during this crazy time?

Sesame Street has answers.

Sesame Workshop's just-launched "Caring for Each Other" initiative stars Elmo and his muppet pals, with a website teeming with helpful videos, activities and information for parents and kid about the COVID-19 crisis.

Elmo and friends are helping families cope with the coronavirus crisis through a new website filled with activities, videos and games for kids and caregivers.Nathan Congleton / TODAY

From videos about self care and healthy habits to printable coloring sheets and "creating routines during the 'for now normal,'" there's lots to scroll through and explore. First stop: "Elmo's Virtual Hug," where the furry red monster talks animatedly about his goldfish, Dorothy, and encourages kids to get excited about "virtual playdates."

"Elmo knows that it's hard to be away from all of your friends," he says in the clip. "But Elmo's mommy set up this video chat so we can have fun together!"

In a press release, Sesame Workshop promises "a commitment to support families for the duration of this crisis, with brand new content featuring the Sesame Street muppets sharing messages of love and kindness, playful learning activities and virtual play dates launching soon."

The site will also offer resources for caregivers in the coming weeks.

Additionally, parents can watch an expanded offering of free episodes of "Sesame Street" with their kids on PBS Kids digital platforms, as well as access more than 100 free Sesame Street ebooks via platforms like Amazon Kindle, Apple Books and Barnes & Noble Nook.

"While we don’t always know what to expect, we know that Sesame Street friends have the power to convey simple strategies and messages to help children and the caring adults in their lives find comfort," said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, a senior vice president at Sesame Workshop. "With Caring for Each Other, we can help families get through these uncertain times and build hope for the future."