Updated: Mar 31
Halloween is usually associated with being a spooky occasion. It is also a time when many schools take the opportunity to allow their students to dress up in their favorite costumes. We are always amazed at the beautiful costumes that the children wear so elegantly, many brandishing Disney Princesses or Marvel Superheroes. On Halloween in 2013, a student surprised the entire school in Atlanta, Georgia by dressing up as our very own Spanish-speaking donkey: Señor Burro!
Our whole team was pleasantly surprised because Jemima’s Playhouse was not currently selling Señor Burro costumes. When it was time for our friend to stand up and introduce her character, she jumped up and the class shouted, “Señor Burro! So cool.” What happened next is what made our entire year. The whole class proceeded to sing Señor Burro’s song, “Mis Colores” together in unison.
It was at this moment we discovered the bridge between education and entertainment, commonly referred to as “Edutainment”. Some people may see the two constructs of education and entertainment at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet that is farther from the truth. Education is defined as the process of facilitating learning and growth. An adequate education trains a student to become a productive employee and a good citizen. Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention of the viewer and gives delight.
The students sang the “Mis Colores” song with energy commonly reserved for a Disney song from the newest blockbuster. It didn’t matter that the song is a children's educational song and teaches the colors in Spanish. The students performed the song enthusiastically with our friend, who was dressed up as Señor Burro, performing Señor Burro’s signature dance with vigor.
This was the exact day that we realized that children's entertainment and education are not exclusively separate entities for all of the stakeholders involved with Jemima’s Playhouse. When you combine the two, you create a situation where children will become engaged in a playful manner while learning simultaneously. Each encounter with all of our students, teachers, and parents has become an “Edutainment” success!