A show where we use our imaginations to talk about the big feelings we all have.
Whether you’re a kid or a grown-up, you probably know a lot of rules. Rules can help us stay safe, use good behavior, and make sure that everyone is treated fairly. But have you heard of “hastabees”?. . .In this week’s episode, Scotty and Count Vacula are having a great time playing in their pillow fort until the famous blankie castle architect Jill Koy (the very funny Carly Ciarrocchi (http://www.carlyciarrocchi.com/)) shows up. Jill thinks that a pillow fort “hastabee” a certain way—but when she tries to change their fort to how she likes it, things start to get a little shaky!There are lots of rules that protect us, or help us remember to be kind. But “hastabees” are just things we prefer to be a certain way—like what toy we cuddle with at night, or having the crusts cut off our sandwiches. But if we sleep with a different toy sometimes, or leave the crusts ON our sandwich, that’s okay! Do you have any “hastabees”? What would happen if you changed one of them? It might feel a little strange, but it also might be fun to try something different!At The Imagine Neighborhood™, we think the only thing a pillow fort “hastabee” is fun—and if you have a pillow fort to show us, or if you want to share your design for The Best Pillow Fort Ever, we’d love to see it! (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) You can also get suggestions of things to talk about, and additional activity ideas for this episode in our newsletter (https://forms.wix.com/ea540e66-a177-4ed0-a570-a7a0893eeddc:3a01c4b3-344f-4b95-a41a-7d1311a24fe5) . . . but if you want to switch things up and try some different activities, that’s great too! Keep it cozy, everyone. See you around the Neighborhood!
Re-Run: Anyone Can Play
“ANYONE CAN PLAY”
Earlier this year, The Imagine Neighborhood™ released the limited series Imagine Equity: Six New Stories About Race, Identity, and Making Things Right, which empowers listeners to take pride in their own identities, celebrate diversity, and stand up against discrimination.
Thanks to the generous support of The Allstate Foundation, this week, we're revisiting the Imagine Equity episode "Anyone Can Play"!
When Macho Supreme and Count Vacula find a big cardboard box and decide to play Nebula Trek in it, Vac is excited to pretend to be one of his favorite characters from his favorite movie! But every time Vac jumps in, Macho won’t let him play. Because the actors in the Nebula Trek movie are white, Macho thinks that only white people can play them, and Vac is Asian.
When we tell someone they can’t be part of something because of their identity, that’s called exclusion. And excluding people is not only wrong, it makes our world a little smaller!
When we exclude, we put limits on the kinds of fun we can have, the kinds of stories we can tell, and even the friends we can play with. But when we use our imaginations to make room for everyone to play, we can go anywhere, and we can do anything!
You can hear more from the Imagine Equity series by visiting the Imagine Equity page on our website—where you can also get downloadable PDFs with activity ideas and discussion prompts from the episodes. And as always, we’d love to get your feedback, drawings, and ideas at email@example.com.
This show is supported by a generous grant from The Allstate Foundation. The Allstate Foundation works to empower youth to reach their full potential and build the just, equitable, and healthy world we all deserve. To learn more, visit AllstateFoundation.org.
No Filter: with Dr Ibram X Kendi
Hey, everybody! It's me again, your good pal Count Vacula—bringing you a brand-new No Filter!
My guest this week is the very kind and very smart Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. He’s a podcaster like me—but he’s also a professor, and a National Book Award winner, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author of really terrific books like Antiracist Baby and Stamped (For Kids)!
We talked about playing basketball, and cardboard creations, and how when the people you care about are happy, it can make you feel happy too!
But we also talked about serious things, like how there are some rules that aren’t fair to everyone, and that it’s up to us to change those rules! It reminded me of when Big Bot Burger made a rule that said Wastelanders couldn’t eat in their restaurants. That wasn’t fair, so we all joined together to protest, and we got rid of discrimination in our neighborhood! Dr. Kendi says that standing up to discrimination is one of the kindest things we can do, and I think he’s right.
A great thing about meeting different people is that you can learn all sorts of new ways to be kind. Did you do something kind this week? Tell me about it, and then maybe I can do it too! Yay!
Okay! I’ll be back soon with more No Filter—and in the meantime, I’ll see you around The Imagine Neighborhood™!
Bonus: Dr Leslie Walker-Harding on Macho's Shot
In this week's bonus episode Dr Leslie Walker-Harding joins us to discuss ways to help kids who are afraid of getting shots. Dr Walker-Harding is the chair of pediatrics at Seattle Children's (https://www.seattlechildrens.org/directory/leslie-r-walker-harding/) hospital and she's had to give, and get, a lot of shots. We'll talk about how she helps kids and grown-ups who are nervous to get a shot, and has some great tips for dealing with those big emotions.
Going to the doctor can be scary, even if you’re as macho as—Macho Supreme! This week in The Imagine Neighborhood™, Scotty needs to get his Merman Measles shot, but Macho is so afraid something bad might happen to Scotty at the doctor’s office that he yoinks Scotty away in the Mach Billion!
Will Scotty get back in time for his appointment with Dr. Alexander Camelguy, or will he . . . (apologies) . . . throw away his shot?
Will Macho overcome his fears before he and the rest of the Neighborhood turn into a bunch of scaly-tailed, scene-stealing divas?
Will listeners listen for the bonus content after the credits?
It can feel unfair when something that helps you also hurts a little bit. And shots can hurt for a second, but a lot of people need them to stay healthy. In today’s episode, we’ll learn some things that you can do to help make getting a shot less stressful. Along the way, we’ll hijack a spaceship, meet a very unusual medical professional, and make more Lin-Manuel Miranda musical references than, well, a Lin-Manuel Miranda musical.
Grown-ups—as always, we’d love to see your family’s drawings and creations inspired by the episode, and you can drop some knowledge with the discussion prompts and activity suggestions found in our newsletter. In the meantime, here’s an excellent article—recommended by our newest rock star, Dr. Leslie, P!H!D!—about ways to help kids navigate their fears about shots.
Stay safe, everyone. See you around the Neighborhood!
Re-run: Blizzards and Wizards
Welcome back to The Imagine Neighborhood™! Next Monday we’ll return with an all-new episode, but today, we’re revisiting “Blizzards and Wizards” from our series Imagine Equity: Six New Stories About Race, Identity, and Making Things Right, funded by The Allstate Foundation.
Released earlier this year, the Imagine Equity series helps young people recognize prejudice and injustice, take pride in their own identities, celebrate diversity, and stand up against discrimination. Allstate and the team at The Imagine Neighborhood are proud of this opportunity to help families continue to build kinder, more inclusive futures for neighborhoods everywhere.
“Blizzards and Wizards” introduces us to the young wizard Preston Changeo, who shows up in the Neighborhood ready to learn all of the wizard Alakazambra’s moves for battling monsters. But instead of battling them, he discovers that Alakazambra is best buddies with one—Count Vacula!
Preston thinks that wizards and monsters shouldn’t be friends, but when he accidentally summons a rainbow sherbet monster, everyone in the Neighborhood has to work together to solve the problem. It turns out that having friends and neighbors with all kinds of different identities helps you learn new skills and be a better friend—and it’s also a lot of fun!
Regular episodes pick up again next week, but we hope you’ll also take time for our featured Imagine Equity episodes every Wednesday for the next five weeks. Follow our socials for weekly Imagine Equity content—and be sure to check out the new downloadable activity ideas and discussion prompts on our dedicated Imagine Equity webpage.
See you around the Neighborhood!