DiscoverBig and Little Podcast
Big and Little Podcast

Big and Little Podcast

Author: Boston Children's Museum

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A podcast about families and children, created for the grownups in their lives. Big & Little explores relevant topics ranging from play, learning, creativity, resilience, and health through interviews with people from varied professions and who have different perspectives and experiences.
20 Episodes
We’re bringing some creative exploration to the podcast with a special Creativity Series! Our first guest, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, is an artist, maker, educator, and the Museum’s current Gallery artist. Her exhibit, Weathered Shapes, Wooden Quilts brings together the traditional crafts of wood sculpture and quilt making to show the potential of rebuilding and hope. In today’s episode the Museum’s President and CEO Carole Charnow talks with Laura about the inspiration behind her art, the key components of creativity, and advice for parents, caregivers, and educators! Learn more about Laura on her website:
In today's episode, Boston Children’s Museum’s Vice President of External Relations, Charlayne Murrell-Smith talks with Research Scientist, Technologist, Filmmaker, Architect, and Educator, Topper Carew. Topper recounts his experience growing up in Roxbury, starting out as an architect and filmmaker, and his advice for crafting compelling stories. Listeners may be familiar with Topper from his popular TV sitcom Martin, but it might surprise you to learn of his rich and varied experiences beyond the film industry.  Later in the episode, we also discuss his upcoming project, This Little Light of Mine - in space. This project consists of a Space Payload designed to transport and broadcast a film of children’s choirs around the world singing “This Little Light of Mine.” We could all use a little more light in our lives - so, why not extend that brightness to the night sky and beyond?
Designing for Play

Designing for Play


How do we design for play? For two decades Cas Holman has been designing playthings and playspaces that encourage exploration, imagination, and collaboration. Through her company Heroes Will Rise, Cas creates intuitive toys that inspire creative, open-ended play, including the award-winning Rigamajig, a line of playful building kits used in schools and public spaces worldwide - and our very own Boston Children's Museum. An educator of 13 years and former Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Cas travels the globe to collaborate with thought and industry leaders in early education, curriculum design, public space, and childhood advocacy. Her philosophy and approach to designing for play was recently featured in the award-winning documentary series “Abstract: The Art of Design” on Netflix. In today’s episode our host, Neil Tembulkar, the Museum’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Cas discuss how we design for play and empower kids to be creative problem solvers. Learn more about Cas on her website:
What happens when we're given the resources and freedom to choose where our money goes? Tune in to find out. In this episode, the Museum's President and CEO Carole Charnow talks with Jesús Gerena, the CEO of UpTogether, about the importance of investing and putting trust in the people we serve. UpTogether is a national organization on a mission to change policies, systems, and underlying beliefs so that all people in the United States are seen and supported. Leaning into our community, social networks, and relationships can make more of a difference than we might think. By investing in people from historically undervalued communities, UpTogether helps reinforce autonomy and drive economic and social mobility for individuals and families. Interested in learning more? Check out UpTogether's Podcast, Moving UpTogether, or visit the UpTogether Website at:
Meet Sama

Meet Sama


Although we are a children's museum, we don’t often hear directly from our youth. In this episode we’re changing it up and welcoming our very first “little” to the Big and Little podcast. Now, don’t let that word deceive you, today’s guest has a powerful voice and some keen insights on what it’s like to be a kid in this day and age. Meet Sama Prince, the goddaughter of Boston Children's Museum's President and CEO Carole Charnow. She joins us all the way from London, England. Hear about Sama's school, favorite pastimes, and candid reflections on navigating life during the pandemic.
Reaching children in their earliest years not only helps them develop the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills they need to succeed, but can also inspire lifelong enthusiasm for learning. On today’s podcast, Boston Children’s Museum President and CEO Carole Charnow sits down with Dr. Jeanette Betancourt from Sesame Workshop and Sally McCrady from PNC Bank to learn more about their partnership - Grow Up Great, an initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. To access educational resources and learn more about Grow Up Great check out:
Ahead of the CreatedBy Festival on October 15th, 2022, Digital Content Manager and Podcast Producer, Kathryn York, interviews Boston Children's Museum's Director of Strategic Initiatives, Neil Tembulkar about CreatedBy, the prevalence of STEAM in the museum space, and how to get kids inspired by STEAM. To learn more about the CreatedBy Festival and free Virtual Workshops, Demos, and STEAM Fun, check out
When was the last time you let your imagination take the wheel? As kids, our imagination created endless possibilities. An old blanket was a superhero cape. Pots and pans? A full on drum set! Imagination has the power to make the “ordinary” novel and exciting. In the wake of an increasingly digital age, however, many wonder, does imaginative play still hold the same space in children’s lives? Hear from Dr. Laura Rubin, founder of Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center, about how imaginative play helps children process emotional experiences, build executive function skills, foster creativity, and more. She also shares how parents, caregivers, and educators can support their child's imaginative instincts. For more on imaginative play and children’s mental health, check out the following resources: Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center: The Child Mind Institute: How Re-Framing Our Experiences Can Contribute to Our Well-Being by Dr. Laura Rubin, TEDxPortsmouth: Make-Believe: Games & Activities for Imaginative Play By Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer:  
Join tech trailblazer Madge Meyer as she talks with Carole about her journey to success as a woman and Asian American immigrant in the STEM fields and shares strategies for raising young girls excited about and engaged with STEM.
Art in early childhood helps children thrive and develop into well-rounded, socially-conscious individuals. Sadly, thousands of students across the United States do not have access to arts education.  As the founder of ARCK, the Arts Resource Collaborative for Kids, Sara Mraish-Demeter has made it her mission to give children a voice through the arts. She has helped thousands of under-resourced students gain access to arts education throughout the last ten years.  Hear from Sara about the importance of closing the creativity gap in schools through equitable arts education and the power art can have on our children’s healthy social and emotional development.
Three simple words can have a profound effect on a child's life— "I’m a reader.” 
 Unfortunately for too many children in the US, numerous challenges and barriers have made these words infrequent. 
 In the latest episode of the Big & Little Podcast, former kindergarten teacher, founder of Barbershop Books, comedian, and expert in early literacy Alvin Irby speaks about empowering kids, especially young Black boys and other vulnerable children, to identify as readers and grow to enjoy learning. 

The holiday season doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. No matter what special occasion or tradition you celebrate around this time of year, along with the cheer can come large amounts of stress for parents and caregivers juggling a million things while trying to give their kids a magical season. We wanted to help identify ways to take the stress out of the season and bring back the meaning with simple, low to no-cost strategies. Here to help us is guest Meghan Block, the owner of Boston Moms and a mother of three young children with an excellent perspective on the challenges that moms and caregivers face in today’s world.
Listen in on a conversation with Codman Academy Head of School Thabiti Brown and third grade teacher and equity coordinator Marcus Parker about Codman’s thoughtful education strategies—teaching for social justice, prioritizing student questioning and the exploration of identity, making connections between learning and the world outside the classroom, and engaging teachers and parents in conversations around equity and inclusion.
Join Carole and guests Drs. Michael Pistiner and Ali Yurkovic for an important conversation on food allergies in children. As allergy experts and parents of children with food allergies themselves, Michael and Ali speak to the prevalence of allergies in children, their own experiences as parents of kids with allergies, and how people can get involved in advocacy efforts to protect those with food allergies in public spaces. 
Innovation in Education is our new 3-part series that will dive into three different schools that are innovating the traditional schooling model we are all familiar with, with non-traditional curriculums, strategies, and values. Our first guest is Bethann Jellison, principal of the Carlton Innovation School in Salem, Massachusetts.  The Carlton School, a public school categorized as a Massachusetts “innovation school” back in 2012, uses a cohort model with mixed age groups in each classroom. Kids are placed in an appropriate cohort, based not on age, but on their individual academic, social, and emotional needs.  How does the cohort model work? And how has this innovative model affected the outcomes for students? Let’s catch up with Carole and Bethann to find out. 
Carole chats with Amy O'Leary, the director of Strategies for Children's "Early Education for All" campaign, about the importance of advocating for our youngest learners at the policy level, in the classroom, and within individual families. Listen to learn more about her years of early education advocacy work and to find out what you can be doing to support the kids in your community.  
Listen in as Carole chats with Cherie Craft, CEO of family support and community engagement organization Smart from the Start, about strategies for effectively supporting families in times of need, especially as it relates to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic and an unsettled political climate.  
In this episode, Carole talks with Manny Lopes, the CEO of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and a leader in community health care, about the ways in which Boston’s vulnerable communities are coping during this challenging time and how today’s uncertainty offers room for positive change to come.  
In today's episode, Carole chats with psychologist Dr. Nancy Rappaport about the challenges the pandemic presents for parents and children. Dr. Rappaport, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Harvard University Medical School, sheds light on some of the positive effects families can take away from this historic time.    
What are the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on our kids? What coping strategies can parents implement at home to help make things easier and promote the health of all family members? We're answering those questions and more today in the first episode of Big & Little, featuring Boston Children's Museum CEO and President Carole Charnow and Dr. Michael Yogman, a practicing pediatrician in Cambridge, MA.
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