Play School talks about Death

ABC’s Play School this week tackled the subject of Death for the first time in its 53 year history.

In an episode talking about the beginnings and endings of life presenter Emma Palmer introduced young viewers to a friend’s newborn baby, Clara, and announced her own pregnancy.

Alex Papps raised the more sombre subject of Death, via Little Ted whose pet goldfish Swish had died.

There were tears, tissues, cuddles, laughter with memories.

Papps also shared memories of his own grandmother as he pasted photos into a special scrapbook.

“My ‘Gram’ isn’t alive anymore,” he said. “She was very very old, and a few years ago she died, which mans she isn’t here anymore, which is very sad for all my family and for me. Sometimes when we feel sad, we talk about our memories of ‘Gram.’ And that’s why I made this scrapbook.”

Writer Emma Palmer told News Breakfast she sought expert advice from the National Centre for Childhood Grief on how to approach the topic for the show’s pre-school viewers.

“We so often don’t talk about these issues until they become an issue for our family,” she said.

“It’s really hard to tackle that tough stuff when you’re actually experiencing some kind of trauma, grief or loss.”


  1. Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

    I remember on Sesame Street back in 1983 when the actor Will Lee passed away, they did the same with the character he played Mr. Hooper and it was very touching, I personally see nothing wrong with doing this.

    Big Bird Learning of Mr Hooper’s passing:

  2. They used to teach us how to make little animals with used toilet rolls and stuff from the useful box when I was a boy. I don’t think toddlers need to be confronted with this stuff if it isn’t necessary.

  3. I fondly remember as a kid waiting in anticipation for the fun of Playschool and Romper Room to begin.
    I was aware by this time what death is and can’t really see it as being required content on this show.
    You bet London to a brick though, there will be no mention of anyone going to heaven.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.