Schuif Gezellig Aan is a large exhibition of Sesamstraat and its history. The phrase "Schuif gezellig aan" is a lyric from Sesamstraat's theme song, a Dutch phrase which suggests an invitation to "shuffle along pleasantly".
Unlike the exhibition that was held on Sesamstraat's 25th birthday in Hoorn, this exhibition won't display any original Sesamstraat puppets. The reason is because they want to make it special for children. And "empty shell" puppets could destroy the magic of the show. What they do display are some props and backgrounds from the show. They are the same ones used in Madurodam. Also there are several old and new items of merchandise shown from the private collection of Paul Bokdam, who also helped with some international information and facts in the exhibit.
Sesamstraat: Schuif gezellig aan, is for children from 3 years and up, but also for adults and teenagers, because there is a lot of background information and nostalgia. The exhibit is made up of five areas: "Welcome to Sesamstraat", "The Stories from Sesamstraat", "How Sesamstraat started", "Sesamstraat worldwide" and "Behind the screens of Sesamstraat".
Welcome to Sesamstraat
A large part of the Sesamstraat set is displayed. This gives visitors the feeling they are actually there and on television. Setpieces include the large broccoli trees, Tommie's car and Buurman Baasje's sitting-tower. Meneer Aart's suit is also on display. In Ieniemienie's Craftsclub there is an opportunity for kids to make their own things, build their own setpiece or participate with De vraag van vandaag (the question of the day).
The Stories from Sesamstraat
Story telling or reading from illustrated books is a recurring element at the end of the show. Sesamstraat works with several illustrators who do the illustrations. In Sesamstraat: schuif gezellig aan about 50 original illustrations and 25 animations are on display. These include art by: Charlotte Vonk (Prins Vads), Jet Boeke (Dikkie Dik) and Ingeborg van der Steijn (Fiep). All the stories and illustrations are especialy written and drawn for the show.
How Sesamstraat started
The concept of the show is like the original from America. The philosophy and ideology are integrated into the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop. The exhibit shows Sesame Workshop's idea in words and images: Preparing every child for school, especially to learn reading, writing, counting, math, social and emotional skills, respect and understanding with each other. With the help of old film footage, pictures and an actual old set of Sien's Store, more is explained about the start and development from the start of Sesame Street in America (1969) and the Netherlands (1976) until now.
In many countries Sesame Street is used to encourage a way of talking about that country's problems. Examples are among others: HIV in South Africa, mutual understanding and acceptance in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. The exhibit shows a part of the documentary The World According to Sesame Street and a glimpse of a larger international merchandise collection.
Behind the screens of Sesamstraat
How do they produce Sesamstraat and what is needed to get the end product we see on television? This segment focuses on the set, actors, Muppets, lyrics, songs and rhymes. In short, a complete shooting day. The only thing they keep a secret is how the Muppets are manipulated. Although, if you look carefully...
For the Children
This exhibition is one made for young as well as elder children. For them the museum made a trail they can follow with all kind of questions they can figure out during the tour. Interactive props are on display, and there are big blocks with which they can rebuild the set in miniature. There are also games built into the set that they can do and answer, and also play a hide and seek game with Pino. Kids get also a gift with this tour and when they like to leisure. There is a corner with many plushes to play with. Also an activity was setup called Dress up Ieniemienie. Special different clothing where made for this. There is also an animatronic of Oscar in his trash can. They used to stand in front of Sesame Street General Stores that were located in America until 1998.
For this exposition several items where on display aswell. There are big broccoli trees, the car of Tommie and the Tower of Buurman Baasje. Also Meneer Aart's suit can be admired. The whole set was created earlier for the exposition in Madurodam by The Garage Amsterdam. The Dress Ieniemienie and more detailed background stories and merchandise where specially done for this exposition. A lot of old and new Sesamstraat merchandise and international Sesame Street merchandise was displayed in a special part of the exposition. Books, Records, toys, handpuppets and plush from every show possible all over the world could be seen for the first time.
After this period everything got sold to an entertainment bureau who continued the exhibition in the Netherlands. Without the merchandise this is. Other places where this was on display included: Kijkduin (Ten Hague), Limburg's Museum (Venlo).