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Big and Little Podcast

Big and Little Podcast

Big and Little Podcast logo

A podcast for adults, about families, kids, and our world. 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. Hosted by Boston Children’s Museum President and CEO Carole Charnow.

Sponsored by PNC Bank

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Ashleigh Gordon


Creativity Series

Music as Expression, Exploration, and Celebration

In this fifth installment of our Creativity Series, Carole Charnow, the Museum’s President and CEO interviews Ashleigh Gordon the co-founder, Artistic Director, and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. Carole and Ashleigh discuss the intersections between music, education, and creative expression, the inspiration behind founding Castle of our Skins, and how to encourage musical exposure and exploration for children. Learn more about Castle of our Skins at:
Big & Little Podcast™
June 5, 2024
Mitch Resnick


Creativity Series

Lifelong Kindergarten, Lifelong Creativity

Today on the show, Boston Children’s Museum President and CEO Carole Charnow interviews Dr. Mitchel Resnick in the next installment of our Creativity Series. Mitch Resnick is the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab and develops new technologies and activities to engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group developed the Scratch programming software and online community, used by millions of young people around the world. Carole talks with Mitch about his new project OctoStudio, the value of Kindergarten style learning, the 4 P’s of Creative Learning, the relationship between technology and creative learning and more.
Big & Little Podcast™
February 21, 2024
Creativity Through Collaboration Website Picture

Creativity Series

Creativity through collaboration

The Museum’s Creativity Series continues with a conversation on the importance of connection, collaboration, and community. Through a grant from LEGO, called the LEGO Playful Learning Museum Network, institutions across the country were tasked with creating a community of practice that focused on playful learning Joining us today are three representatives from LEGO’s community of practice who connected over a shared interest in Tinkering Inventive Playsets, Nick Villagra from the Connecticut Science Center, Michael Wong from the Exploratorium, and Brendan Takenaga from Boston Children’s Museum. Tune in to learn about how a community of practice operates, where creativity exists in our work, the power of inspiration, half-baked ideas, open communication between peers, and more! Learn more about this partnership on the Exploratorium Blog. Or connect with our guests by emailing Nick at, Michael at, or Brendan at
Big & Little Podcast™
February 6, 2024
Manya and Krish

Creativity Series

A creative platform for the children, by the children, of the children

The Children’s Art Museum of India, or CAMI for short, is an online platform and virtual Museum space that enables young artists to submit their art and share their creativity worldwide. Manya and Krish founded CAMI in 2022 when they were 14 and 12 years old, respectively. Since then, the two have been working tirelessly to create and expand CAMI’s reach and continue to carve out this important space for children’s creativity. What began as a local initiative for Indian children to share their art has since grown into an increasingly global movement. In this next installment in our Creativity Series, Carole Charnow, the Museum’s President and CEO, talks with Manya and Krish about founding CAMI, the unique benefits of an online Museum space, and how to engage and inspire kids to be creative through art. Learn more about CAMI at:
Big & Little Podcast™
November 8, 2023
Laura Petrovich

Creativity Series

Cultivating the Components of Creativity

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: View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
August 29, 2023
Topper Carew

Bringing light to the world through stories

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? View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
July 27, 2023
Cas Holman

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: View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
June 23, 2023
Jesus Gerena

Lifting Our Communities UpTogether

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: View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
March 31, 2022

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
November 21, 2022
Neil Tembulkar

How to Help Our Kids “Grow Up Great”

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: View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
October 14, 2022
Neil Tembulkar

Celebrating STEAM in the Museum Space and Beyond

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 View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
October 11, 2022
Dr. Laura Rubin

Imaginative Play is the Antidote: How to foster children’s creativity, sense of agency, and emotional processing through play

When was the last time you let your imagination take the wheel? As kids, our imagination created endless possibilities. 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. Learn more about imaginative play and children’s mental health: View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
August 26, 2022
Madge Meyer

How to Raise Girls Excited About STEM

With just 28% of the science, tech, engineering, and math workforce made up of women, the STEM gap is very real. How can we as a society motivate young girls to continue to engage with STEM in a culture where so many are steered away as they get older? 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 STEM. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
April 25, 2022
Sara Mraish Demeter

Closing the Creativity Gap: The Importance of Art in Early Childhood Education

Sadly, thousands of students across the United States do not have access to arts education. As the founder of ARCK Boston, Sara Mraish Demeter has made it her mission to give children a voice through the arts, helping thousands of under-resourced students in Boston access arts education. Hear from Sara about the importance of closing the creativity gap through equitable arts education and the power art can have on our children’s healthy social and emotional development. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
March 22, 2022
Alvin Irby

Alvin Irby on Inspiring Kids to Identify as Readers

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. Join Carole and former kindergarten teacher, founder of Barbershop Books, comedian, and expert in early literacy Alvin Irby for a conversation on empowering kids, especially young Black boys and other vulnerable children, to identify as readers and grow to enjoy learning. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
February 25, 2022
Meghan Block

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Wonderful: Strategies for a Low-Stress Holiday Season Your Kids will Remember

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
December 13, 2021
Thabiti Browna and Marcus Parker

Innovation in Education Series

Innovation in Education: A Focus on Community, Identity, and Social Justice at Codman Academy

Listen in on a conversation with Codman Academy Charter Public School’s principal 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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
November 18, 2021
Drs. Michael Pistiner and Ali Yurkovic

Children’s Food Allergies: How prevalent are they and what can we do to help?

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
August 27, 2021
Bethann Jellison

Innovation in Education Series

Innovation in Education: Bethann Jellison and the Cohort Model

Innovation in Education is a new 3-part series that dives into three schools innovating the traditional schooling model using non-traditional curriculums, strategies, and values. Our first guest is Bethann Jellison, principal of the Carlton Innovation School in Salem, MA. The Carlton School, a public school categorized as a MA “innovation school” in 2012, uses a cohort model with mixed age groups in each classroom. Learn about the outcomes for students in these multi-age classrooms-it may surprise you! View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
May 17, 2021
Cherie Craft

Smart from the Start Director Cherie Craft on supporting families in need during a high-stress time

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
August 27, 2020
Amy O'Leary

Our youngest kids need advocates

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
October 7, 2020
Manny Lopes

Racism and coronavirus add stress to already vulnerable communities

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
June 12, 2020
Dr. Nancy Rappaport

Dr. Nancy Rappaport discusses strategies for parenting during the pandemic

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. View Episode Transcript
Big & Little Podcast™
May 29, 2020
Dr. Michael Yogman

Coronavirus Pandemic’s Effect on Kids

Boston Children’s Museum CEO and President, Carole Charnow, talks with Dr. Michael Yogman, a practicing pediatrician in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about the many challenges the Coronavirus presents for parents, families, and children.
Big & Little Podcast™
May 6, 2020