In her quest to further expand upon her burgeoning multimedia empire, Tabitha Brown has decided to use her influence to help kids find their best selves. Her YouTube children’s series, Tab Time, uses fun crafts, imagination and celebrity guests to teach kids about friendship, family, “How Things Grow” and the importance of mistakes. She spoke with The Root about her mission to help kids “heal the world.”
“If I could get a children’s show and teach children how to love themselves and love others, be compassionate, be kind despite our differences. Learn together, have fun together and use their imagination,” she continued. “Those same children would grow up one day and become adults who see each other, love each other and become compassionate toward each other, who would also work to heal each other.”
Tab Time, which is produced with Kids at Play and Scale Productions, has a real old school Sesame Street/Mister Rogers Neighborhood feel and that’s by design because the self-described “World’s Favorite Mom” wanted kindness to be the centerpiece of the show. Case in point, the best moments of the episodes usually come in the “Craft Time” segments featuring Ms. Tab talking to kids about the lesson of the day. The unpredictability of having kids on set is Brown’s favorite part of the job.
“Children are always going to be honest and we have to let them be children. It’s my favorite part. I love working with the kids, that’s where you get the funniest things, that’s where you get the realness,” she said. “We’re doing these crafts that actually teach them these things in the moment. Just to see their reaction…hear their responses to certain things, what they were thinking and what was coming to their minds was so much joy for me.”
More than anything else, the overarching theme of Tab Time is the importance of imagination. No matter what the lesson of the episode is, imagination is an integral part of the story. It’s something that was essential to Brown when she started the series.
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“When you can use your imagination, you believe in the impossible. You believe and you dream through your imagination,” she said. “Teaching kids that their imagination is something they can use to escape, something they can use to learn, something they can use to feel good, excited, is such an amazing thing.”
And of course with Ms. Tab hosting, the series definitely works in special lessons on nutrition and food. However, Brown stresses that she’s not trying to force any particular ideology on kids, as she feels it’s better when they discover new things for themselves.
“Everybody knows that I’m vegan, but I never like to force my lifestyle on anybody, I simply want to share. I wanted to do a snack time with the kids and did not want to mention anything about it being vegan,” Brown said. “I just wanted to show them all snacks that are made with fruits and veggies, so that when they start to think of snack time, they start to crave fruits and veggies.”
Her work has paid off, since Brown confirmed that she often receives social media messages from parents showing their children eating snacks they learned from Ms. Tab.
The voice cast for Tab Time includes Miles Brown as Avi the Avocado, Ashley Nicole Black as Starla the Spatula and Jermaine Fowler as DJ Khrafty, with guest appearances from Karamo Brown, Cynthia Erivo, Lil Rel Howery and Yvonne Orji. For her next batch of episodes, Ms. Tab has a wide range of personalities she’d love to work with, citing Phylicia Rashad, DJ Khaled and Steve from Blue’s Clues as her top picks. But she really just wants to work with people who want to invest in children.
“It’s really about my hope to heal the world through children and those children will grow up and they’ll love each other, be more compassionate and kind to each other as adults,” she said.
All 10 episodes of Tab Time are available on Tabitha Brown’s YouTube page.