Folks We Love with Leigh Schindler | creator, Lulu and Munch
We met Leigh years ago as an early childhood educator. My son fell in love with her warm spirit and beautiful singing voice instantly. She’s the first one you run to for a hug in the morning, and no matter how long of a day she has had she always wears a smile. I learned so much by watching her work with Wyatt and teach in her gentle and conscious minded way. She has now taken her education and years of experience and created an adorable show called Lulu and Munch!
When it comes to screen time, we are very selective on the types of shows our kids watch, and we limit to only on the weekends. I love that Lulu and Munch is colorful interactive and educational. Wyatt and Esmé are so in love with the show, and Esmé calls munch “that cute monster.” You can subscribe and find Lulu and Munch on YouTube! Leigh left such an impact on our families lives and now we get to see her anytime we want on our TV. Wyatt says he and Esmé give Lulu and Munch “two thumbs way way up”
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in San Diego, but spent much of my adult life in Boston and Los Angeles.
Can you tell us about your background working with children?
I remember, even at a young age, being around children made my heart glow. Time would stop, and I would feel so happy. I have had the honor of working with children for 14 years. My love for children started at age 8 when my mother worked at the Children’s Museum and I would spend all of my time after school and on weekends there helping all of the children with art, music, and imaginary play. Since then, I have received my Early Childhood Education Credentials from UCLA Extension, managed and taught at a Children’s Dance Studio and worked as a Preschool Teacher, where I had the honor of meeting Sarah and having Wyatt in my class.
Can you tell us more about Lulu and Munch? What gave you the idea and how did you get from the idea to producing the show?
Lulu and Munch is a curriculum-based, single-camera show where each episode is developed to provide free, fun-filled quality education to kids all around the world. Each episode is provided with a lesson plan and curriculum that can be downloaded. Having the honor of being able to work at such a magical preschool, I gained an understanding of how important a quality play-based education was and how important an enriched environment is for young, growing minds and hearts. Watching the amount of growth, confidence, and self-identity each child gained made me want to give all children the same opportunities.
My business partner, Michelle Opitz, had a similar experience. She has over 15 years of teaching experience and runs a K-12 Film and Digital Department. Her two-year-old niece would watch kids You Tube videos. This inspired her to create better content for her.
What ages is the show for?
The show focuses on ages 2 to 6, but is enjoyable for children younger and older children as well.
How do you come up with the content for the show?
All of our episodes are curriculum based. Our curriculum includes the following subjects:
Every week, we focus on a new subject, giving children an amazing opportunity to learn and discover new things. Many of the episodes are based on lessons I have done in my classroom.
Where do you feel most inspired?
Over the years, my students have been my biggest inspiration. Also, a big inspiration is Mr. Rogers. It is my dream to inspire children with the same amount of self-love, honesty, and kindness that he so gracefully shared with the world.
What are you watching right now?
I am watching/obsessed with This Is Us. I love how real and raw the show is.
My favorite book is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It reminds me of a mixture between Alice and Wonderland and a Stephen King novel.
Favorite kids book?
Wow, this is a tough one. I love so many…my favorite book to read to children is The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen. The words are musical and fun, and you can really get into the character voices. I love how quickly the main character accepts change and truly owns who he is. My favorite message in a book has got to be from The Empty Pot by Demi. This book has the most beautiful message about being honest even if it’s the hardest thing to do.
What advice do you have for mothers with toddlers?
A lot of my soon-to-be mother friends worry about making mistakes. I challenge you to see mistakes as opportunities because the truth is...we are all human and will inevitably make mistakes and most likely make...a ton of them. Turning these mistakes into teachable moments for you and your little one will not only allow you to be more present but will also open you up to learning with your child.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have received comes from my practice in SGI (Soka Gakkai International) Buddhism and that advice is to “Turn poison into medicine.” If you go through life with a spirit of tenacity to conquer the hardships in your life and turn them into opportunities, nothing can bring you down.
What are 4 things you can't live without?
The Arts (music, dance, acting, and art)
Lulu & Munch is a fun and educational, curriculum-based children's show that will have your little ones learning about colors, numbers, feelings, alphabets and more! Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe for more videos with Lulu & Munch!