Neil Patrick Harris on His Twins Starting Kindergarten: ‘Their Brains Are About to Explode!’

09/27/2016 at 01:45 PM ET

Gideon and Harper Burtka Harris
Neil Patrick Harris Instagram

Neil Patrick Harris has gotten his first glimpse of an empty nest — but he’s looking on the bright side!

The actor and husband David Burtka saw their twins Gideon and Harper off to school this month, and they couldn’t be prouder parents.

“My kids started kindergarten yesterday, so I’m in a very hopeful frame of mind,” Harris — who served on the 2016 Global Citizen Festival host committee Saturday in New York — told PEOPLE in a Sept. 8 interview. “Because their brains are about to explode with new ideas!”

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It seems like just yesterday that Harris, 43, and Burtka, 41, brought their daughter and son — who turn 6 next month — home from the hospital, where they were delivered via surrogate.

“We’re constantly encouraging them and trying to teach them to make good decisions,” says the actor, who will star as Count Olaf in Netflix’s upcoming A Series of Unfortunate Events.

And now that their kids are nearing primary school age, Harris can’t wait to watch their young minds expand in school, from “reading words and sentences, choosing books and reading what they want to learn, experiencing teachers and having them teach them about something in a way that I couldn’t, that would make them excited about something,” Harris says.

“I’m pretty hopeful right now,” he adds. “It’s a good time to be alive.”

Two years ago, @dbelicious and I got hitched. Best. Decision. Ever. #grateful #screenshot #wallpaper

A photo posted by Neil Patrick Harris (@nph) on

Longtime partners Harris and Burtka were together for 10 years before marrying in front of their children and close friends and family during intimate ceremony in Italy in 2014.

“Two years ago, [David] and I got hitched,” Harris posted on Instagram earlier this month, commemorating their anniversary. “Best. Decision. Ever. #grateful.”

— Jeff Nelson

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Showing 7 comments

red on

Why is listed under Moms and Babies?

Anonymous on

Love to read about this family. They seem so happy. Lucky kids.

sally on

Those outfits! I mean come on! The accessories are ridiculous. If my son showed up wearing those suspenders, shoes and glasses- he’d get beat up for sure!

Brooke on

Harper & Gideon are perfect. Their daddies are perfect. The whole family is perfect

Jj on

Hey Sally, maybe cause your son isn’t as cool as Gideon! And Miss Harper looks adorable. They are a great family. And why shouldn’t they be under mom’s and babies? Hey red? What should you be under? Trump supporting homophobic jealous little troll?

Guest on

He ruined it for me when he described their ‘interview and vetting’ of the egg donor. It was totally disgusting the way he spoke about her like she was an object. Among other things, he actually had this woman recorded on video and asked a series of questions in a quick fire format to rattle her and make sure her brain was ‘good enough’ to be their egg donor. Just gross. The interview was on Howard Stern. Ugh.

Sara on

Those kids are insanely cute and so are their names!