Besides enjoying her recent trip to the circus and delighting in the world’s largest collection of blocks that now fills our dining room, she’s been spending her computer time enjoying our free trial of PBS Kids Play.
Launched less than 2 weeks ago, PBS Kids Play is already a hit in our house! The new subscription site is designed to help children ages 3 to 6 learn through interactive play to teach subjects like math, science, literacy, language development, creativity, healthy development, and social studies. PBS Kids Play contains all-new interactive games and activities that Little Miss Techie has enjoyed doing with favorite characters such as Thomas and Friends, Curious George, Bob the Builder, Franny’s Feet, Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Super Why, and The Berenstain Bears.
As an educator, I appreciate the fact that all of the games and activities that are part of PBS Kids Play are designed to meet nationally recognized educational standards and benchmarks.
What does this mean and why is it important?
It helps to ensure that the learning experiences that your children are getting through the site are recognized as learning benchmarks for their age and grade level. For example, in one Curious George game, Little Miss Techie used a counterweight to raise and lower George to decorate a huge floor-to-ceiling cake which taught her how to measure with a scale. In Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies, she loves playing hide-and-go-seek with the animals. The game gives here clues to their hidden location such as “near,” “between,” or “behind” to help reinforce prepositions. Both measurement and prepositions are key concepts taught in school. To help Little Miss Techie learn these concepts, practicing them at home during homework or through the PBS Kids Play site helps to reinforce them.
As a parent, I love the Parents Center. It is my dashboard to helpful tools like the Progress Chart, Activity Search, and Curriculum. There’s also a link to update my account, TV program listings, and a direct line to PBS Kids Play customer support.
My favorite Parent Center feature is the easy-to-use Progress Chart that helps me see how Little Miss Techie is advancing through the curriculum. The chart is specifically tailored to her and includes an indicator of how far she has progressed in each skill area. It also recommends new activities for her to try based on her skill level.
The Progress Chart serves as a way to personalize your child’s learning experience which is an important aspect for teaching children. It ensures that your child is working just above their comfort level by challenging them in a supportive environment. The Progress Chart allows parents to click on skill areas to learn more about progress in specific areas and to get suggestions for additional activities that will advance the child’s knowledge and skills.
Other features that I love about PBS Kids Play include:
- A safe desktop environment that does not allow sharing of personal information or any communications among users.
- Ability to pre-set a timer to enforce breaks and limit their child’s time on the computer.
- Learning games adapt to each child based on their individual progress
- PBS Kids characters suggest games and activities appropriate to the child’s skill level in order to keep kids challenged and engaged
- Ability for the child to save and edit creative projects like drawings and musical compositions
- Picture based navigation that allows pre-readers to easily navigate the site
- Favorites list that shows a thumbnail of each activity that makes it easy for kids to bookmark and find activities later
- Ability to add up to 4 children to one account
The PBS Kids Play site also streams select TV episodes on demand inside of a child-friendly Flash player and has 24/7 technical support is via toll-free phone and email.
Now that our free trial is coming to an end, I am certain that this is a site that we will continue to use. I’ve always been a fan of PBS and while many of their sites with great content for kids are free, like PBS Kids Island and PBS Kids!, the difference lies in the ability to provide tailored learning experiences through high quality educational games that have advanced Little Miss Techie’s learning.
Ok, well not priceless but with a subscription to PBS Kids Play costing $9.95/month (or $79/year), paying a fee to access the content on this site is certainly money well spent.
If you want to check out PBS Kids Play, they offer a free 15-day trial that you can experience without having to enter any credit card information.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama