App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
PBS KIDS Party App Poster Image
A swing-and-miss to get kids active, paired with wristband.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to count up to 35 and compare numbers under 10. They can also practice following directions through the dancing games. Unfortunately, there just isn't a lot of learning content in PBS KIDS Party, especially for the target audience.

Ease of Play

The mini-games are easy to play.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Prominent link to the publisher's website from the menu. Designed to pair with the Moff Band, a separate piece of technology; though not required, each time kids enter the app, they're asked if they have the Moff Band to pair.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PBS KIDS Party is designed to pair with the Moff Band, a $50 wristband that allows kids to use arm movements to interact with apps and games. While the mini-games work without it, they aren't nearly as engaging, and kids are asked if they have the Moff Band each time they enter the app. In addition to a link to the publisher's website, there's a link to learn more about Moff Band and to click through to purchase at Amazon. To find out about the types of information collected and shared, read the app's privacy policy.

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What's it about?

PBS KIDS PARTY is a collection of mini-games involving education and physical activity. There are four main sections: Piñata, Sounds, Numbers, and Dance. In all the games, kids either move their arms if they have a Moff Band or tap the screen if they don't. Piñata has kids either tapping or swinging an arm to break a piñata. In Sounds, kids record a sound and then either tap or swing an arm to play the sound. Numbers is a set of counting games where kids tap or swing an arms to count up or down. Dance involves playing Freeze Dance or a Dance Dance Revolution-style game: Kids with the Moff Band will follow the arrows left, right, up, and down, while kids without will tap corresponding arrows to follow along. There are no scores or levels.

Is it any good?

Though the idea is cool, kids may find the activities pretty simple with the Moff Band and boring without one. Tapping on a piñata on a screen isn't much fun, and swinging your arm a few times to break it doesn't make it much better. When it does break, kids hear the same cheer and see the same static image every time. The counting games are very simple and may appeal to a toddler, but that's well below the target age range. Raising and lowering your arm to show if a number is greater than or less than is actually a great way to practice the concept, but the activity doesn't have anything particularly fun about it, so the novelty will likely wear off. Some kids may enjoy the dance games with the Moff Band, but kids without the Moff Band won't get any feedback at all. The other bit of fun comes from the sound recording, where kids can record silly sounds and then hear them as they dance around (kids without the band tap the screen to hear the sound), though it didn't work reliably during the review period. Unfortunately, the Moff Band is a pricey item for a toddler or preschooler, but the app won't appeal to anyone much older than that, and there are better -- and more fun -- ways to get kids moving and learning.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about staying active. The app asks kids to join in a dance party. Is dance good exercise? What are other activities you enjoy that are good exercise?

  • Practice counting and the concept of greater than and less than during everyday activities: Are four apples greater than or less than two apples?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love math and movement

Themes & Topics

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