A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that PlayKids | Videos and Educational Games for Kids and Toddlers! is a subscription-based service that gives kids access to several educational TV shows for kids. Parents can restrict access to certain programs and set the videos to play on auto-repeat or in "baby mode" wherein kids can't accidentally close the program by tapping the screen. There is no option for limiting time in the app. Shows must be downloaded onto the device before kids can watch them, which can take up quite a bit of the device's storage. Six educational games are available without a subscription, as are a couple of videos.
What's it about?
Kids choose favorite characters from a line of train cars to watch programs parents have previously downloaded. Kids also can choose the playground car to play educational matching, sorting, tracing, and music games. On iOS devices, there's also a book car featuring classic children's stories and a lullaby car with favorite peaceful lullabies that can be played on a timer. (At the time of this review, that feature is in the works for Android devices.) New content is added frequently. More than a dozen programs are featured, including Daniel Tiger, Caillou, Super Why, Bo on the Go, and Franny's Feet.
Is it any good?
Parents considering PLAYKIDS | VIDEOS AND EDUCATIONAL GAMES FOR KIDS AND TODDLERS! may want to compare it to services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. Although those services offer more content, they don't offer the young-kid-friendly features that Playkids has. Only kids' shows are included, and, even then, parents can restrict access to some shows in the settings. And, although it's a storage hog, the downloaded shows can be watched without an Internet connection, making it a great travel accessory totally worth a month's subscription. The games could stand alone in a quality educational app, too. Kids can play songs on the piano, play a memory matching game, sort toys into the toy box, trace stars to form pictures, see real images of cute animals, and color pictures on a coloring page. The video quality can be set to high or low (to save storage space), but the low quality is rather blurry.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about and consider a variety of options for occupying toddlers before setting up auto-repeat. Check out Media Tips for Babies and Toddlers for ideas on balanced media use.
Load a device with several shows before a long car or plane trip to keep kids entertained without Wi-Fi.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Arts: music, painting
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, making conclusions, problem solving
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (Games and a bit of video content are available for free. A subscription ($4.99 per month or $49.99 for a year) unlocks the rest of the content. Subscriptions automatically renew.)
- Release date: April 29, 2014
- Category: Education
- Topics: Dinosaurs, Superheroes, Book Characters, Music and Sing-Along, Trains
- Size: 64.40 MB
- Publisher: Movile Internet Movel S.A.
- Version: 1.3.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.