By Amanda Bindel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun streaming classics and new faves require cable login.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn vocabulary, get familiar with preschool concepts, and develop social skills through watching the preschool-oriented programming. Some kids absorb the information they see and hear in televisions programs, but the experience can be mind-numbing for other kids. Parents can help the educational experience by engaging kids in conversation and real-world experiences to support what kids are watching. Not all the content is educational, but parents will find lots of teachable moments in the shows on Sprout Now.
Ease of Play
Kids can navigate easily, starting shows, pausing, and picking up where they left off.
Products & Purchases
Some shows have some cross-marketing of products, books, and other apps.
Parents Need to Know
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Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
Using SPROUT NOW, browse shows by image and title, search by keyword, or choose a featured program. From there, kids can choose the episode they want to watch or add the show to a watch list, where shows they've marked or started watching but not yet finished show up. Kids can also watch live Sprout programming on the device. Parents will have to sign in with their television service provider information, but three episodes are available without a log-in. In the settings, parents can choose to allow videos to play over cellular data and to sync the watch list over iCloud.
Is It Any Good?
The interface for streaming preschool-friendly shows -- originals and classics -- is intuitive for even the youngest viewers but lacks parental controls for setting screen-time limits. The dozens of programs include classics such as Madeline, The Adventures of Paddington Bear, and the Berenstain Bears as well as new favorites such as LazyTown, Caillou, and The Chica Show. There's a small dose of diversity in the offerings, but it'd be nice to see even more. Though kids can navigate on their own, parents don't have controls to limit the number of episodes or length of time kids watch, which would be a handy feature.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about using screens in balance with other activities and establish clear expectations for kids about when, where, and how long it's OK to watch programs. It may be helpful to talk to young kids in terms of how many episodes they should watch in one sitting.
Watch a program with your child occasionally to discuss the characters and what is happening. Educational programming is most effective when kids can talk about what they've watched.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, Math: counting, numbers, Science: astronomy, biology, ecosystems and the environment
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community, integrity, Health & Fitness: balanced diet, movement
- Pricing structure: Free (requires cable service provider to log in)
- Release date: October 21, 2015
- Category: Entertainment
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Puppets, Space and Aliens
- Publisher: NBC Universal, Inc.
- Version: 3.2.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.1 or later; Androis 4.1 and up
- Last updated: July 27, 2016
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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