What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Activity TV was completely revamped and now contains only a list of instructional videos (some free and some accessible only to subscribers) that can be accessed online through Comcast's Xfinity TV website. The kid-friendly activity page includes videos on topics like yoga, cartoon drawing, entrepreneurship, hip-hop dance, and more. There's also other video content advertised and accessible from the Activity TV main page that's not for kids, so parents should help kids find the videos that cover topics kids wants to learn. Parents who are Xfinity subscribers can set parental controls on the site, which can make it safer for kids to browse the site on their own. There's no indication if or when the kid-friendly user interface and other kid-centric activities that were once on the website will return.
What's it about?
Parents can help kids browse different topics from Becoming an Entrepreneur to Cartooning & Art. They then click into the series to choose a specific video. For example, under Cartooning & Art there are hundreds of full-length videos as well as numerous video clips from which to choose. Each title and video length is provided. Kids click on the video they want to watch. A key icon indicates if a video is available to subscribers only. Prior to viewing free videos, kids have to watch a public service announcement.
Is it any good?
At the time of this review, ACTIVITY TV has changed from a kid-centric activity site to a simple list of activity videos, some available for free and some only to Xfinity subscribers. The videos range in quality from simple and boring to informative and fun. There's no indication if or when the kid-friendly user interface and other kid-centric activities that were once on Activity TV will return. Many parents may find helpful videos here for their kids who are trying to learn one specific skill, such as a dance or an art technique. But even if kids like the videos, they will likely not find the site visually pleasing or fun.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the public service announcements on this site. Before viewing the free videos, kids must watch these announcements, which look very similar to ads. Ask your kid: How can you tell the difference between a public service announcement and an ad trying to sell you something or create brand loyalty?
Discuss your family's screen time limits with your kids and remind them that watching videos on the computer is the same as watching them on a television.
Help your kids find videos relevant to their interests, whether that be magic tricks, dance, art, and more.
Talk about the difference between the free content and the content only accessible to subscribers, and read Common Sense Media's Selling to Kids parent tip sheet. Ask your kid: Why do you think this site provides some content for free and some just for subscribers?