By Dana Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Videos and activities are fun, accurate, and valuable.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
From gravity to famous scientists and cell phones to soccer, BrainPop helps kids learn through videos, games, and quizzes. Kids can also use their critical thinking skills to make connections between topics in the same and in different subject areas, helping kids build the concept that most learning, if not all, is interconnected.
Videos cover topics and historical figures from a range of cultures, religions, and perspectives. The explanations of complex issues are often presented in a balanced way, even if sometimes they stay somewhat superficial. Categories and videos include women's history, slavery, native america, AAPI heritage, Black history, the Kenyan activist Wangari Maathai, and the Hindu festival Diwali. However, despite the inclusion of diverse voices, overall, the video library still seems to be more heavily weighted towards traditionally over-represented topics that focus on White or European men and other such culturally-related topics. Also of the two animated hosts who narrate all the videos, one is a white male and the other is a robot.
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Violence & Scariness
The U.S. History section contains some very serious war- and terrorism-related topics, including the American Revolution, Civil War, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the September 11, 2001 attacks. For example, in the lesson related to the September 11 terrorism attacks, an animated video of an airplane crashing into a building is shown, as well as the Twin Towers collapsing. Message before playing the videos explains: "This movie contains a sensitive subject. Please watch this movie with an adult, and take time to discuss it."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The Health section contains videos that discuss topics such as puberty, male and female reproductive organs, fetal development, and motherhood in careful, educational ways.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
BrainPOP is $129.00 per year and $119.00 for BrainPOP Jr. per year. For access to both BrainPOP and BrainPop Jr., the price is $159.00 per year. Homeschooling families, schools, and other organizations have different pricing.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lessons and videos that address smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs, and general addictive behavior all contain the messages that using addictive substances is dangerous and isn't healthy or cool.
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Parents Need to Know
Videos and Photos
Based on 16 parent reviews
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What’s It About?
Check out BRAIN POP'S daily featured topic before deciding whether to subscribe. Kids start by watching the few minutes-long video for an overview, then choose from a wide variety of enrichment activities such as quizzes, making concept maps, downloading a printable worksheet, creating a movie, or using code to show off what they've learned. Content is organized by theme such as science, social studies, English, math, Arts and Music, Health and SEL, Engineering and Tech, or New and Trending. Each theme has units (e.g., scientific inquiry) and is further broken down by topic (e.g., computational thinking). The games section within the topics offers unique games that explore concepts in math, science, health, technology, and more.
Is It Any Good?
This resource is a standard-bearer for quality, self-directed online educational content for older grade school-age kids. BrainPOP includes videos, audio prompts, graphics, games, and use-what-you-learned activities in a blended format that will be very familiar to most kids. Kids can spend hours on this site exploring many of the main topics that contain more sub-categories, like the science and math sections. There are some sensitive topics addressed here, such as war and terrorism, but kids are warned to get a parent or teacher to watch that video with them prior to clicking play. There's more than enough content here to keep kids busy, engaged, and learning for a long time.
Most games are clever, creative, and address learning concepts not traditionally explored in this format, such as the Judicial Court where kids argue court cases at the Supreme Court. Many topics also offer kids the opportunity to use what they've learned to create something from simple organizational tools like concept map creators, to more complex tools like videos and games kids create with a movie maker or through coding. All these activities offer kids a really nice and unique way to actively engage deeply with the subject matter.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about any of the videos on BrainPop that pique your kid's interest, but especially those that are emotionally or intellectually challenging, such as those that address difficult times in history like war and terrorism, social problems, as well as personal health topics that contain warnings about smoking cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol use, or the social emotional learning topics such as managing stress.
Talk about the different ways of learning. Do you remember more when you have an activity to do after watching a related video?
Families can also talk about other educational sites that benefit learning and where to find reliable information online.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, storytelling, text analysis, vocabulary, writing, Math: algebra, arithmetic, geometry, measurement, probability, ratio, Science: astronomy, biology, ecosystems and the environment, energy, gravity, life cycle, motion, Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, events, government, historical figures, history, the economy, Arts: dance, drawing, film, music, painting, photography, sculpture
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, making conclusions, part-whole relationships, thinking critically, Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment, Emotional Development: handling stress, identifying emotions, Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression, Tech Skills: coding, digital creation, Health & Fitness: balanced diet, mental health, movement
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: STEM, Great Girl Role Models, History, Science and Nature
- Pricing structure: Free to try (Plans start at $129 yearly or $15.95/monthly. 2-week free trial available.)
- Last updated: May 4, 2023
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.
Suggest an Update
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