A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this safe, educational site is based on the PBS show, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. The site encourages children to explore and express their emotions and includes videos and activities to familiarize kids with childhood development experiences like learning to use the bathroom. Kids can read along with a narrator, listen to songs, or play simple games to learn about various topics. Some kids, especially younger ones, may have some trouble with a few of the games that require clicking and dragging. Parent supervision isn't required, but it's encouraged to help kids fully understand the themes being discussed. The site was recently updated to be fully accessible on mobile devices.
What's it about?
Based on the PBS animated show of the same name, DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD is a sweet website that features activities and videos about Daniel's experiences, which can help toddlers and preschoolers learn about and explore relating to other people, feelings, routines, and common experiences such as being a good friend, dealing with disappointment, brushing teeth, eating healthfully, or accepting a new sibling. There's a big emphasis on learning to deal with your feelings and express yourself, and adults are encouraged to play the games with children to help them understand the meaning behind each activity. A separate section for parents helps highlight potential lessons and offers tips to help drive the point home.
Is it any good?
Daniel Tiger knows what's relevant for kids age 2 to 4 and delivers slow-paced videos, simple games, and hands-on activities designed to illustrate getting along with others, establishing a sense of identity, being creative, and other development skills. The site isn't jam-packed with things to do -- the video section seems to have the most items -- but the content is high quality. Adults get clear information about each item's intent including tips for enriching learning both on the kids' site and on a separate site just for parents. A music game in which kids express mood with different kinds of music is an especially interesting and creative way to explore feelings. There aren't many bells and whistles here, yet the stories and activities are appealing and highly relevant for young kids so that they'll likely be so engrossed listening to Daniel read stories or trying things out that they won't even notice they're learning something new.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why a website that doesn't put you in contact with strangers can be a better place to watch videos than a random website. (For more on helping your child find information safely, check out our guide.)
Some episodes of the show center on dealing with feelings. How does your child react when angry or sad? Discuss healthy ways to deal with disappointment and other situations.
One episode is about getting ready to go to school. What questions does your pre-school-aged child have? What things might help your child get excited about being in class?
Play and watch with your kids and discuss the themes that Daniel Tiger introduces using open-ended questions and gentle explanations. For example, new baby on the way? Ask how the older sibling(s)-to-be feel about the impending arrival, what worries they have, and what they're excited about. Share your own feelings to model open discussion.
Read one of the site's virtual storybooks aloud with your kids to practice reading and word recognition
For kids who love preschool learning
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