Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Ele Website Poster Image
Organized, info-packed resource a gift for pre-K parents.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn a variety of early education skills. Activities illustrate key principles such as literacy (which is reinforced through talking and singing), helping kids understand about the alphabet, writing, how kids interact and deal with feelings, and lots of other topics. Some videos discuss artistic endeavors, such as painting; kids also can learn about counting, understanding nature, and other science and math concepts. Ele offers an admirable amount of pre-K educational content in several accessible formats and makes it easy for parents to learn how to present key concepts in ways kids should enjoy -- so the entire family can participate in the learning process.

Positive Messages

Site content encourages kids to enjoy learning about new things -- and shows parents how to help them do it. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Message board posts are on-topic and swear-free.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ele (part of the Fred Rogers Center) is a resource featuring activities, videos, and learning content for pre-K kids. You'll need to register for the site to create favorite activity lists and share them with other users. However, you don't need to register to access most site activities, which are free. Registration involves entering a username, a first and last name, an email address, and a password, as well as how many kids you have and their ages.

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What's it about?

The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment -- or ELE -- offers digital resources that families, educators, and others who work with children can use as learning tools for kids who are five or younger. Activities range from songs to games, electronic books, and videos and are designed to help kids learn about listening and talking, reading, writing, science and math, the arts, and interacting with other kids. For example, the video "I Feel Frustrated" features real kids talking about what frustration feels like in their bodies; parents then can refer to the "Talk About It" tab for questions to ask and find out "Why It's Important" on another. Parents also can create playlists of their favorite activities and share them with each on the site.

Is it any good?

Ele is easy to figure out; it's filled with quality activities and information; and it's impressively detailed -- in short, it's a helpful, well-designed website. Appropriate materials are easy to find because parents can sort activity options by age, intended skill (such as reading or writing), or media type, which lets them use videos or other items they think will best resonate with their child. Each activity includes a brief description of what kids will learn, which also can​ help parents customize a learning program for their children. User reviews help parents​ identify how they can utilize each lesson; and they can save of-interest activities to a playlist for further reference.

The mostly interactive activities are creative and entertaining -- and, best of all, many of the games, ebooks, and other items, culled from sources such as the National Center for Family Literacy and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, feature activities parents and kids can do together. Ele can be a great way to help kids get ready to start school, combining learning, some adult instruction, and ample amounts of family fun time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss setting limits on the time you spend online. How much time each day should you spend online -- even if you're using an educational site?

  • Starting school can be an emotional endeavor. Start preparing your kids now by talking about what kindergarten will be like and trying to build excitement for their first day of school.

  • Do your kids like to read about new places, or animals, or other subjects? Learn more about what they love together by conducting research online or at your local library.

Website details

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For kids who love learning

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