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 non-commercial site suits a range of developmental ages. Kids don't need to know how to read: All of the instructions are said in voice-over. For the youngest kids, there's shape and color identification. Older kids get early reading and arithmetic skill readiness. The activities adapt based on a kid's progress, so kids don't get stuck playing the same game over and over. Also, there are time-out features so kids don't overdo it (we don't recommend preschoolers surf without parents). Subscriptions are $9.95 a month, $49 for six months, or $79 annually after an initial free incentive period.
What's it about?
PBS KIDS PLAY! is an educational hangout for kids age 3-6 that uses PBS TV characters (Curious George, Mama Mirabelle, The Berenstain Bears, and more) to teach. Through the multi-leveled games, kids can learn a number of age-specific things. There's also a place to customize their room and collect their favorite things around the sites. Parents have to pay a monthly or annual fee.
Is it any good?
PBS KIDS PLAY! benefits kids and parents -- kids obviously learn things and parents can get reports of their kid's progress, set a computer time limit, and easily get information about the learning goals for each game. Yes, it's easy for a kid to get hooked on the cheery site but that's OK in this case: The bold colors, friendly environments, and familiar cartoon faces all make learning fun. And what kids learn -- from matching ingredients in a recipe to identifying objects by color to basic computer and mousing skills -- are all age-appropriate. The limited amount of games is the site's biggest drawback, but updates happen every week so the amount of things to do will increase. The best part: The site keeps track of a kid's progress, and games have three levels; each teaches kids more advanced concepts.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Subjects: Science: animals, plants
Social Studies: cultural understanding, geography, global awareness
Math: arithmetic, counting, measurement, numbers, patterns
Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, reading, spelling, vocabulary
Arts: music, rhythm
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, prediction, problem solving
Emotional Development: identifying emotions, labeling feelings, perspective taking
Creativity: making new creations
- Genre: Educational
- Price: $9.95/month-$79/year
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love preschool learning
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.