Want personalized picks that fit your family?

Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.

Get age-based picks


Website review by
Heidi Kotansky, Common Sense Media
PBS KIDS PLAY! Website Poster Image

Product no longer available

Educational site entertains and teaches.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn an array of math, literacy, self-care, science, and social studies skills. Game topics align with the theme of each featured PBS Kids show (for example, Super Why! games are about the power of reading). They can also learn about screen time limits; the site comes with an internal timer for parents to set that freezes play and asks for a password to continue. PBS KIDS PLAY! is a fun, welcoming environment with something instructive or creative embedded in every activity. 

Positive Messages

Kids are given positive reinforcement each time they graduate to the next level in a game and get a "reward" that they can keep in their treasure box. Even if they don't advance, they get a star for trying.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Subscriptions are $9.95 a month or $79 annually, with a 15-day free trial period. There's also an obvious tie-in to PBS and its characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byalexander matias June 21, 2009
Parent of a 3 year old Written byeyrieowl January 1, 2010

excellent educational resource for 3+

I think this is pretty wonderful. Yes, it's not free, but I hardly think that promotes consumerism. The fact that I'm paying for it is completely no... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjonnypants23 April 9, 2008

Good website for toddlers.

My brother plays this website and he relly likes it.
Teen, 15 years old Written bygangsta_babi69x April 9, 2008

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 ...

  • Families can talk about what age is right to use a computer and what are healthy computer habits to get into.

  • They can also explore why kids like to play games with favorite TV characters.

Website details

  • 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

For kids who love preschool learning

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate