PBSKids.org

Common Sense Media says

Simple and safe; a great first site for preschoolers.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

Common Sense Media Award

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Basic preschool-style friendship, kindness, happiness messages here.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Small ads by sponsors, such as Cuties Mandarins, on some pages. Some popular show characters are featured on commercial products, but none is directly promoted on or sold through this site. Parents and educators may come across information on the site for the subscription-based PBS Kids Play website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that PBSKids.org is a simple, safe first online experience for preschoolers. Kids who are learning basic skills and already know many of the characters featured here from popular PBS shows such as Sesame Street and Curious George will enjoy playing games with their television friends. We don't recommend preschoolers surf around on the Internet, so make sure they stay on this site by sitting right next to them and helping them learn safe and fun online skills. Sponsorship ads do appear here, but they're relatively unobtrusive compared to some other kids' sites with more prominent ads. You also can monitor your kids' activities and receive updates with the site's corresponding mobile app for parents, PBS Kids Super Vision.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • counting
  • grouping
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • sequences
  • shapes

Science

  • animals
  • plants

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically
  • applying information
  • deduction

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • personal growth
  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Videos and interactive games feature popular PBS characters. Parents also can print out things for kids to do, and because most instructions are spoken, not written, kids don't need to rely on an adult to show them how to do everything.

Learning Approach

Kids can find out about and practice a number of language, science, and other concepts. They'll get some basic reading and math experience, ranging from angles to patterns; other activities encourage kids to find lost objects using logic and complete timed challenges. 

 

Support

An extensive parents section includes child-development information, broken down by age group, online educational activity resources, parenting, and other tips.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • vocabulary
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Math

  • counting
  • grouping
  • numbers
  • patterns
  • sequences
  • shapes

Science

  • animals
  • plants

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • solving puzzles
  • thinking critically
  • applying information
  • deduction

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • personal growth
  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Kids can learn about basic concepts such as colors, identifying objects, and patterns and more advanced fare, such as Spanish. Arts-and-crafts projects can help them express their creativity; other games and activities help kids learn about animals and science, critical thinking, logic, and other concepts. Kids also will practice reading skills by hearing characters read game names out loud. The site activities are generally great, but their educational purpose isn't always immediately clear. Including a brief description with each item that lists the skills kids will learn would help parents choose the best things to do. PBSKids.org uses familiar, friendly characters to help preschoolers learn key concepts.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

PBSKIDS.ORG, designed for kids 4 and up, is the home base for all of PBS Kids’ offerings. The site features games, videos, and other activities that center on popular PBS live-action and animated show characters such as Noah and Thomas. Rotate the show wheel to choose your favorite character, and you'll be taken directly to their page; you also can browse the site by video or game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This educational site for preschoolers shows what PBS does best: provide basic lessons involving favorite PBS TV characters in an easy-to-use format with voice-over instructions. Organized by show, including Caillou and Arthur, there's much to do here, including watching videos, playing games, and printing out activities to do offline. With your help, your kids can play games based on a favorite character, or you can choose certain skills for them to work on, such as letters, numbers, shapes, or even Spanish. When your child outgrows this site, move on up to PBS Kids Go.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about all the skills preschoolers learn every day. Even figuring out how to operate the computer mouse is a milestone. Whether it's by watching Sesame Street on television, playing a game online, coloring at preschool, or playing their own make-believe games at home, there are so many ways for young children to grow. 

  • Even the youngest computer users can get used to the idea of computer time limits. Explain to your child why you're setting limits for them and why you want to sit with them while they're first learning how to navigate even a very safe website such as this one.

Website details

This review of PBSKids.org was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byvolleyball_girly13 June 17, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Odd Squad needs to go!

My children are now 12 & 13 and they like to watch PBS Kids at their grandparents house during the summer. Recently PBS has made a new show called 'Odd Squad' to I guess, replace 'Word Girl.' My kids loved that show (Word Girl)because it helped them with their vocabulary and they love the ridiculous villians in it. But now they can't watch it because they have replaced it with 'Odd Squad' and my children absolutely dislike that show and suggest that PBS take it off immediately or as soon as possible and put 'Word Girl' back on. My children love just about all the other shows like 'Dinasour Train', 'Curious George', 'Arthur', & 'Wild Kratts'. If you can, could you guys maybe switch 'Odd Squad' to air at a different time and put 'Word Girl' back on. That would mean the world to them. Thank you!
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old September 3, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

colville

i love it because it is fun and cool!!!
Kid, 12 years old August 11, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Great but keep an eye on younger kids

Very fun I love it BUT I don't recommend it be unsupervised for kids 8 and under because they do have a site for older kids that talks about puberty and such. But that site is great for kids my age (:

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