What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sprout Online is an extension of the PBS Kids Sprout cable channel for preschoolers. Most of the content comes directly from the channel's popular shows, including the videos, but you can upload your own photos and videos here, too. The site is fun and visually notable so that kids won't mind seeing the same stuff online. The games are straightforward enough for most preschoolers to play unassisted after an adult reads the directions to them (though we still recommend sitting with preschoolers at the computer), and there are lots of printables and offline activity ideas like recipes and birthday party ideas.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- letter or word recognition
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
Health & Fitness
- fine motor skills
Engagement, Approach, Support
Entertaining and well done. Young kids will enjoy seeing clips of favorite characters from Sprout plus the Good Night Show and old standards like Barney, Bob the Builder, and Thomas the Train.
Preschoolers like repetition and activities are the right length for requests to "do it again… and again." Game instructions vary, and feedback is limited to cheers for right moves and buzzes for wrong ones, so parents may need to help.
The "Grown-ups" area has videos organized by show (by topic would be better) and games categorized by skill level, type, and show. This area also has recipes, craft ideas, and worksheets to extend the fun and articles with parenting tips.
What's it about?
Sprout Online cleanly separates experiences for parents and kids. The kids', or \"Sproutlets\" section is straightforward; kids click \"games\" to play games, or \"videos\" to watch videos. They can also scroll through portraits of characters to select activities by show. A third option, \"Send to Sprout\" lets registered users submit photos and videos of birthday cards or kids making recipes or crafts, which might be displayed online or on TV. \"Send to Sprout\" games allow kids to personalize their play by inserting personal photos into an activity.
Is it any good?
SPROUT ONLINE's content is entertaining and fairly well done for the preschool set. As the companion website to the 24-hour cable channel PBS Kids Sprout (dedicated to preschool kids ages 2-5), young kids will find many of their favorite Sprout characters on this site. But the real stars are the crew from the Good Night Show, as well as old standards like Barney, Bob the Builder, and Thomas the Train. Most of the site's video content is recycled directly from the channel's popular shows. The games section offers simple, age-appropriate activities from almost all of Sprout's shows. Some of the games link off to other sites (often to PBSKids.org), and most require a bit of reading to get started.
Online interaction: Sprout "Mail" allows you to send and receive messages from people that you put on your family’s contact list.
Families can talk about...