Sprout Online

Common Sense Media says

Videos, activities for preschool fans of TV channel's shows.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In the games, activities, and videos there are positive messages about the importance of family, developing a love of learning, and healthy eating. Also, there are lots of activities here to print out and color or create by hand, sending the message to kids that they can have just as much fun offline.

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

The site runs ads and promotes PBS shows and characters -- many of which, like Bob the Builder, have become pretty commercialized.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

To register on this site, parents must provide their own date of birth, full name, email, and full mailing address. There are two boxes to uncheck if you don't want to receive email and snail mail from PBS Sprout and their advertising partners. If you sign up for your child's birthday email it "may be announced during Sprout television programming or on SproutOnline.com and you may receive a birthday message to share with your child via email, this website, or postal mail." Your child’s first name and birth date information that you provide on the registration page will not be shared with third parties for any other purpose. Parents can create a password-protected area for their kids' artwork created on the site that only they can see, choose whether or not they want their child's birthday to be recognized publicly, and add people to their contacts list to allow communication with them via Sprout Mail.

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

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling

Math

  • numbers
  • counting

Arts

  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • imagination

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling
  • letter or word recognition
  • spelling

Math

  • numbers
  • counting

Arts

  • music

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles

Creativity

  • imagination

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Kids can learn developmental preschool skills like counting, storytelling, solving puzzles, self-expression, and fine motor skills as they watch videos and play games tied to PBS Kids Sprout television programming.  Games that target specific skills are helpfully organized by type in a parents' area. Preschoolers will have endless fun with their favorite TV characters, but games need more substance so that kids' learning sticks.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michelle Kitt

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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...

  • Families can talk about setting computer time limits so kids, especially in the preschool years, don't spend too much time online.

  • Families can talk about Internet safety so even the youngest kids start becoming aware of good online behavior.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Sprout Online was written by

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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Teen, 14 years old Written bymz.pooh April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 13 years old Written byjrusb2211 April 8, 2015
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

chica is awasome

i love it when my brother is watching it
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 9 years old March 1, 2014
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

The greatEST website EVR!

I love this website that I can't stop playing on it. 1. Play for kids! 2. Go to this website: www.SproutOnline.com 3. Go to this email address: Kylene@TheRealToothFairies.com 4. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns

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