Disclosure: I was invited to an event put on by PBS Kids and WGBH Boston. I did receive a gift bag, though I’m going to giveaway some of the contents to a lucky reader…
Maybe there are people out there who have never given their phone to their child to keep them quiet. I applaud you all. But for the rest of us, well, it happens. And we want to have a “safe” source for games and apps to keep them from wandering through the Wild West that is Youtube.
We need technology for our kids. Our kids want to have fun. And thank goodness PBS Kids means I have programs I can give them where I don’t worry about frying their brains.
Graham and I went to an event by PBS Kids to talk about some of their new apps and games. They want to tie in the shows and characters kids enjoy to appropriate learning content for their age group. In particular they want to boost math performance by helping parents at home.
I’m not trained in child development. I have no idea what my kid is supposed to be learning about at particular ages and how best to teach it to them. An app designed by people who have studied the way kids learn best is exactly what I need.
So obviously you have your tv guides and your app stores to find stuff for your kids. What you may not know about is the PBS Kids Lab, funded by an educational grant to help teach kids. The lab has resources you can use on a computer or mobile device. (I recommend hitting the “All Games” link and searching by age.)
These really are age-appropriate games. Graham tried out one of the offerings for younger kids: Bubble Pop with Curious George. This is a counting game that uses your microphone so a child can clap or speak to pop a bubble.
Another one Graham enjoyed is Meerkat Jubilee from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! It’s a path-building game that wasn’t too advanced for little kiddos. It gives them choices for which piece to use along the way in a trail from start to finish. Good for kids who aren’t quite ready for mazes yet.
A Mobile app Graham enjoyed was Classic in the Jurassic from Dinosaur Train. It had bridges. Graham loves bridges. I had a hard time getting him away from it.
My personal favorite for the little ones is the Play and Learn app, which is free. And it’s really for PARENTS as much as for kids. (Some apps are paid, others are free. Everything in the lab is free.) What I love about this is that it’s an app that you can use for no-screen activities for those of you who may try to avoid passing off the tech to entertain the littles. It’s also based around places you normally go. So say you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. You pull up the app on your phone, hit grocery store, and there you have a short game your child can play plus a list of activities divided by your child’s age. From everything to how to talk to your baby about what they see around them to having your toddler learn words at the checkout to rhyming and measuring games for preschoolers.
If you’re one of those parents who tries to avoid the screen for your kid if at all possible, this app is a great way for you to keep your kid engaged when you are feeling a little low on creativity. (Or patience.)
Definitely take a look at what’s available in the lab and search PBS Kids in the app store to find more for your tablet or phone. I am definitely going to be recommending some of these apps to my son’s teacher. I think these are the kinds of apps they’d love for the pre-K kids that can also tie in to at-home learning.
And don’t worry, there are also plenty of games and apps for kids age 6-8 with shows like Wild Kratts and Martha Speaks.
PBS Kids was generous enough to give us redemption codes for some of their paid apps and I couldn’t keep them all to myself. (Though Graham insisted on the Dinosaur Train All Aboard app. Sorry.)
I’m giving away redemption codes for the following apps:
- Martha Speaks Story Maker for iPhone
- Dinosaur Train Camera Catch! for iPhone
- Martha Speaks Word Spinner for iPad
- Cyberchase 3D Builder for iPad
- Wild Kratts Creature Math for iPad
Receive one entry by leaving 1 comment about your child’s favorite PBS Kids show or character.
Official Rules: No purchase necessary. By leaving a comment you agree to the rules of this giveaway. Up to one entry per household according to the directions set out in this post. Limited to entrants over 18 in the United States. Contest begins as of the time of this post and ends on Wednesday, May 1st at 6 pm Eastern Time. One winner will be chosen. The winner will receive the aforementioned app codes. Prize has value of approximately $10. The number of eligible entries received will determine the odds of winning. The winner will be selected using the “And the Winner Is” plugin. Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours to receive their prize. If a winner does not respond within that time, a new winner will be chosen. The prize will be provided by Don’t Mind the Mess, codes will be distributed via email. This contest is governed by the rules of Massachusetts, void where prohibited.