Friday, November 30, 2012

PBS Kids Play!

Recently we have been using PBS Kids Play, a school readiness website that develops preschool and kindergarten skills.  My little guy loves it! 

Within the website there are seven core areas and over 30 skill areas that are put into learning games.  Each game has 3 levels to allow your little ones to progress on their skills. Level 1 is for ages 3 to 4.  Level 2 is for ages 4 to 5.  Level 3 is for ages 5 to 6.  All levels start with a blank Progress Chart which fills in as they go.  The games are interactive and creative and include art, music, drama, construction and more.  There are even printable activities to follow up on skills.  All of the favorite PBS Kids characters, such as Curious George, Bob the BuilderSuper WHY, etc. are in these fun games which grab and hold your child’s attention. This colorful and richly illustrated website has won multiple awards and is available for individual use or classroom use. Take a peek at what you’ll find:

Seven Core Areas which cover 30+ skills areas:

1      Creativity (Art, Invention, Imagination, Music and more)
2      Healthy Development (Emotional and Self Care/Safety)
3      Language Development (Listening, Comprehension, Vocabulary and more)
4      Literacy (Reading, Letters, Phonics, Spelling and others)
5      Mathematics (Addition, Subtraction, Geometry, Measurement, and a lot more)
6      Science (Earth and Space, Life Sciences, Seasons and Weather, and much more)
7      Social Studies (History,  Maps, People and Environment, and a number of others)

Here are a few examples of the types of games you’ll find in some of the categories:

ART  (My son’s favorite category of games)

·        Creativity – Monkey See Monkey Do – Reasoning and Problem Solving – Your child arranges monkeys of different shapes, sizes and colors in formations of varying complexity.
·         Project – Henrietta’s Musical Kitchen – Music – Your child gets to create rhythms using everyday objects.
·         Make a Flake – Art – In this game your child will fold, cut and unfold virtual snowflakes--and learn reflective geometry in the process  (a favorite this time of year)


·         Healthy Development Game – My Journal – Emotional Development – Your child makes a journal about the day and related feelings
·         Mission:  Safety – Self-care and Safety – Your child helps Bob the Builder practice safety rules and the identifying unsafe situations.


·         Rhyme and Reason – Listening Comprehension – Your child listens to clues to put pictures for a bedtime story in the right order
·         Broken Billboards – Sentence Formation – Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends find words that blew off billboards and repair the billboards  (another favorite with my little guy)
·         Savanna Hide and Seek – Vocabulary – Finding animals hidden in the African savanna and practice describing the location with vocabulary words  (my animal nut loves this one too)


Your child can learn Chinese (Mandarin), French, and Spanish.   Each has a core vocabulary of 60 words learned through the Entertainment Immersion Method. – Pim the Panda demonstrates word meaning with pictures.  Your child then uses the vocabulary word or phrase in interactive play. Finally, Pim tests comprehension of the new word through game play.

(That’s just few of the many games available that we’ve checked out!!)

There is even a menu of episodes from PBS KIDS series accessible at the TV Room.  Educational videos consisting of episodes from PBS Kids shows and some online exclusive videos are also used for reinforcement on demand in the TV Room.

I like that parents can monitor the skills being learned by viewing the Progress Chart in the Parents Center.  In the Progress Chart are sections related to different games and skills.  The skills included in the game are listed.  According to your child’s skill completion level you will also find Recommended Games.  This site has a recommendations engine that suggests specific games to develop new skills.  The activities suggested include games, projects and episodes.  Parents and children can find games by going to a character bar or going to the Play Room.  There are also printable activities to do offline to reinforce skills.  I really like that I can let him be on his own for a bit, thinking he’s having fun, while knowing that he’s actually learning.  It’s fun to see your child excited to learn!

So, what does it cost?  
There are a few options:
 $9.95/ month (automatically renewed unless cancelled)
 $49/6 months (does not auto-renew)
 $79/12 months (does not auto-renew)
*There is a free 10 day trial available on the site. 

If you’re even a little bit interested I would encourage you to at least try the trial period.  Have fun playing and learning!

“Disclosure of Material Connection:  As a member of the Homeschool Mosaics team I received the product/service mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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