The Bottom Line
PBS Kids is a colorful and musical collection of websites based on favorite TV shows such as Clifford the Big Red Dog, Teletubbies, Reading Rainbow, and Sesame Street. Kids will enjoy seeing their favorite characters online, playing games with them, and singing along with the theme songs.
PBS Kids earns 4.5 stars for fun, educational and commercial-free activities. It loses half a star for the lack of “press any key” games for toddlers and for the number of plugins necessary to enjoy the activities.
- Colorful, musical and fun
- Lots of songs, stories, pictures and movies from favorite PBS shows
- Plenty of activities that appeal to different ages
- No ads
- No keyboard activities for young toddlers (mouse only)
- Requires several plug-ins to listen to music, movies, etc.
- A family of web sites based on PBS childrens' series.
- Games, music, stories, and other fun surprises based on PBS characters.
- Sites that appeal to infants through preschool.
Guide Review - PBS Kids Online
Each of the PBS Kids sites has a number of activities, typically including games, stories, music, and coloring pages. The navigation is simple, although fans of such shows as Barney and Teletubbies will probably need a lot of help getting around. Each show has its own website with a distinct color scheme and design, but there is a common icon on each page to help visitors return to the main PBS Kids page.
The games vary from show to show, but include a nice range of sports, puzzles, word games, and simple click-the-mouse game for toddlers. Although there are plenty of activities for all of the age groups the shows appeal to, almost all of the games require the ability to click the mouse. In fact, most require kids to be able to point-and-click. You should determine whether your toddler will enjoy the visual and audio appeal of the site without needing to control the mouse.
Parents who do not want to spend a lot of time online will especially appreciate the printable coloring pages. Simply find your kids’ favorite show, and you can print out activity pages and coloring sheets for offline play. There are paper dolls, masks, games and other fun printable sheets as well.
Before heading to PBS Kids with children, parents should visit the site and look around. While this is always good advice, the website requires a number of plugins in order to listen to music, watch videos, and play games. They are relatively simple to install, but it does take some time. Visit the “Technical Tips” in the Help section to find out what you should look for.
While there are some things they could do to make this site a more pleasurable experience for parents, the pros far outweigh the cons. This is a great site to enjoy with your children and you can expect hours of entertainment as they grow through the PBS shows.