Kids can watch videos on the go with this easy-to-use app from PBS
PBS has some of the best educational programming on television for children. Now, you can take their videos on the road with the PBS KIDS app. Clips of their favorite shows can be played with the use of a simple interface and favorites can be saved for quick viewing next time you use the app.
When the app worked properly it was a big hit with my two-year-old and four-year-old testers. They both adore the shows on PBS and the programming is hard to find on other video streaming sites. It also required little effort on their parts. Clips played automatically, but if they didn’t like a show, they could finger-tap a character icon to launch a new set of clips.
Reading other feedback from users, it seems as though I experienced some of the same problems. Loading times were lengthy, with a bee fluttering on the screen for several minutes before the video launched. I also received error messages several times that the app could not play because it was unable to connect to the server at PBS KIDS. This can be problematic when you have a two-year-old throwing a tantrum over Elmo not appearing on screen fast enough.
Another possible improvement is close captioning. Many parents have requested this feature along with the option to have subtitles available.
PBS KIDS strive to offer programs to the preschool set that are both fun and educational. Iconic characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Elmo and Curious George are featured on shows that play on PBS. PBS KIDS Video boasts a library of over 1,000 clips of their best programs.
One standout in the line-up is Super Why. This show is a great inclusion if you’re looking for videos to help develop early reading skills. During each episode, Super Why and his friends use a mix of spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary building to solve a problem.
Sid the Science Kid uses fun animation and silly characters to encourage children to increase their interest in nature and other science-themed topics.
Fizzy’s Lunch Lab is only available through online viewing and encourages healthy lifestyles among youngsters. Lessons about proper nutrition and exercise are presented during each episode.
Parents’ guide to shows
When you open the Parents guide in the app menu, parents are able to retrieve information about the show that the child is currently watching. A synopsis of the show is provided along with appropriate ages and educational goals. In the Parents menu, you’ll also find icons to add the video to your favorites menu, email the clip and buy the episode. This is an important things to keep in mind. The videos are merely clips and not full episodes. The clip ends abruptly and the moves on to the next one in the queue.
Although the app is buggy at times, it’s free and features some of your child’s favorite characters. You’ll only be able to view clips, but each clip features the educational theme that is being discussed in the episode.
|Good Point||With character icons, it’s easy for children to navigate through the different videos without assistance.|
|Bad Point||Long load times can be an annoyance.|
|Comment & Tip||By clicking on the “Parents” icon, you can show/hide different video options.|
|App Name||Developer||PBS Kids|
|Price||Free||Latest Update||May 15, 2012|
|Size||4.8 MB||OS||iOS 4.2 or later|
All images from PBS KIDS Video