Monday, November 7, 2011

The Day I Re-discovered PBS Kids

Allowing kids (supervised!) free play on the computer, whether it be locally on your hard drive or online can be a great way to add some excitement to their learning at home. Sometimes I work some of the games or activities I find for mine to do online into my (self-designed) curriculum to help reinforce something I'm teaching them or to get at the subject from a new, more interesting angle, so that it becomes a joy to learn. Enter: PBS Kids Lab.

Sketch-A-Mite demo on the interactive whiteboard
At a recent blogger event hosted by PBS I was turned on to some of the new things they have to offer. My kids are die-hard NickJr. fans so this was a totally new experience for me and I'm positively sure I was the only one in the room looking around like, "What? Super-Who??" It sure felt like it.

Well, when I left there, like a programmed robot, I began campaigning immediately for my kids to do the switch-over, or at least add the PBS Kids Lab web site into their repertoire. 

To my satisfaction, they were wholly compliant. Not that PBS has made it hard for them to be that way. The games are fun, engaging and some of them- with the right tools and electronics-are cutting-edge. Yes, PBS.

More Sketch-A-Mite, having fun with it!
To say I'm impressed with the new technology they've come out with to help kids (ages 2-8) play AND learn is likely the understatement of the year. I've been way out of touch but they've brought me back into the fold with their ingenious augmented-reality (squee!! = pure excitement) iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch apps (coming soon), games that are designed to be used with an interactive whiteboard in classrooms, and computer games that require a web cam and function very much like the games available for use with something like the Xbox Kinect. They pretty much made a believer out of me in one afternoon.

There's just too much opportunity and not enough room for me to gush over the goodness of it all in one post, so it's better that you see it for yourself. When you have a chance, give your kids a breather from the norm and check it out. You won't be disappointed.

PBS Kids Lab can be found on Twitter at #PBSKidsLab or @pbskids, and online at   
Especially great for homeschoolers: and         
The official press release is here.

BN: I have not been paid to promote any of the products or games mentioned above. I'm just an honest-to-goodness Mom who loves good, old fashioned learning, no matter what form it takes;^)

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