The folks over at PBS KIDS have just launched PBS Parents Play & Learn, their first app designed specifically for parents to help them build early math and literacy skills for children 4 and under. The bilingual (English/Spanish) app breaks activities into three stages – baby, toddler and preschool – with 13 games and 52 hands-on activities for parents and kids to enjoy together.
- Key math skills introduced include counting, shape recognition and vocabulary, spatial awareness, measurement, mapping, estimation and more.
- Key literacy skills introduced include letter recognition, phoneme recognition, color recognition, print conventions, rhyming, following verbal directions and more.
- 13 interactive games for 3- and 4-year-olds themed around a location or activity relevant to a child’s everyday life (e.g. grocery store, restaurant, bath time, in the car, playtime, etc.).
- 52 hands-on activities (4 per location) designed to provide parents with easy ways to take advantage of those learning moments that arise every day, whether at home, in a car or bus, or at a destination such as a restaurant, grocery store or library.
- Parent notes accompanying each game provide parents with information about the skills their kids will practice while playing the game, parent engagement tips to maximize a child’s learning potential while playing the game and ideas for extending the learning into the real world.
- A free-play sticker area where kids can click and drag any of 83 stickers into a landscape to create their own scenes. The sticker area also provides parent-child engagement opportunities.
- Completely bilingual, all the text and the voice narration in the app are in both English and Spanish. The app defaults to the language setting of the phone or tablet, but a click of a button allows users to toggle easily between languages at any time.
- Push notifications, which parents can opt to receive, provide additional tips three times per week.
The PBS Parents Play & Learn App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. The app is also available for Android phones and tablets, including NOOK® HD and NOOK® HD+, Kindle Fire HD 7 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9. To get the FREE DOWNLOAD for your device, visit http://pbskids.org/mobile/pbs-parents-play–learn.html
The PBS Parents Play & Learn app is part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, an early learning project of PBS KIDS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support the development of early math and literacy skills in children ages 2-8, especially those from low-income families. In addition to Ready To Learn funds, PBS Parents Play & Learn also received funding from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a collaboration of foundations, national nonprofits, states and communities that aims to help children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.