Supporting Children’s Learning Outside the iPad: PBS Parents Play and Learn

There is no doubt that there are many educational apps on the market nowadays. But while having such fantastic helpers on our fingertips is convenient, ultimately it is our responsibility as parents to make sure that our kids get the learning experience they need. Aiming to help with this goal is PBS Parents Play and Learn.

Feed the animal with the food that rhymes with its name.PBS Parents Play and Learn is a unique app made for parents to play together with their children

Let’s Play and Learn

PBS Play and Learn is a unique app that was designed specifically for parents to use with their babies to preschool-aged kids. It is divided into 13 sections that are themed around settings that parents and their children are familiar with, like bath time, the zoo, the grocery store, or in a car. Each section contains a game for developing basic math and literacy skills, plus a set of suggestions for real world activities to further maximize the learning process.

To select a game or an activity, scroll through the list of sections and tap on the one you want. Then, select a game or an activity. The activities are labeled and ordered by age range (baby, toddler, or preschooler) to help you choose the ones that are appropriate for your kids.

When you select a game, you can also choose to play in Easy or Hard mode. The Easy mode is obviously simpler, and usually deals with one topic at a time. On the other hand, the Hard mode may mix several topics to provide a more challenging problem.

To give you an idea of the activities that you can find in the app, I’m going to describe the Bath Time section. Here, the included game allows kids to practice both basic geometry and writing skills by drawing on the foggy bathroom mirror. The Easy mode requires you to trace shapes like triangles and rectangles, while the Hard mode introduces uppercase letters.

As for the activities, the app suggests that parents sing songs while bathing their babies to introduce them to different parts of the body. With toddlers, parents can introduce them to volumes by filling and emptying various containers with bath water. Finally, parents can also invite preschoolers to create boats using different materials found around the house.

Finally, the app also includes a free-play sticker area where parents and their juniors can compose a lively scene using a multitude of stickers available.

Count the E’s in CHEESE.The games that are themed around locations that parents and children are familiar with

Parents Need to Know

It should be noted that while PBS Parents Play and Learn provides games for children, it is intended to be used together by the parents and the children. In fact, the app encourages parents be actively involved through the games and the activities.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the app has 13 sections filled with games and activities. There are already more than 50 hands-on activities included, and the app also sends weekly push notifications with more ideas for parents.

For bilingual families, PBS Parents Play and Learn is available in both English and Spanish.

Put the right shapes into the machine.There are 13 games in total to develop basic math skills and early literacy

Things I Like

PBS Parents Play and Learn is a great app. I like how the app works together with the parents to create the best learning experience for kids. This gives the app a unique value in my eyes.

Content-wise, the app is solid. The games are colorful, educational, and overall well-designed. One of my favorite games is the one in the Restaurant, where you are asked to serve your animal customers with dishes that rhyme with their names; for example: a slice of pie for the fly. This is a really clever way to engage juniors to learn.

As for the suggested activities, I think they are wonderful for encouraging parents to communicate with their children. They are also easy enough and take little time to do. Some of them may sound a bit awkward at first (like showing your baby the things you take from the aisle while grocery shopping and saying their names), but with a bit of practice, you should be able to do them routinely in no time.

Choose the right activity for your children.Each game comes with suggestions for real world activities to do together by parents and children


PBS Parents Play and Learn is a terrific app for parents who are looking for ways to be more actively involved in their children’s learning process. It also helps juniors connect the skills they learned in the app to everyday experiences. Furthermore, it’s available for free with no in-app purchases, so I wouldn’t wait to download it if I were you.

Get PBS Parents Play and Learn on the App Store.

Thank you to PBS KIDS for providing us with the app!