Other Choices: Yo Gabba Gabba!, SesameStreet.org, PBS KIDS Lab
Education: Kids can practice word skills, learn about science, and more.
Synopsis: Games and activities with a strong educational focus.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that educational consultants helped create the site, which is sponsored by an Ontario-based kids' TV show. Featuring dozens of learning-based games and activities for kids 11 and under, TVO Kids offers a safe experience -- and emphasizes that learning can be fun.
- Families can talk about why a safe site like TVO Kids -- which doesn't put you in contact with strangers -- can be a better place to find information than a general Internet browser. How can you tell if a site is an OK information source? (Find out more in our safe searching guide.)
- Does your child have a favorite subject in school -- and a least favorite? Try some of the activities based on both and talk about how games and other site activities might make lesser-loved topics more fun.
- Some site activities explain what recess and other parts of the school day involve to get younger kids ready to start school. What questions does your child have about starting school? What things might help build excitement about it?
What's the story?
TVO KIDS, based on a Canadian children's show, is packed with educational activities for kids age 2 to 11. The content is based on Ontario's school curriculum but mostly matches what U.S. kids are covering in class. They can play word, math, or other games or watch show clips. Kids can also email recipes, drawings, jokes, and craft projects to be shared on the site. Almost every element includes a lesson on a school-friendly topic; the site also touches on being polite, what kids need to know when about starting school, and other areas.
Is it any good?
TVO KIDS is based on an educational Canadian TV show -- but you won't find excessive plugs for the program on the site. The content includes dozens of fun, creative games and activities that reinforce school curriculum topics like math, science, health, art, and music. Activities are offered for kids age 2 to 5 and 6 to 11 and can range from a bowling game with info about the constellations to a maze that helps teach users about the five senses. With an impressive amount of engaging, clever games, short videos, a homework help section, and contests that reward kids for donating food locally or solving math problems, TVO Kids offers grade-schoolers a fun way to find out more about what they're learning in school -- without parents having to worry about their safety.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Young kids can watch videos to prepare them to start school. Other games and activities have been designed to ignite an interest in education; some sections deal with manners and being polite.
Educational Value: Kids can practice word skills, learn about science, and more.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Not an issue
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: The site may be meant to promote a TV show, but there are surprisingly few plugs for it -- and it's essentially product-free.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue