PBS Launches PBS KIDS PLAY! Internet Service

PBS has launched PBS KIDS PLAY!(SM), its new Internet-based subscription service designed to help children ages 3 to 6 learn through interactive play. Available as a download from http://www.pbskidsplay.org/, PBS KIDS PLAY! has been available as a beta test for the past two months, during which time tens of thousands of families from across the country have tried it. The service is being offered for $9.95 per month or $79 per year, with a free 15-day trial.

PBS KIDS PLAY! uses all-new interactive games and activities to provide a personalized learning experience at home. PBS KIDS(R) characters from programs including CURIOUS GEORGE, FRANNY'S FEET, MAMA MIRABELLE'S HOME MOVIES, MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, and THE BERENSTAIN BEARS keep kids engaged. PBS plans to add more new games and activities based on BOB THE BUILDER, SUPER WHY, THOMAS & FRIENDS, and other programs in 2008. A subscription also includes online access to full-length PBS KIDS television episodes and to new content added every week.

The PBS KIDS PLAY! curriculum includes Math, Science, Literacy, Language Development, Creativity, Healthy Development, and Social Studies. All of the games and activities in PBS KIDS PLAY! are designed to meet nationally recognized educational standards and benchmarks. In one CURIOUS GEORGE game, for example, children use a counterweight to raise and lower George to decorate a huge floor-to-ceiling cake, learning how to measure with a scale. Another example: In MAMA MIRABELLE'S HOME MOVIES, the animals play hide-and- go-seek, giving clues to their hidden location such as "near," "between," or "behind" to help kids learn prepositions.

With a single click, parents can read about the learning objectives and instructions for each game or activity, without exiting the game. PBS KIDS PLAY! also provides an easy-to-use progress chart that helps parents see how each child is advancing through the curriculum. The chart, tailored specifically to each child, includes an indicator of how far the child has progressed in each skill area. It also recommends new activities to try, based on the child's skill level.

PBS KIDS PLAY! requires broadband Internet access and a PC with Windows XP or Vista operating system and mid-range processing power (Pentium 4 or Dual- Core). The service is available for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95, or $79 per year. A free, 15-day trial is available at http://www.pbskidsplay.org/. A credit card is not required for the free trial.