Posted by PBS Publicity on

PBS KIDS PLAY! delivers a continually expanding set of interactive
learning games and activities - personalized for the individual child -
right to the family PC

ARLINGTON, VA, MARCH 18, 2008 - PBS announced today the launch of 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 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' 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.

"Parents trust PBS KIDS to provide innovative media experiences that nurture curiosity and inspire their children to explore the world in age-appropriate ways," said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, PBS KIDS. "PBS KIDS PLAY! turns the family PC into a powerful learning tool for young children with engaging, educational games and activities that adapt and grow with each child's needs."

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.

"One of the unique aspects of PBS KIDS PLAY! is that it personalizes learning, with games that adapt to the individual child," commented Ben Grimley, Senior Director of Interactive Businesses at PBS. "Each game has three levels of play - and that keeps little learners of different ages and stages fully engaged."

Other PBS KIDS PLAY! features:

  • PBS KIDS PLAY! is a safe desktop environment that runs full-screen and does not allow sharing of personal information or any communications among users.
  • Parents can pre-set a timer to enforce breaks and limit their child's time on the computer.
  • The learning games adapt to each child based on his or her individual progress, unlocking exciting new content as the child advances.
  • PBS KIDS characters suggest games and activities appropriate to the child's skill level in order to keep kids challenged and engaged.
  • Children can save and edit creative projects, such as drawings and musical compositions.
  • PBS KIDS PLAY! streams selected PBS KIDS television episodes on demand inside of a child-friendly Flash player.
  • Text-free navigation enables pre-readers to navigate PBS KIDS PLAY!.
  • A personal "favorites" list, showing thumbnail images of each activity, makes it easy to bookmark activities and find them later. Parents can also view recently-played activities.
  • Technical support is available 24/7 via toll-free phone and email.

The PBS KIDS PLAY! service was developed in collaboration with Tribal Nova Inc., a Montreal-based technology firm that specializes in Internet-based services for children.

System Requirements
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 www.pbskidsplay.org. A credit card is not required for the free trial.

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, are committed to providing the highest quality non-commercial content and learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate, diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! programs consistently earn more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. Only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including PBS KIDS online (www.pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (www.pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (www.pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (www.pbs.org/teachers), PBS Ready To Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS is providing the tools necessary for positive child development. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 355 public television stations, serving nearly 73 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.



Kevin Dando
(703) 739-5073