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App review: ‘PlayKids – Learn Through Play’: Subscription-based service is packed with educational and entertaining content

Parents need to know that 'PlayKids – Learn Through Play" is a subscription-based service that gives kids access to several educational TV shows and activities while offering parents lots of control over the media their kids consume. Parents can restrict access to certain programs and limit the time in the app, requiring kids to "take a break" after a certain amount of time. Shows and games must be downloaded onto the device before kids can watch or play, which can take up quite a bit of the device's storage, but makes it easy for play without Wi-Fi. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

With "PlayKids – Learn Through Play" kids choose activities from a line of train cars – shows, games, voxel (a building game), books, and other short videos. The last car is the bedtime car, featuring several lullaby selections that can be played withe a timer. Dozens of preschool-appropriate shows – like "The Wiggles," "Pocoyo," "Strawberry Shortcake" – "Berry Bitty Adventures," "Bob the Builder," and "Cleo & Cuquin" are included (but they need to be downloaded before watching). Kids can also play a Minecraft-looking building game, create songs on the piano, play learning games, watch science videos, and even learn a new language. In the settings, parents can deselect any content they don't want kids to access and set time limits on app use.

IS IT ANY GOOD?

This app puts tons of kid-friendly content in one place with easy parental controls. Although other video services offer more content, they don't offer the young-kid-friendly features that "PlayKids – Learn Through Play" has. Only kids' shows are included, and, even then, parents can restrict access to some shows in the settings. And, although it's a storage hog, the downloaded shows can be watched without an internet connection, making it a great travel accessory totally worth a month's subscription. The games could stand alone in a quality educational app, too. The video quality can be set to high or low (to save storage space), but the low quality is rather blurry. This one app alone could fully stock a preschoolers device.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 3 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Educational value: 3 out of 5

Ease of play: 4 out of 5

Violence and scariness: 0 out of 5

Sexy stuff: 0 out of 5

Language: 0 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 0 out of 5

APP DETAILS

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android

Price: Free to try ($7.99/mo.)

Release date: October 9, 2019

Category: Education

Size: 684.60 MB

Publisher: Movile Internet Movel S.A.

Minimum software requirements: iOs 11.0 or later; Android varies

Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.

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