While many parents feel that it's not a good idea to place your preschooler in front of the television set for too many hours at a time, when parents do want to expose their children to quality, educational television programming, Sprout Online
is certainly one of the top choices for parents of preschoolers. Created as a partnership between Comcast Corporation, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop, the programming on both the television channel as well as online is the kind of educational and inspiring content that you do want to expose your toddlers to.
PBS Kids Sprout was uniquely designed to follow the schedule of a typical preschool. That means that the scheduling of programs incorporates movement and activity during the day while your child is up and about and special soothing programs in the evening to help calm your preschooler and prepare them for bed. The online world of Sprout, which this article will detail, also incorporates the same sort of careful planning into the activities that your preschooler can enjoy on the Internet.
Navigating the PBS Kids Sprout Website
From the main page, you and your preschooler can visit many sections of the website that offer some of the most creative and entertaining activities you can enjoy with your child.
Not only are there online activities that can educate your preschooler while also teaching them how to use a computer, but there are also a number of great ideas for projects you can do offline, such as those you'll find in the Crafts & Coloring, Recipes and Activities sections.
The "Sharing Galleries" area provides preschoolers with a perfect boost of inspiration to draw, color and produce other creations. In Sharing Galleries, young fans can submit their own artwork to Sprout and have it actually featured within this section of the website. Each day there's a new theme, and preschoolers from around the world produce artwork for those themes and send them in. Just think how excited your preschooler would be to see their special drawing featured on the PBS Kids Sprout website!
Sometimes, you might just want to let your preschooler have some fun with a few online games. With Sprout, you can rest assured that the games are carefully chosen to help your child develop important skills. You can sort games by favorite character or type of game, and even save your child's favorite games into the "My Favorites" tab. These aren't your usual mindless online games that older kids often play, these are games that focus on creativity, fine motor skills, sorting & matching, memory and much more.
For example, in the "Caillou Follow The Stars" game, your preschooler must follow along and copy the pattern and tone of stars in the sky, much like the vintage Simon electronic game from the 1980s. Your preschooler will watch the pattern of expanding stars (and associated sound tone) and then must click on the stars in the same pattern. This activity teaches your young child how to remember both visual and sound patterns. Almost all of the games you'll find at Sprout Online are carefully programmed to develop these sort of learning skills, while also remaining entertaining and fun for your child.
With the "Videos and Music" section, the PBS Kids Sprout website is clearly keeping up with the latest technologies that parents use today. In addition to watching videos of their favorite characters on the Sprout website, you can also download podcasts and music onto your iPhone or other mobile device for your child to listen to while you're on the go.
Inevitably, your preschooler will fall in love with particular characters or certain television shows. The Videos & Music section of the Sprout website lets them experience shows like Barney, Dragon Tales or Bob the Builder even when the it isn't on television. The videos are between three to five minutes - not a full episode, but just enough to share an important lesson from the show.
If you're most interested in finding activities that you can actively do with your child, then the "Crafts and Coloring pages is the first place you'll want to go. In this area, you can find all sorts of very fun craft activities and printable coloring pages that you and your young one can enjoy together. The coloring section is one of the largest available libraries of printable coloring pages online, with several pages for each character. Additionally, the craft sections are filled with countless innovative ideas that are perfect for very small children.
Are you unsure about the prospect of cooking with your preschooler? After you review the "Recipes" section of Sprout, you'll doubt no longer. With wonderful recipe ideas like "Angelina's Ballet Slippers" and "Banjo's Beautiful Butterflies," you'll wonder why you never thought of using food as an activity for your toddler before. This section lists many pages of safe and fun recipes that you can put together with your child.
Finally, the "Activities" section of Sprout Online is where you should go when you are out of ideas for what to do with your child offline. Here, you'll find very exciting activities like making ice cream, making clouds, learning sign language and much more. One thing that you'll learn by visiting Sprout Online is that "boring" and "preschool" are two words that do not belong in the same sentence. With Sprout Online, you'll never again run out of fun and exciting things to do with your preschooler.
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