Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2016

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

PBS show's videos and games help preschoolers with new experiences

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Teachers say (1 Review)
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Pre-K This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Interactive, simple activities help kids learn about their feelings and new experiences that are part of growing up.

Cons: Unless they're familiar with Daniel Tiger, kids may not be as interested in the site; more activities to personalize the experience would be a nice touch.

Bottom Line: Cute, clever site has several activities that educators can use to help kids develop socially and emotionally.

Teachers can use the storybook-like activities to help kids practice reading, and because the songs repeat key episode points, they can serve as tools to help kids remember the themes. Educators can also use site items, including printable coloring pages, to help spark kids' creativity. Kids can play the games and activities by themselves, or parents and educators can use them as jumping-off points to discuss feelings and experiences. Separate sections for parents and teachers also offer additional activity ideas and information on the lesson behind each Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episode.

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Based on the PBS animated show of the same name, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is a sweet website that features activities and videos about Daniel's experiences. The site can help toddlers and preschoolers learn about and explore themes around feelings, relating to other people, routines, and common experiences such as being a good friend, dealing with disappointment, brushing teeth, eating healthfully, or accepting a new sibling. There are 14 games, some more clearly instructive than others. For instance, kids can click on items to learn more about going to the doctor or practice focusing their attention on fish swimming in a fish bowl. Some games are also designed to be playable on a touch screen as well as on a computer. Virtual storybooks let kids flip pages and either read along or be read to, helping build word recognition and basic reading skills. Daniel narrates most activities by speaking to the screen, which should help younger kids who can't read yet feel involved.

A separate section for grownups and another specifically for teachers helps highlight potential lessons and offers tips to help drive the point home.

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The activities and short videos nicely illustrate situations young kids sometimes struggle with. Kids don't get a lot of personal feedback, but the activities let them move things and listen to Daniel talk. Having visual examples helps illustrate the stress kids may feel about being left with a babysitter or the arrival of a new sibling.

Kids can use a card-making tool to express emotions and strengthen communication skills or get silly and let imaginations soar with a dress up game. A music game in which kids express mood with different kinds of music is an especially interesting and creative way to explore feelings, although other activities offer much simpler interactions, such as the Drive Trolley game. Daniel Tiger and his friends are sweet gentle guides for young kids, but the website's activities and interactive features are somewhat limited and quite basic.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Daniel narrates each section as if he's talking directly to each child, and activities are simple enough for kids to be able to click around or listen to story narration and feel involved.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Games and activities include information about what lessons adults can stress to their child, including giving, dealing with separation anxiety, and being creative. Show clips and episodes also offer lessons.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Kids can easily watch episodes and access activities and simple games. The parent section lists the learning goals for each episode, with a link to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood-inspired information and tips.


Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Meg K. , Other
Other
Capitol Hill Magnet School
St. Paul, MN
4
Fun way for pre-K and K's to explore

Daniel Tiger offers oral language opportunities for students as they explore a beloved television neighborhood. Teachers who are familiar with the content can find valuable tie ins to classroom learning.

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