Common Sense Review
Updated May 2014

PBS Kids Lab: Games Ages 3-5

Variety of charming, easy-to-use games; some shine more than others
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This module is part of the Website PBS KIDS Lab.
Common Sense Rating 4
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  • Each game's listing includes information about learning content and supported platforms.
  • In a spatial-reasoning game kids practice reading a map and following position words like next to, between, etc.
  • Kids bake and decorate a cake in this spelling game.
  • A collection of games address a variety of math skills.
  • Teachers can even make their own customized games for use on an interactive whiteboard.
Mieke VanderBorght
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

PBS Kids is known for its high-quality, research-based content, and the Lab has a lot of games that live up to this reputation. Yet, some games are more engaging, complex, and sophisticated than others. To best use these games in an organized and purposeful way, teachers should try out the games first to see which ones are best suited to their students. Also, teachers might want to first present the games to the whole class on a screen, modeling for students how the games work.

To help kids stay on task, and to aid in supervision, consider assigning specific games through a rotation. For example, have a game open at a classroom station where all kids can take turns playing as they rotate through different activities. Alternatively, have students play in small groups; some games have multiplayer modes, which can introduce some fun competition. The site also has an activity that allows teachers to create their own math and creativity games. Teachers may want to have kids elaborate about their gaming experiences as an off-screen task. Without a central tracking system, there isn't a way to navigate the games in an organized way, or to track kids' progress.

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