When I first became a new mom, I was surprised at the amount of children's programing available even for the youngest children. This was back about 9 years ago when we had cable TV. We have since discarded the cable subscription and have never regretted it! One program I remember my children enjoying was called "Tiny Planets". "Tiny Planets features the cosmic adventures of Bing and Bong, two whimsical aliens who travel the Universe of Tiny Planets together on their gadget-loaded plush sofa. With Bing and Bong, children are encouraged to think for themselves, assume social responsibility, take care of our planet and learn about the mysteries of space."
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent a link found Here to a website called Tiny Planets. The site offers games, and educational lessons, books and short episodes of the "Tiny Planets" show among other things. It is basically an online interactive version of the TV show. You can upgrade the site and purchase "keys" which allow you to upgrade your spaceship and watch more episodes and gain access to more features in the site. Children who really enjoy space will like this site. There are games, puzzles and activities for children to play. Adults are welcome to use the lesson plans and keep track of their little space cadets. To begin using Tiny Planets, you create a "Cadet Account" for each child. The site is protected and you are not able to live chat with other players, so it is safe for children to navigate. It is also "ad free" and according to the site is geared for children ages 4- 12.
My preschoolers/ non- readers were very limited with this site. They can watch the episodes but to navigate the site was difficult for them since reading was required and the directions on how to fly the spaceship and what the mission was for each Cadet was written out and not spoken. My 9 year old was a bit too old to enjoy it because she watched them when she was in preschool, and just associates Bing and Bong with entertainment for "babies". My first grader (currently age 6, soon to be 7) seemed to be the perfect age for this site.
The site is beautifully put together, the graphics are stunning and it has won many awards from others in the industry, but I am not sure it is something that we as a family would use very often. As I said earlier, we no longer have a TV so we really try to avoid watching it even online. My personal philosophy to teaching my children social responsibility/ interaction is to be out in the real world actually engaging socially with real people, not sitting home playing video games on the computer. I will say, considering the site is free, it is worth a look around to determine for yourself if it would be a good fit for your family, just go to: Tiny Planets and check it out.
My other TOS Crew Members were also sent this site to review, so I would encourage you to go to the Crew Blog and see what they had to say.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was sent this link at no cost to myself in exchange for an honest review.