Frequently Asked Questions
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About PBS KIDS Content
- What is PBS KIDS’ mission?
PBS KIDS is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children through curriculum-based entertainment with positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being. With a 360-degree approach towards learning and reaching children, PBS KIDS leverages the full spectrum of media and technology to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. PBS KIDS encourages children to interact as respectful citizens in a diverse society. By involving parents, teachers, caregivers and communities as learning partners, PBS KIDS helps to empower children for success in school and in life. PBS’ bottom line is measured by how much it contributes to the welfare of America’s children.
PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources include PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, pbskids.org, pbskidsgo.org, PBS Parents, PBS Teachers, PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations.
- What is PBS KIDS GO! ?
PBS KIDS GO! is an engaging multimedia destination specifically created for kids in their early elementary school years - an audience with limited choices for age-appropriate content that is both entertaining and educational. With a fun, quirky setting full of surprises, PBS KIDS GO! empowers kids to discover themselves, define the diverse world around them, explore new relationships and embrace a love of learning. PBS KIDS GO! features popular series including the new THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN, WORDGIRL, ARTHUR, CYBERCHASE and more. A robust Web site at PBSKIDSGO.org features video clips, games, activities and resources for the series as well as Web-only sites, including EekoWorld, History Detectives for Kids, PBS KIDS Jazz and American Experience’s "WayBack."
PBS KIDS is still the place for shows like Sesame Street, Curious George, Super Why, Clifford, and Barney, and pbskids.org is the home for all of these characters! On most local stations, PBS KIDS shows are on TV in the morning – check TV Times to see what time your favorites air in your area.
- What are PBS KIDS’ educational goals and how are they supported?
PBS KIDS content helps preschool children in each of the four key areas of childhood development – cognitive, social, emotional and physical. PBS KIDS GO! focuses on early elementary school curricula.
Funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the United States Department of Education, the Ready To Learn initiative is developing engaging PBS KIDS Raising Readers television programs, exciting games, playful Web sites, and easy-to-use learning resources for kids, parents, caregivers, and teachers—all with the goal of helping children ages 2 to 8 get ready to read.
As a critical area of development, PBS is strengthening its offerings around science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), inviting children to explore and develop interest and appreciation for the natural and life sciences through programs including Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, Cyberchase and Dinosaur Train.
We work with experienced educational film or television producers who involve children, educational researchers, parents, educators, daycare providers and subject-matter experts in the design and production process. PBS and its producers conduct research to determine the best ways to engage children in active viewing in order to achieve the educational goals within PBS KIDS content.
PBS requires its children’s producers to create educational support materials for young people and the adults who care for them. Programs are extended beyond broadcast to interactive learning activities on pbskids.org and pbskidsgo.org, as well as through educational outreach activities and print materials.
Parents and Caregivers can find Parent-Child learning activities and supporting materials based on PBS KIDS content at PBS Parents.
Lesson plans relating to PBS KIDS content can be found at PBS Teachers.
- Is there research that proves that kids learn critical skills from PBS KIDS?
Series-based research has proven that PBS’s preschool and early elementary school content contributes towards engaging and inspiring children to succeed in the core curriculum areas that lead the nation’s education agenda. For example, a recent study on the preschool series Super Why, conducted by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, illustrated that the series strengthens the literacy skills of preschoolers, with all kids showing statistically significant improvement on standardized literacy tests. Most notably, the children from low-income families with poor reading skills and at risk for failure in school scored 46% higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch Super Why.
Other series-based research on programs including Between the Lions and Word World has also proven a significant impact in children’s literacy skill development by watching these programs. Series such as Sesame Street and Barney & Friends have proven their ability to positively impact children’s school readiness and have helped children develop core social emotional skills to better relate to and communicate with their peers. For school-age children, research conducted on Cyberchase demonstrates the series’ success in helping children strengthen their math skills, while studies conducted on Maya & Miguel have proven the series’ ability to help children develop positive attitudes towards ethnic diversity.
- I would like to produce a show for PBS KIDS. Where do I send my show idea?
- I have a question or comment about a PBS KIDS show or website. Who should I contact?
Producers for each program and website are responsible for the program or site’s content and technical experience. You can find contact information for PBS KIDS Producers by selecting an item from this list:
- How do I find out when a show is on?
To find out when a program is on TV, visit our TV Times page.
- What do I do if I can’t find a show anymore?
If you can’t find a program anymore, it might be on at a different time. Check TV Times for more information.
If you still can’t find it, it might be because your PBS station is not airing it anymore. Check with your local station for more information.
- What happened to that show I used to watch?
See if you can find the program you are looking for in the pull-down list below.
If you still can’t find it, check with your local station for more information.
- How can I have my child’s name appear on PBS KIDS on his or her birthday?
PBS KIDS does not sponsor a national birthday club, however some of our PBS Member Stations have local kids’ clubs which broadcast birthday announcements on-air. Contact your local station to see if there’s a birthday club in your area. They will be very happy to tell you about any local PBS KIDS’ clubs or events.
To submit cards for The Sunny Side Up Show, please visit PBS KIDS SPROUT.
- How can kids send stories and drawings to be on TV?
Create and submit a story on Dot’s Story Factory for the chance to be featured on PBS KIDS. Submissions are selected to be showcased in our online showroom and on TV based on storytelling, relevance, and appropriateness.
- There’s a program on another channel that I think should be on PBS. Where do I send this suggestion?
You can write to your local station and suggest the program.
- What is PBS KIDS Sprout?
Providing enhanced delivery of a trusted source of favorite children’s educational programs, on-demand and around the clock, PBS KIDS Sprout on Demand launched in April 2005 and PBS KIDS Sprout (the cable channel) launched in October 2005. Offering families 24-hour access to high-quality, educational kids programming, PBS KIDS Sprout is a partnership between Comcast, the country’s leading cable operator; PBS, the most trusted provider of award-winning children’s programming; and HIT Entertainment and Sesame Workshop, two of the leading providers of quality entertainment for young children. The programs featured on PBS KIDS Sprout include episodes of Angelina Ballerina, Barney & Friends, Bob the Builder, Caillou, Dragon Tales, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Sesame Street, Teletubbies, Thomas & Friends and more.
Web Site Questions
- How can kids send stories or art to be published on PBS KIDS?
Many of the sites on PBS KIDS have submission areas for you to share your creative work. There are a few ways you can find places to publish your work:
- Be on the lookout for links that ask you to “send your work” or to “share your thoughts”.
- Search using keywords like “share”, “submissions”, or “send”.
- How do I find a specific activity on the site?
If you know the title of the activity or keywords that might help find it, you can search PBS KIDS. For example, you might do a general search for “cookie recipes” or a more specific search for “Cyberchase railroad” (if you were looking for the Cyberchase Railroad Repair activity). If you don’t find what you want the first time, try a different combination of words.
If you know which site has the activity you’re looking for, you can also check the homepage of that site to see if they have a a special section for games and activities, program-specific site map, or search area.
- Why don’t some shows have a Web sites here?
Some of the programs you watch on your local station might not be PBS KIDS programs. Many stations air programs produced locally or distributed by another organization, such as American Public Television. Also, some television producers choose not to make Web sites for their shows.
- Why do some of the sites not have television shows?
Some of the content on PBS KIDS was created specifically for the Web, allowing us to experiment with new topics and broaden the scope of our curriculum. Some examples of Web-original projects are African American World for Kids, It’s My Life, EekoWorld, News Flash Five, The Democracy Project and Get Your Web License. Other PBS KIDS sites, such as Africa for Kids, American Experience's WayBack and History Detectives Kids, are age-appropriate companions to primetime television shows that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
- Do I need permission to use lesson plans and printables in the classroom?
You do not need permission for classroom use of lesson plans you find on PBS KIDS, PBS KIDS GO!, PBS Parents or PBS Teachers. You may also distribute printed pages from these sites to students, but you should follow these guidelines.
- Each printed page must include the site’s url on it.
- You cannot charge students to receive these pages.
- You cannot reprint elements from a PBS KIDS page in a newsletter or booklet without permission from PBS.
- I have a technical problem with a PBS KIDS Web site. Can you help me fix it?
If you have a technical difficulty (for example, a game doesn’t work, a Web page won’t load, sound and video won’t play, etc.), please go to Technical Tips for help.
Closed captioning is the visual display of the audio portion of video programming. Captioning provides access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
For closed captioning feedback, please contact:
Senior Director, PBS Media Operations
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Please make sure your feedback includes all of the information required by the Federal Communications Commission. If you do not include this information, we will ask you to provide the missing information:
- Your name, postal address, and other contact information, such as telephone number or e-mail address;
- The name, postal address, website, or e-mail address of the video programming distributor and/or video programming owner against which a complaint is made, and information sufficient to identify the particular video programming involved (i.e. Show title and the name of the video clip);
- Information sufficient to identify the software or device used to view the program;
- The date and time of the incident, and a statement of the facts sufficient to show that the video programming distributor and/or video programming owner has violated the requirements;
- The specific relief sought; and
- The preferred format or method of response to the feedback.
PBS KIDS is working to include closed captioning on as many videos as possible. At a minimum, PBS complies with the rules of the Federal Communications Commission requiring captioned programs shown on TV to be captioned when shown on the Internet. These rules cover full-length programming, but not consumer-generated media, video clips, outtakes, or content shown on the Internet that has not been shown on TV with captions after certain specified dates. We are happy to hear from you if you have suggestions or feedback on our online closed captioning efforts.
- How do I get the most out of this site? What do I need to download and install?
To fully enjoy PBS KIDS, we recommend the following computer set-up.
This site is best viewed with the latest version of either
- Internet Explorer (version 7 or higher),
- Mozilla Firefox (version 3 or higher),
- or Apple Safari (version 4 or newer).
The pbskids.org site is best viewed with a screen resolution of 1024x768 or larger. On a 800x600 screen, the graphics and text will appear larger but you will see less at one time without scrolling. Some games and other activities may be difficult to use on screen resolutions smaller than 800x600.
If you don’t know how to change your screen resolution, you can visit the support site for your operating system.
Many PBS KIDS sites use free plug-ins to make activities more fun and interactive. The plug-ins are listed below, but not all activities require these plug-ins. Each of these can be downloaded for free.
If you’re not sure if your computer has these plug-ins or if you need to install one or more of them, ask an adult to help you.
- Adobe Flash Player: Most PBS KIDS games, videos and activities use the Flash Player.
- Java: Some PBS KIDS games use the Java plug-in.
- QuickTime: Plays videos and audio.
- Adobe Reader: Used to display PDFs for downloading and printing coloring pages and other printable activities.
- Real Player: Plays videos and audio.
- Shockwave: Used to play games.
- Why isn’t the game, video, or song working?
Many issues with content not working properly can be solved by updating the various plug-ins listed above and using a supported browser. If you are recieving an error message, check below to find out how to address these issues. If you have tried all of the methods for fixing plug-in and browser issues and believe the site has a problem, let us know.
- Someone sent me an e-card. How do I open it?
To open your e-card, click on the link in your e-mail or carefully cut and paste the address into your web browser’s address bar.
If the address is on two or more lines, it might not work properly. Instead, cut and paste each line into your web browser’s address bar to make one long string.
Also, it’s important to remember that if your card was sent more than 14 days ago, it will have expired and no longer be accessible.
- What do the error messages on my screen mean?
What looks most like the error message you saw?
- “500 Internal Server Error”
- “Security Warning—you are about to submit personal information”
- None of these messages matches my error
500 Internal Server Error
If you see a message like "500 Server Error" or "The page could not be displayed," this probably means that there was a problem with the PBS KIDS Web servers. Sometimes there are so many people visiting the site that the computers that run PBS KIDS start having problems. If the problem happens just once, it will probably be fixed in a few minutes—you should come back to the page a little later and try to see it again. If you try to visit the same page the next day and still see this kind of error, please let us know.
None of these messages matches my error
There are many other possible error messages that browsers can display. For more information on the error you are recieving you can visit the support site for your browser.
- My computer is freezing up. What does that mean?
If your computer is freezing up when you try to play a game or visit a page on PBS Kids, it may be because Flash, or Java, isn't set up correctly on your machine. Visit “The game never starts. What should I do?” for more information on checking if these plug-ins are properly installed.
If your computer has a PBS KIDS Web page as a background on your desktop, which means you can see PBS KIDS when you’re not looking at a Web browser, then the "Active Desktop" has been set. This can happen accidentally if you right-click on your mouse and select "Set as Wallpaper" or "Set as Background" when using Internet Explorer.
If you don’t have a continuous connection to the Internet, (for example, if you have to dial-up to surf the Web), this can cause your computer to freeze. (The computer tries to display the Web page all the time, so to do that, it tries to connect to the Internet, which depending on your type of connection might not always be possible.)
To stop showing a PBS KIDS page as your computer's background, you should probably turn off Active Desktop. This only applies to Windows users.
To turn off Active Desktop:
- Click on the Start button on the lower left corner of your screen.
- Select "Settings" and then "Control Panel."
- In the "Control Panel" window, click on "Display."
- In the "Display" window, click on the "Web" tab.
- The "Web" tab will have a check box with a check in it for "Show Web content on my Active Desktop". Below it will be one or more check boxes with names of Web pages. If you see anything with a check mark, clear it by clicking on the check box.
- When the check boxes are empty, click on "OK."
If your computer is freezing or is not producing sound while on our site even though you have updated the most recent version of Internet Explorer, it could be a problem in the software Internet Explorer uses to run Java applets.
To fix it, try installing the most recent version of Java.
- How do I bookmark PBS KIDS?
Bookmarking a site means you’re saving it in your Web browser so that you can visit it again easily in the future. Look for “Bookmarks”, “Favorites” or an icon such as a star in your browser to add PBS KIDS to your bookmarks list. If you’re having trouble finding out how to bookmark PBS KIDS, you can visit the support site for your browser listed above.
- Things take a long time to download. Is something wrong?
If the games are taking a long time to appear, it may be that you aren’t using the most recent version of the your Web browser or the needed plug-in. Visit our recommended site set-up section at the top of this page for links to these downloads.
Even if you’re using the most recent plug-ins and Web browser versions, though, you might need to be patient. We build all the activities on PBS KIDS to download as quickly as possible so that you won’t have to wait. However, if you’re visiting our site from a dial-up connection or during peak traffic times (in the evening), then you might need to wait a minute or two for the download to finish. This is most common with games and videos.
You can learn more about privacy policies and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act at the Federal Trade Commissions’ Privacy Initiatives site.
- What is COPPA? How does PBS KIDS comply?
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) went into effect in April 2000. It sets rules for anyone who runs a Web site for kids under 13 years old. The rules deal with how a Web site can use personal information you might give to the site, such as your e-mail address or last name, so that you will know what information is being collected and how it might be used.
You can learn more about Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act at the Federal Trade Commissions’ Privacy Initiatives site.
As you surf around pbskids.org, it is possible that several cookies will be set on your computer. A cookie is information a Web site puts on your computer's hard drive so that the site can remember your preferences or which pages you visited on that site.
PBS uses the information from cookies to deliver relevant local resources, remember browser preferences, and improve our visitors' experiences on the site. No personal information is ever stored in a PBS KIDS cookie, even if you have entered your name or e-mail address on other parts of PBS Online.
PBS does not sell information collected by cookies or use the information for commerce-related purposes. In addition, PBS will not filter content based on your preferences without permission.
- If you localize pbskids.org to the PBS station nearest you, a cookie will tell us your station's call letters. PBS KIDS only keeps track of how many computers choose each station. You can choose to have your computer remember a different station, or no station at all, at any time. Please note that if you come to pbskids.org from a local station site, and you were not previously localized to a station, you may be automatically localized to that station.
- If you watch a video clip or listen to an audio clip on pbskids.org, a cookie may remember which media player (such as Real Player or QuickTime) and which type of connection (high or low bandwidth) you prefer to use on your computer. You can change your video and audio preferences at any time, or choose a player each time you view or listen to a clip.
- As you explore pbskids.org, a session cookie will tell us which pages you visit and the amount of time between each page visit. This cookie does not remember any information about you or your computer, it just tells us at PBS KIDS how long visitors spend on our sites and which pages receive the most traffic. A "session cookie" only remembers information about your current visit to the site.
If you decide that you do not want to accept cookies, all features on PBS KIDS will still work. Your preferences won’t be stored, though, so you may have to reenter information (for the TV schedule, for example) each time you visit those pages.
- Why can’t I log into my PBS KIDS GO! account?
If you have forgotten your PBS KIDS GO! account password, please click here to reset it.
Also, all PBS KIDS GO! user accounts are moderated to make sure they do not contain personally identifiable information such as first and last names or profanity.
If your user account appeared to have personally identifiable information or profanity, it may have been deactivated.
If your user account contained multiple names, other personally identifiable information or profanity, you will need to create a new account.
If you believe that your account has been wrongly denied, please contact us.
- Where can I find help for my PBS KIDS Island account?
- Where can I find help for my PBS KIDS PLAY! account?
- Why do I need a username and password for some activities on PBS KIDS GO! ?
You need to log in if you would like to save points and other game information (like your EekoCreature while playing in EekoWorld or your game pieces while playing on Kratts’ Creatures). Before you login for the first time, you will have to register by creating a username and a password and answering a secret question (which we need in case you forget your password). Please note, though, that you can still play without a username. You just will not be able to save points.
- What personal information does PBS KIDS need to create my username?
- What will PBS KIDS do with my username and login information?
- How do I get a username and password for PBS KIDS GO! ?
You can get a username and password by registering. It’s absolutely free.
- What’s a good username to use?
Your username should be a word or phrase that you can easily remember and that does not tell any personal information about you. You should not use your last name, your address or zip code, your phone number, the school you attend, or any information that would help someone identify you. Your favorite color or activity and a number, such as blue223 or sledding95, is a good place to start.
- What do I do if I forget my PBS KIDS GO! username or password?
It’s a good idea to write down your username and password in a safe place, just in case you forget. If you forget your username, you’ll need to create a new account and start over. If you forget your password, there is a “Forgot password” link beneath the login area. Enter your username and answer to the secret question to retrieve your password.
- Can I delete my PBS KIDS GO! Account?
Since PBS KIDS doesn't collect identifiable information, we have no way to verify if an account deletion request is coming from the account owner or not. Because of this we are unable to delete user account. You can stop using your account at any time without the need to delete it.
- How do I reach customer service or billing?
For billing questions or other inquiries about your App Store transaction, visit www.apple.com/support/itunes/
For billing questions or other inquiries about you Amazon Store transaction, visit http://to.pbs.org/Amazon_support
- There's no sound. What do I do?
1: Check that the mute button (top button on left hand side of iPhone or switch on right hand side of iPad) is not set to mute.
2: Press the volume buttons on the left hand side of the iPhone or the right hand side of the iPad.
3: If none of these work, open the 'Music' application and use the volume slider to increase the volume.
If that fails to work, launch the app and then:
1: Double Press the Home Button to bring up the fast switching menu (bottom of the screen)
2: Swipe the menu from left to right twice
3: You should now see a volume level. Drag the slider from left to right to increase the volume.
- My app is crashing. What do I do?
First, try restarting your device: Hold down the power button until the screen reads "slide to power off." Power off the device by moving the slider. Once it's fully shut down, turn the device back on and then try restarting the app. If that fails to solve the issue, make sure your device is running the latest version of Apple's iPhone OS. To verify this, sync your device with iTunes on your computer. Another recommended step is to make sure you have the latest version of Apple's iTunes software. To verify this, launch iTunes and select "Check for Updates" from the Help menu.
Lastly, if you sync'd your app from a computer to your device, it's possible there was an issue with the sync. Try uninstalling the app and then re-sync. If your app continues to crash, please post a comment in the next step of this feedback form.
- My app didn't finish downloading. What do I do?
Make sure that your network connection is active. The App Store should detect that your download was interrupted and should continue it whenever your connection is restored. If this does not happen, visit www.apple.com/support/itunes/
- How do I uninstall my app?
First, press and hold the app icon until all the icons start to wiggle. Then tap the "x" in the corner of the app you want to delete. Tap the "Delete" button to permanently remove the app. Press the Home button to return to the regular menu. NOTE: Uninstalling will remove all app-related data from your device, too. And, if you do not have a backup on another device, you will need to re-download from the App Store.
- Where can I find PBS KIDS iPhone apps?
- Where can I download shows, podcasts, wallpapers and ringtones for my phone or mobile device?
Download content you and your kids can enjoy together on your mobile device from PBS KIDS Mobile Downloads.
- How do I report a bug?
- Where do the proceeds from PBS KIDS Apps go?
By downloading a PBS KIDS App, you are directly supporting PBS KIDS programming. As a non-profit public media organization, every dollar we make is reinvested into creating more quality content that serves the needs of today’s parents, caregivers and children.
PBS KIDS PLAY
- What is PBS KIDS PLAY?
PBS KIDS PLAY! is a personalized learning service for kids ages 3 to 6 that is designed to enhance school readiness. PLAY! offers all-new educational games that adjust in difficulty based on each child’s skill level. It also features easy-to-use parental tools which enables parents to track their child’s learning progress – and more!
For more information on PBS KIDS PLAY!, please visit www.pbskidsplay.org.
- How can I try PBS KIDS PLAY?
You can download a free trial version of PBS KIDS PLAY! at www.pbskidsplay.org.
- Where do the proceeds from PBS KIDS PLAY! go?
By subscribing to PBS KIDS PLAY!, you are directly supporting PBS KIDS programming. As a non-profit public media organization, every dollar we make is reinvested into creating more quality content that serves the needs of today’s parents, caregivers and children.
- Where can I find PBS KIDS merchandise?
The PBS KIDS Shop is a single destination to find DVDs, toys, clothing, party supplies and more featuring all your favorite PBS KIDS characters. With every purchase on the PBS KIDS Shop, a portion will go to support public television and the educational programming that continues to shape the minds of children.
Additionally, some PBS KIDS program-related merchandise is available at Shop PBS. You can also contact the producers of the program directly with your request. Don’t forget, you can check out many PBS KIDS books and videos for free from your local library.
- Where can I see my favorite PBS KIDS character live?
Live appearances by PBS KIDS characters are usually organized by the producers of the program, or by your local station. To find contact the producers of a program, choose from the list below.
Or you can write to your local stationfor more information
Event information is sometimes listed on the program’s PBS Parents site.
Still have questions? Write to PBS KIDS.