PBS Kids Sprout Channel

In my opinion, PBS Kids is the best thing on TV. But of course it isn’t on all day. So, after a failed attempt to get my toddler interested in watching America’s Test Kitchen and the McLaughlin Report, I found Sprout. PBS Kids cable channel. Not all cable companies offer Sprout—but if you CAN get it, you should. Unlike other kids channels, this is a safe bet to leave on whenever you need a TV distraction. (And let’s face it, we all have those times once in a while.)

Billed as “all pre-school all the time” the channel prides itself on interacting with the audience through its human and puppet hosts. There is the “Sunnyside Up Show” in the mornings, where kids are welcomed to the day with happy birthday songs, crafts and games. Then, there is the “Good Night Show” where the tone is brought down to a mellow mood, and kids can try out yoga stretches as a way to relax from a long day on the playground.

Sesame Street, Dragon Tails, Caillou and Thomas are all part of the daily rotation. Interspersed there are sing-a-longs, craft projects and even opportunities to sing happy birthday to other “Sproutletts” whose parents submit birthday wishes to the channel.

What makes Sprout extra special is their website (sproutonline.com). The website is a direct vehicle to get your kid to interact with what’s happening on Sprout. The online activities are adorable, and the instructions are kid- (and tech-challenged parent) friendly. My favorite activity is the “PICME” page where you can upload a picture of your child, and then create a little story. You may then submit the story to Sprout, and if you are lucky, the story (and your kid’s photo) are featured on TV.

It’s loads of fun, even if you don’t get picked.


About Laura

If you had told Laura that she would become a first time mom at 41, say back in her "spirited 20s", she would have said "That sounds about right.  I've got too much to do until then."  Well, she didn't really, and it wasn't exactly by choice. Seven years of fertility treatments later, it all seemed to make sense.  And with the words, "let's adopt," the adventure really began.  When her daughter ("Spicy Girl" b.2007) was placed in her arms at 11 months old, in a city half-way around the world, the idea of motherhood became the reality of "what the hell am I doing?"  All at once, life at home became a constant sociological experiment of nature vs. nurture.  "Honestly, honey, I didn't teach her how to do a forward roll at 20 months ... I couldn't do one when I was 20 years old.  It must be her hard-wiring." In her daytime away from mom-hood, she works as a higher education administrator where she does her best not to parent 18 to 22 year-olds.

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