As the parent of a threenager, I know the importance of a smartphone or tablet every once in a while. Of course, we don’t want our kids to be looking at a screen too often, but they sure are lifesavers at times! If you are open to your child occasionally using a screen, I have a couple of great app recommendations for you.

They are the PBS Kids Video and PBS Kids Games apps. First of all, they’re free! You can’t beat that price. Second, they are simple. Our daughter was able to start using them pretty early on, by herself, in those moments when I needed to distract her or keep her busy for short amounts of time. Third, it’s quality content that I generally trust. The shows on PBS aren’t super over-stimulating compared to some of the other cartoons out there, and I find that they teach good lessons.

bThe PBS Kids Video app includes 33 cartoons and other shows from PBS and OPB. Some of our favorites are Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and Sesame Street. You can open the app and watch episodes of any of these 33 shows at any time. This is great for when your child wants to watch a specific cartoon and it’s not on television right then. The app includes options like closed captioning and the ability to stream to your tv and watch there instead.

If you think that’s amazing, the PBS Kids Games app is truly incredible! It currently includes 25 cartoons and shows from PBS and OPB, and there are about 2-5 different games your child can play that are related to each show. The skill level required on these games varies, but generally, if your child likes a show, the games for that show will be appropriate to their age group. Our daughter has favorites and also discovers new ones to play as she gets older and smarter. I play these games with her, and I feel like many of them are educational and beneficial.

Both apps are very easy to use and navigate. They bring in themes for different seasons, etc. For instance, there were some Easter-themed games and episodes during the month of April. You don’t have to worry about your child purchasing any in-app add-ons or seeing something inappropriate. My daughter and I both love these apps and I wanted to share them with other parents!

Download for iOS via the images below. For Android: PBS Kids Games and PBS Kids Video

Thanks to Chelsea, Nate’s wife, for writing up this great little article.