PBS' new kids' channel lets you flip between streams and games

Children can take a hands-on approach when passive viewing isn't enough.

Reuters/HIT Entertainment/HO

When you give kids digital educational content, you're frequently forced to choose between passive viewing and games. Why can't you offer both? PBS wants to give it a try. It just launched a free 24/7 national channel, PBS Kids, where a live internet stream is just the start of the strategy. At a later point in the year, you'll have the option of switching between the stream and an activity that builds on what the show offers. Your young one will have an easy way of putting what they've learned into practice.

The channel itself isn't skimping on programming, either, with shows like Bob the Builder, Wordgirl and (of course) Sesame Street in the mix.

PBS is keen to add that the very existence of the channel could be a breakthrough, however you watch. Many low-income families have no home internet access, and have to rely either on their phones or public hotspots to get online. At the least, the over-the-air TV broadcast will give these families a constant source of live kids' programming that they wouldn't otherwise have. Live streams, meanwhile, provide an option for cord-cutter households -- especially those that can't justify the cost of a TV subscription. If all goes well, many more children will have access to educational shows from now on.