Overtaxed or merely lazy parents, take heart! You will soon have yet another source of kid-friendly mobile content to serve up to your beloved offspring when they just won’t shut... um, stop clamoring for educational video.
Nickelodeon is resurrecting its preschool brand “Noggin” as an advertising-free mobile subscription service beginning March 5, with a sub price of $5.99 per month. The app will offer a number of old TV shows that are no longer available on Nick Jr. (Noggin was rebranded as Nick Jr., aimed at kids ages 2-6, in 2009) as well as games and activities.
Among other programs, kids can watch educational video starring the mascot characters Moose A. Moose and Zee D. Bird. Nick Jr.’s old programming also included “Franklin the Turtle” and Maurice Sendak’s “Little Bear.” The service will debut on Apple, with an Android version in the works.
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), last week YouTube announced a new free app just for kids, called YouTube Kids. Launched on Feb. 23 for Android devices, YouTube Kids includes a video library pre-loaded with kids’ shows like “Yo Gabba Gabba,” “Sesame Street,” and “Thomas the Tank Engine.” YouTube is also said to be creating original content for the app.
Back in 2013 a study from Common Sense Media found that 72% of kids under the age of eight had used a tablet or smartphone, including a third of babies under the age of two. However, a study published in the journal Pediatrics earlier this month warns that unsupervised mobile device use can stunt ordinary development in toddlers, including their ability to recognize other people’s emotions and respond to social cues.