PBS announces Playtime Pad, a branded tablet for kids

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PBS is getting into the educational hardware business with a digital tablet for kids.

The PBS Playtime Pad. (Image: PBS)

The PBS Playtime Pad (Image: PBS)

The Playtime Pad will come preloaded with more than 25 games and 120 video clips from PBS Kids, with more content provided through PBS apps. Parents can monitor their child’s progress through the PBS Parents Play and Learn app; other apps include PBS Kids Scratch Jr., which teaches basic coding concepts.

The Android device features Wi-Fi, 16 GB of storage and a front and back camera. Controls allow parents to customize the device, set time limits and manage what children can access.

The PBS Kids multicast channel, launching in January, will also be available on the pad, according to a PBS announcement Monday.

Dawn Ciccone, PBS v.p., brand licensing, told TechCrunch that educational hardware is a natural next step for PBS because “we know that many families are looking for kid-friendly devices to help support their kids’ learning.”

PBS announced a sharper focus on education earlier this year.

The pad will be available for $79.99 starting Nov. 6 at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and shop.pbskids.org.