Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Ameba TV

I don't believe that there is inherently anything wrong with watching tv. 

(I realize that's a controversial statement in some circles. I'll give you a minute for someone to go fetch you some smelling salts, if you're feeling faint.)

The truth is, there are a lot of lousy, unfortunate things on tv.  We work hard to shield the kids carefully from those things. We also try to prevent the kids from watching too many commercials, which often lead to a case of the "gimmees," usually for junky toys we wouldn't want them to have.

On the other hand, there are a lot of good things to watch, if you know where to look. My son is a really visual learner, and he has picked up an immeasurable amount of knowledge from watching (appropriate) programming. 

We've been relying heavily on DVDs, old VHS tapes, PBS, and carefully screened Netflix cartoons and documentaries to find appropriate, educational programming for the kids. 

I've recently been introduced to a new source of quality programming for kids: Ameba . Ameba is a subscription service, which you can either watch directly from your computer, or via one of several compatible devices. (Here's a press release with a little more info.)

The subscription service costs $3.99 per month, and you can cancel at any time. (Psst...You can also sign up for a free, 1 week trial.) 

The programming is commercial free, and you can watch an unlimited amount of videos.You can also set up individual profiles for your children, to ensure an even better experience.

So, what kinds of videos does Ameba have available? Probably some of your kids' favorites. My kiddos are big fans of Animal Atlas, Sid the Science Kid, and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That.  They've discovered some new shows like Rainbow Fish that they also really like. There's also a search function to help you find shows to go along with whatever you're covering in homeschool, or even just to go along with your child's interests. 

My impression:

The website is a little clunky. I did a good bit of clicking around, and got a few error messages. I would  also suggest a FAQ section for new users. 

I think it's a really neat service though, and well worth the cost of the subscription. The programming is really solid.

Ameba has offered to host a giveaway here. One randomly selected commenter will receive a free, 3 month subscription to the service.  

For your first, mandatory entry, go to the Ameba website, and check out some of their programming choices. Leave a comment here, telling me a show you think your kiddos would like to watch.

For additional, optional entries, you may tweet/FB/or blog about the giveaway. (Please leave a separate comment for each.)

This giveaway will end at 10:00 pm, central time, on 11/17/11.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free subscription in order to facilitate the review, as well as the opportunity to host a giveaway. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.


  1. I wish the site gave more details about the programming. I'm not familiar with the shows I saw listed, but Animal Atlas and Timeblazers sound like shows my dd would enjoy.

  2. I wasn't familiar with any of them either but my girls love animals so Barnyard might be one they would like.

  3. Timeblazers sounds very cool as does Busytown Mysteries 'cause I love Richard Scarry.

  4. My kiddos really enjoy watching the Busytown shows, The Cat in the Hat, and Sid the Science Kid. A lot of the other shows look really neat, but I haven't heard of before.