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Media libraries of the public broadcasters 

3 minutes reading time
3-13 years
© Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

The media libraries of the public broadcasters also offer a wide range of entertainment and education for children. Parents will find numerous programs and series produced especially for children. In this article, we take a look at these media libraries, what they have to offer children, and what parents should keep in mind.

In brief

  • Educational and entertainment program
  • Prepared for children
  • Available anytime and anywhere
  • Free of charge
  • Advertising-free

The offer

The ARD-Mediathek for children offers Parents a wide range of content suitable for children, such as “Die Sendung mit der Maus,” “Bibi und Tina” and “Wissen macht Ah! They are generally suitable for children between the ages of three and twelve and offer a good opportunity to introduce children to topics such as nature, technology and the environment in a playful way. “The Elephant Show” is a popular format for younger children. Mediathek has a wide range of news programs especially for young viewers. Children can follow current events there in a form suitable for children and find out about world events.

ZDFtivi is ZDF’s children’s and youth program with series, films, fairy tales, knowledge, documentaries and entertainment for children, such as “Bibi Blocksberg,” “The Jungle Book” and “JoNaLu. The program is mainly for children aged six to 13. Especially for older children and teenagers, there are, for example, “Die Pfefferkörner” and “Schloss Einstein” or learning programs such as “PUR+”. The media library also offers a wide range of interactive games and learning apps that teach children through play. ZDFchen offers videos for media beginners and preschoolers up to the age of six, such as “Zigby the Zebra” and “Lieselotte”.

KiKA is a joint channel of ARD and ZDF and is aimed at children aged three to 13. In the KIKA media library there are a wide selection of content suitable for children and young people, such as children’s films, series, documentaries and reports. It also offers content such as interactive games, craft and cooking instructions, and background information on shows. The online platform is not only an offer for children, but also for parents, educators and teachers with valuable material to accompany the programs, information on dealing with media and game ideas.

The funk -Mediathek is a joint service of ARD and ZDF with content for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 and 29. It offers a wide selection of videos, reports and web series on topics such as politics, society, pop culture and science.

Also the regional programs like BR Children, MDR Children and SWR Children’s Network offer online children’s programming: For example kinder.WDR.de programs such as “Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten” and “Die Sendung mit der Maus.

All media libraries offer the option of downloading programs and watching them offline. The public broadcasters also offer apps with additional offerings for children, such as the ZDFtivi app or the KIKA player. However, apps are not discussed in this article.

What can be problematic

All videos in the media libraries for children are suitable for them. There are no advertisements or solicitations to buy. However, children can enter the adult area of the media libraries from there, even if a warning sign appears when they leave the children’s area. In the adult section, there is content that is not suitable for children. In addition, children can also access external sites on the Internet or other media libraries on the Smart TV from the media libraries. You should therefore not let children under twelve surf without supervision.

Content that is not released until the age of 16 or 18 can only be accessed in the evening (after 8 or 10 p.m.) in all media libraries of the public broadcasters.

What parents should also pay attention to

Make sure you have a healthy amount of screen time. This can vary depending on the child. Especially do not let younger children watch TV uncontrolled and pay attention to age recommendations and ratings. Watch together if possible, so you can answer questions and catch on if your child gets scared. Together, set rule for usage and choose which programs will be watched together with your child.

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