I wax poetically about all the wonderful aspects that video gaming has brought to my little family unit– I mean it has actually forged a bond of sibling love- rather than rivalry between my 12 and 8-year-old– and as far as I'm concerned anything that has them sitting side-by-side on a love seat together without the usual jockeying for the entire loveseat and pushing the weaker link off the couch and onto the floor- gets my vote big time!!
And when the weather is kinda blah outside or it's one of those weekends where you're stuck in pajama mode– you and your kids can have loads of fun right in the comfort of your own home– at your computer screen- while some activities are free and some cost a bit- in my very humble opinion they're all worth checking out.
Here are my 3 top picks for online sites where kids can get their game on:
Woogi World offers a very safe environment for kids to get connected, socialize, and even keep up to date on the world around them. The site features online chatting with filters, so parents will feel safe what site their child is on and who they are talking to.
Age Appeal: Grades K-6
What kids will go gaga for about it? What features will most appeal to them?
The “gaming” aspect, trading cards and the chat rooms. Plus the Woogi Watts/points they receive the more good deeds/missions they do.
Special Features include:
WoogiService Club Launch: In coordination with the Service Nation (www.servicenation.org) national launch on Sept 11-12 and YouthService America and Learn and Serve, Woogi World will be launching the WoogiService Club where kids will be inspired and engaged to serve in both their online and offline worlds. Kids will earn Watts on Woogi World and valuable progression points as they serve in their communities and help motivate other kids in their community and across the globe to do likewise.
WoogiReporters Club: The WoogiReporters Club will be launched with a major news partner and will help kids to get excited about reading and learning about current events. Woogi World will engage kids in what is happening around them in the world. Through our relationship with our news partners, elementary school age kids will become aware of current events, engaged in activities around those events, and even become journalists reporting on those events both in Woogi World and in the real world. Current events will become a part of the daily lives of these children.
Parent Perks: There are parental filters for the chat rooms. Also, the kids have educational activities they can do and the parents can reward them and check their work. Same as teachers if they are using it in the classroom.
Drawbacks: They are still adding new things to the site, Music Program, Reading Rewards etc… which can take time.
Zwinky Cuties provides young girls with a fun and safe online virtual environment that empowers them to explore. A Basic Membership is free. To become a Jet Setter and unlock all of the product features, it costs $5.95 per month.
Age appeal: 6-12 year-old girls.
What will the kids go gaga for?
The breadth of ways they can customize their avatars and personal room, the extensive range of fun casual mini-games. Girls can dress-up go shopping decorate, and role-play.
Parent perks: From an educational standpoint, Zwinky Cuties offers a multitude of learning opportunities. Spelling, arithmetic, problem-solving, economy, geography, and even social responsibility are common themes of many of the mini-games and product features.
If you're not already familiar with the magical, dreamy pink and purple fantasy online world of Bella Sara populated by mystical raven and snow white haired colts and mares- which girls can virtually feed, comb and care for well- its an online world- that once your daughter logs onto will eradicate any remnant of cabin fever!
Bella Sara, which offers girls an entry online to a world where they can adopt and care for their horses, and which provides trading cards that feature secret codes and inspirational messages that users can type in to unlock their online horse counterpart/ avatar, has now taken it one step further with their Bella Sara Miniature Series 1 Collection which introduces Bella Sara fans to a brand new line of 20 velvety miniature tangible horses that they can actually, hold, trade and display.
These miniature horses are actually perfectly formed and velvety to the touch- in brilliant colors- and at just $1.99 they're a steal.
And in addition to their regular trading cards- Bella Sara is launching a brand new line of trading cards- eighth in the series called Treasures- which allows users to unlock even more wonderful activities including; rare jewels and magical items that they can enjoy with their online Bella Sara counterparts!
A pack of cards includes 5 trading cards, one sticker sheet and adorable temporary tattoos and is definitely a recession friendly gift at just $2.00
My daughter literally spent hours, setting up her horses' stalls' caring for them, buying them online items and of course navigating the magical world of Bella Sara's online games and activities… and after her online activities she asked if she could learn more about horses… of course I happily obliged!