We have been exploring Webkinz World and want to share our findings. Overall, this kid-focused web portal seems to be everything it advertises: a safe and educational site for kids.
Here’s how it works: every cute and cuddily Webkinz pet comes with a secret code.
Your child pops this code into the online companion site for Webkinz, and then she can navigate around a virtual world built for these imaginative creatures.
From our research, we have found that Webkinz World is great for kids for three reasons:
- It encourages responsibility. The main activity on-line is taking care of your pet. Feeding it, exercising it, and playing with others all contribute to the health of your child’s Webkinz. The values of responsibility are built right in.
- It encourages learning. This is really innovative: in order to get the “KinzCash” to pay for your pet’s food, your child has to play educational games. Brilliant.
- Webkinz has a chat feature that really is safe. I’ve tested this myself. You can’t type in bad words, most proper nouns, street addresses, etc. There are two levels of chat and both are stalker-proof. Now if only MySpace could figure this one out!
So Webkinz World passed our test for its commitment to innovation, education, and safety. As we have suggested before, truly great toys do more than entertain. Great toys educate, deepen social connections, and help children uncover their own imaginative powers.