Online Children’s Game Brings Out Your Inner Child

A friend of mine told me last week about Webkinz, the latest craze to hit the kids scene.  Being employed in the web world, I immediately rushed out to get my own Webkinz to learn what it was all about.   

The way it works is you purchase a Webkinz stuffed animal, then go online to adopt your new pet. Upon adoption, you are given a room, food, and KinzCash to be spent on more food, adornments for your room, or even more rooms. Your goal is to keep you pet happy, healthy, and fed.  In the Webkinz virtual world, you can also play games at the arcade (and earn more KinzCash), speak to your pet through a menu of phrases, or interact with other Webkinz. 

Ok, so what have I learned and why do I find this fascinating?  Well, for starters, it seems to be a great learning tool for kids.  You have to earn money for food, furnishings, or toys for your pet.  To earn money, you can get a job or answer trivia questions in a variety of subjects like language, math, science, and sports.  Once you have money, you must budget to decide if buying that new air hockey table will leave you with enough money to feed your pet.  Diet and exercise are important to your Webkinz.  A slice of cake might make your hunger meter better, while lowering your health meter. 

Secondly, it’s become a family event in my house.  The man, the boy, and I huddle around the computer yelling out answers to the trivia questions and taking turns playing games to earn more money for our little animal’s care. 

Finally, it’s just plain fun.  After working all day, commuting, and cooking, Webkinz is a welcome distraction.  For that brief time, my brain is wholly focused on the game at hand.  My inner child is elated.

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3 Comments

  1. Nadine Aroyo said,

    Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 5:10 am

    If you like this, try playing the stock market on the Piggybank® Fantasy Stock Exchange™ for children at http://www.fantasystockexchange.biz

    Created by OINK! the Business Newspaper for Kids, primarily aimed at 7 to 12 year olds, the game provides kids with a fantastic opportunity to learn all about stocks and shares and play the stock market absolutely free.

    OINK! is pink, like the Financial Times, full of money matters for kids and has built a steady reputation of bringing information about money and commerce to kids in a fun, creative and highly stylised way. The newspaper’s content is cutting edge, ground breaking and often thought provoking, and has won recognition from the National Literacy Trust and the Schools Library Association as an important literacy and learning tool.

    See:
    http://www.fantasystockexchange.biz
    http://www.piggybank.co.uk

  2. Lisa said,

    Thursday, June 21, 2007 at 11:40 am

    In addition to all of the learning gleaned from Webkinz, I also appreciate all of the positive reinforcement from the site. My adopted animal is always happy to see me and appreciates all of the care I give her.
    Furthermore, I love the fact that you can send your friends presents via kinzpost. It’s a very positive experience all around.

  3. sherrileigh said,

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    What a fun site! Thanks for the tip, Nadine.


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