Poptropica is one of the top 15 educational sites for children in 2012 as picked by eBiz. Many of the other websites that were provided on this list were popular family household names like Nick, PBS, Club Penguin, and Yahoo Kids.
Game Plot & Learning
Upon first glance, this looks like a great online game for children to not only have fun playing in an imaginary world, but it also emphasizes learning. Children enter into the virtual world to answer questions, read stories, and play games. Kids create their own character that travels through the various islands and solve mysteries based on real historical events.
The first step of the game is to create your character. You then choose your island. Once on your island, you are faced with various challenges and tasks. The first time you go to save your progress, you will need to create your free account.
The site boasts a safe environment for children. No personal identifiable information is shared with other users online. Parents can also setup their own account to setup a membership for their child. This will allow the parent to control the costs associated with the game, but does not allow the parent to access the child’s game.
Children are not allowed to “chat” with each other on the website in freeform; however they can chat via a pre-scripted chat system where users are given choices of questions and answers. This helps to make the environment friendly for kids.
Users can play for free, or they can become members for a small monthly fee. Membership benefits include getting to access new levels early, purchase unlimited costumes, and access to Gold Cards, and the ability to play games with their friends. This online game is also available in app form for playing and learning on the go.
This site and game overall seems like a lot of fun for children. Besides providing an entertainment factor, it also provides children the opportunity to improve their reading skills, historical facts, and even fine motor skills (using the mouse to navigate around the islands). It is highly engaging, safe, and would provide a great additional learning resource for children at home. However, the downside is definitely that there is a cost, albeit optional, for some of the most desired features and this should be considered carefully before a parent approves the use of the site.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
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