What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this bilingual site is a great destination for kids who speak or are learning French, although any kid will enjoy it. It's mainly for kids who can read simple directions and have mastered Web site navigation (using the back and play buttons, finding activities through layered choices, etc.); adults may need to help kids under 6 roam around. Banner and Google ads are present throughout the site, and merchandise is sold at the "Toy Shop." A premium version without ads is available for $6.60 per month and includes partial content in Spanish, Italian, and Dutch.
What's it about?
Come one, come all (or at least those who are under 10) -- UPTOTEN.COM is full of games and activities available in English or French. The original characters Boowa and Kwala appear in games, storybooks, and animated songs (not to mention merchandise for sale). Kids can join the free club to save their favorite games and get a birthday ecard and screen saver (parents must join as well first -- limited information is required).
Is it any good?
Although other similar English sites have more to offer, this French import is full of sweet charm. There are many activities to choose from (and new content is added every day), but some kids may have some difficulty navigating due to the amount of choices and the fact that a few internal pages don't provide a direct link back to the home page. The huge number of games is well organized by age, category (puzzles, races, creative), and skill development. And, the free animated ecards are very possibly the most charming around.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about Web site navigation. What should kids do if they lose their way? Have they tried using the back button to retrace their steps? Have new pages opened up on top of where they started? They can also talk about the benefits of learning a foreign language.