A lot or a little?
Parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the ABC Kids site features games and links to pages for shows that run on Saturday mornings, including Hannah Montana, That's So Raven, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and more. Kids don't need to register to access the ABC Kids games, activities, and show information, but if they venture deeper into the Disney site they may need to create an account for some activities.
Is it any good?
Fans of shows like That's So Raven and Hannah Montana should enjoy clicking around the ABC KIDS site -- they can email their favorite characters, play games based on various shows, and view videos. Because most activities aren't reading-based, younger kids can use the site. And there are a few clever things to do -- such as a Hannah Montana activity that lets kids click through emails on Miley Stewart's laptop.
However, the rest of the content is pretty basic: a few games for each show, some photos and other information, plus promotional items like downloadable wallpaper and posters. But that isn't likely to keep kids interested for long. In addition, the site navigation isn't always clear; it's easy to accidentally end up on the main Disney Channel site. The content there is perfectly safe -- but for kids hoping to rev up a driving game from The Replacements and then get a Suite Life of Zack & Cody fix, it could be confusing.
Online interaction: Kids can email show characters through the site by entering their first name, age, and state of residence. Emails may eventually appear on TV or online.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the site lets kids email their favorite show characters. When is it OK to email someone you don't know personally -- like a character from a TV show -- and when is it not a good idea (like someone who just instant messaged you who is a stranger)?
What are your favorite ABC Kids shows? Does playing the games and other activities on this site make you like the shows more?
This site contains a few ads for different products. Did you notice them when you were using the site? Do ads make you want to buy things more? For discussion ideas, check out our Selling to Kids Tips.
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