Anamalz

Website review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Anamalz Website Poster Image
Eco-site goes back to basics for good of kids and earth.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The mission behind the Anamalz brand is to create eco-friendly toys that are safe for kids and encourage creative, open-ended play. The Web site promotes this idea with simple games.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

You need to buy a wooden Anamalz toy in order to access the Web site's features. There is also a page on the site where you can explore the product line and accompanying music CD.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a progressive brand of toys with noble ideals. The toy figures are made of organic maple, not plastic, use safe paint, and are designed to encourage imaginative open play. The company also donates a portion of profits to wildlife conservation organizations. As the recipient of the 2008 Australian International Design Award, no two of these toys are alike. The Web site is also simplistic and encourages a limited amount of screen-time for young kids, rather than being designed to draw kids into hours of online play. The site is more of a launching pad for real-life play, with tidbits of animation and games, but nothing too involved. Although it originates from Australia, most concepts will translate to US users.

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Is it any good?

ANAMALZ is not the type of Web site that will keep kids occupied for hours on end. And it doesn't want to be. Socially and ecologically-conscious, the site focuses on introducing users to its cast of wooden animal characters and providing some quick entertainment in the process. Although you won't find too many things to do on the site, what it does do, it does extremely well. The music, supplied by Australian singer Beau Young, is sweet and soulful and is a highlight of the site. The magically realistic animation segments let the personality of the figure shine through, with activities designed for the youngest newbie computer user.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about limiting screen time for preschool kids. How much time does your child spend in front of a screen (TV, computer, video game, electronic toy)? Learn more about creating a healthy media diet so you can free up family time for more interactive experiences.

  • What information is it okay to share when joining a web site and what information is off-limits? What are your house rules for staying safe on the Internet?

  • Families can talk about "green" products. Do you think some products just clain to be  "green" to get people to buy them? What steps is your family taking to be more earth-friendly?

Website details

  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Free

For kids who love Beginner fun and games

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