Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
Bearville Website Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Safe virtual world promotes positivity -- and products.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 119 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The site provides a safe, friendly environment for kids to socialize. Sharing and being helpful are encouraged. Veteran users can apply to be "Jr. CyBearGuides," who help new users get acquainted with the virtual world and answer their questions. On the downside, the site places a lot of emphasis on fashion and shopping -- especially for Build-A-Bear products.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

To access the site's full array of features, users must own a Build-A-Bear. There are links to the Build-A-Bear product site, as well as ads for other websites. Also, kids can collect virtual money and use it to buy clothing, accessories, etc. within the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this friendly virtual world was created by the Build-A-Bear Workshop, which sells customizable bears and other stuffed animals online and in stores. Certain site features are restricted to visitors who own a Build-A-Bear toy (which comes with a code) -- this may frustrate kids and prompt them to ask for one. Otherwise, the site is a safe and pleasant place for kids to play online.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymeggsyweggsy December 6, 2015

So mad

Okay so this was my childhood game and decided to look it up today and play it. I could not find the game anywhere so I gave up. Later, I called build a bear an... Continue reading
Parent Written byhannahs2 May 9, 2015

Four stars because vacant

Love the world; wish it didn't become vacant.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMovie_mania_teen November 8, 2016

Outdated review.

I loved bearville with all my heart, but after 7 years of being active, bearville was removed in April 2015 :( with bearville gone, I think you should remove t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKdrewk June 28, 2015

Cute website... If you have a Build-a-Bear

I have a Build-a-Bear, so I have access to most of the website. I don't really know what it's like to not have one, because I opened my account with a... Continue reading

Is it any good?

Kids who've bought a Build-A-Bear stuffed animal will get the most out of BEARVILLE. The site's centerpiece is a virtual world that allows visitors to bring their furry friends along for games and other activities. Any kid who registers can visit the virtual world, but without a toy, they won't have access to the full range of activities. Still, there's a lot to do on this colorful site. One highlight is the Friendship Forest Photo Safari -- point and click to capture photos of animals as they fly or scurry across the lush landscape, and check out the resulting photo album. In addition to a slew of games, there’s video content, such as the web series “Craftshop,” which teaches kids how to make fun fashions on the cheap. Despite the ever-present prompts to buy Bearville gear, this bustling world does a good job keeping kids engaged -- and safe.

Online interaction: Kids can "friend" other users and trade items. There are two chat options: safe chat, which limits users to a pre-approved list of common phrases, and open filtered chat, which checks chat against a dictionary of approved words. (Parents can also turn chat off entirely.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety and what's appropriate to share on online.

  • Talk about how much time kids spend online. Parents can review our online worlds tips.

Website details

  • Genre: Virtual Worlds
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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