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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this simple social networking site stems from the success of a popular kids product that is available in stores: The Cahootie (you probably know it as a “cootie catcher”). This spinoff site is unique because it puts the focus on building relationships with real friends rather than strangers. Kids can hand out printed invitations (complete with a secret friendship code) and invite their friends to join ClubCahootie, where they can play games, share photos, chat, blog, and just connect.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Is it any good?
Here, it’s known as a Cahootie, but parents may remember it as a "cootie catcher" or "fortune teller." This age-old folded-paper toy has recently found new life on store shelves, and as the colorful mass-produced versions pop up, so too does a social networking site built around the toy. Like an ultra-lite Facebook for tweens, ClubCahootie offers a safe space for kids to post their status, chat, and connect with their real-life friends. Games are limited, but there’s a virtual game of Cahootie, and members can even design their own version of one. Similar to Club Penguin or Webkinz, kids can collect Cahootie Cash (or parents can buy it for them using real cash) to be spent on a range of virtual items. Clean, simple, and surprisingly well done, this social scene is big on style (but a bit lacking in substance). Still, kids who are clamoring for a social network of their own will find a fun, safe, virtual club house to call their own.
Online interaction: Because this site encourages building a network of known, real friends the online interactions are typically positive and friendly. Club members must personally invite other kids to join, and they have to provide those kids with a secret code. Kids are not able to search or connect with other users they do not know. Parents are notified each time a child prints an invitation.
Talk to your kids about ...
How long games and toys like cootie catchers have been around and how they’ve entertained kids across generations. How have they changed over the years? How does a digital version compare to the old-fashioned paper version? Is it as fun? More fun?
How social networking is fun, but shouldn’t replace real face-to-face relationships.
Why it’s important to be cautious about where you click and what you say when you’re online. What are some safety tips you should remember when you’re online?
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