A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that kids can access the site for free but are encouraged to upgrade to a "Primo" membership, which costs $5.97 a month or $57 a year. The Primo membership includes 50 minutes of free tutoring from an online homework help site. The membership also gives kids the chance to bid on prizes -- items like an iPod or puzzle books -- using the site's online currency, Tuki Moola, which you earn by playing games and participating in other site activities.
What's it about?
CLUBTUKI.COM was launched in 2008 and features educational games and short videos. The games are designed to help users practice math, verbal, and other skills. The site's videos range from zany animal antics to instructional videos about credit and magic tricks. Playing games earns you Tuki Moola, which kids who have a paid subscription to the site can use to bid on and buy real prizes. An internal ClubTuki email system also allows you to correspond with other users.
Is it any good?
The site's interactive games are clever and fun to play -- creatures in a memory game make a face when you click on them, and cheers ring out when you pick the right letter in a word game. The kid-friendly videos are also entertaining and will help teach simple lessons about subjects like finance -- or will just make users laugh.
But ClubTuki has some drawbacks: Most of the videos were posted by just one person, and only a few have been commented on -- the site could definitely benefit from more user activity. And while it's a neat idea to teach kids about saving and spending by placing their Tuki Moola in a pretend bank account, Primo members are the only ones who'll get the full benefit of the lesson. You have to be a paid subscriber to place bids on the site's auctions; if you're not, there isn't really anything to spend money on -- and you probably won't care about tracking your virtual cash. However, there's plenty of good, clean fun to be had at ClubTuki without paying the membership fee -- and that's great news.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how bidding in an online auction works. What does it mean if you're using pretend money that a Web site awards you, as opposed to real money? How do you know how much to spend when you're bidding? How could it be dangerous or risky to buy things online?
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