What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Curiosityville is a subscription-based, personalized, educational website that tracks kids' performance in learning activities and provides data about what they learn. A cast of adorable, friendly characters introduces activities that cover areas such as creative expression, literacy, foreign language, math, social science, and scientific thinking. Because the site is designed for very young kids, parents should stay nearby to help navigate and explain games. Curiosityville helps parents monitor screen time; based on guidance from the Fred Rogers Center for Screen-Time Awareness and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Curiosityville will time kids' play and display popups that encourage going offline. A free trial is available.
What's it about?
Learning activities are divided among characters with unique passions and interests; kids click Ruby (a cat), Pablo (a frog), or Mayor Joe (a monkey) to go to their areas to choose what to do. (More characters will be introduced over the next few months). Activities like Pablo's Sketchbook encourage free play, while others, like Chalkboard Math, are more structured. Games continue as long as kids want to play and the site collects data about their progress to report in The Learning Tree, where graphs and charts show kids growth.
Is it any good?
Curiosityville's learning activities, developed in accordance with several national standards-setting organizations, are soundly designed and age-appropriate; kids can learn from them. The data collection engine is impressive but the reporting in the Learning Tree can be unclear. For example, a concentration-style game that involves flipping bottle caps is tied to social science and culture skills development. And while the Learning Tree will recommend activities to extend learning, it’s not specific about what kids should do to improve learning in areas where they’re having trouble. If Curiosityville answered that question for parents, it would be a hands-down winner.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the characters and help kids identify their own traits that make them special. Think back to the different Curiosityville friends -- each purposefully presented with different personalities, passions, careers, hobbies, and interests. Read our advice about finding positive role models for kids.
Curiosityville thoughtfully helps parents monitor how long their kids are online. If kids want to continue, be aware of our recommendations for setting screen time limits.