A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a great little site with lots to admire. It has just enough historical information to inspire the curious but not bore everyone else. The songs are fairly sappy but harmless. The only question is where's the cowboy poetry? Maybe they left it home on the range.
What's it about?
The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is in Oklahoma City, but their special kids' site is right in rural cyberspace. Explore both the museum and the Diamond R with a group of wacky characters, including the trail boss, the camp cook, and the cowboy poet. They take you on brief tours of the museum's interesting western art, and along the way you'll learn facts about some of the realistic paintings and massive sculptures. There are online exhibits, too, such as the interactive bunkhouse and the general store. There are karaoke-style cowboy songs to sing, printable puzzles and coloring pages, and even recipes. Interactives include a cowboy dress-up game and a Makin' Camp scene you can arrange yourself.
Is it any good?
Although an online tour through a museum doesn't quite pack the punch of the real thing, kids (and adults) will get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of cowboys and their families on this colorful, user-friendly site. The interactive exhibits are a fun way to teach kids about the tools of the trade, from old-fashioned cookware to rainy-day entertainment like dominos and the harmonica.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about life in the Old West. Does this site's portrayal of the Old West match what you've seen in TV shows and movies? What do you think life was like for kids back then? Would you want to be a cowboy? Can you imagine a world without cars, phones, the Internet, and modern appliances?