What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fun, safe virtual world teaches kids about prehistory and dinosaurs. Safety features include the Parents' Corner, a monitoring system that allows parents to keep close tabs on their children's "exploring." Chat is filtered to prevent foul or suggestive language, and parents can choose to allow free chat or limit it to a prewritten script.
What's it about?
Developed by parents with dinosaur-loving children, DINOSAUR JUNCTION lets kids explore a rich virtual prehistoric world. Kids create an avatar and go on adventures like digging for bones, kayaking down rapids, or fighting off large insects. Registration is free, and gives your child the option of interacting with other kids and working towards common goals. An optional premium membership costs $5.95 a month, and includes additional features for kids and parents, such as insider secrets, homework tools, parent controls, alerts when child receives foul language warnings, and membership discounts at the Web site store.
Is it any good?
Dinosaur Junction is a great Web site for kids who love dinosaurs and for parents who want a safe, entertaining, educational experience for their kids. The games, which are both fun and smart, offer a variety of skill levels so they grow with your child -- or allow two kids of different ages to play together. Not only is the site heavily monitored, but parents can have full access to what, when, and how much their child is doing online.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the positive aspects of learning on the Internet through virtual worlds, forums, and educational Web sites. What are some safe practices? What are some red flags to look for? When should you contact someone about something that you encounter online that you feel is negative? What age is appropriate to begin exploring in virtual worlds such as this one?