What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this safe virtual world is similar in many ways to the very popular Club Penguin -- but with dinosaurs! -- and re-creates some of the features found there. Colorful and engaging, Dinosawus.com is a simple site that lets kids create a customizable dino avatar, tour different areas, play games and puzzles, color, and chat (safely) with others using limited, pre-scripted words. It has its own currency, which can be earned through games and spent on various items such as avatar clothes, accessories, etc. Although many of the activities and games are free, many more are only unlocked and accessible with a paid membership.
Is it any good?
Created in New Zealand, DINOSAWUS.COM leverages kids’ fascination with dinosaurs to provide a virtual world full of cute, colorful dinosaurs and a variety of places to explore, including a Dino Market, a forest, and a submarine. A safe chat feature allows personalized dinosaur avatars to interact using a short list of pre-scripted statements. The graphics are cute and engaging, there are interesting places to explore, and the games can be fun. Younger visitors will find a lot to love and much to do, but those who aren’t paid members may become frustrated with the number of things they aren’t allowed to do unless they pay.
Online interaction: As with all websites (even the safe ones) that feature social networking, users run the risk of being snubbed by other avatars. Visitors can chat using only combinations from a list of pre-selected words.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why it’s fun to play online, create characters
(avatars), and have online conversations. What is an avatar? How do
avatars make learning fun?
Why is it important to learn early on how to use the Internet and social networking tools safely? What can you do to stay safe online?
How does communicating through a website help us learn to communicate in person? What things are important to remember when you’re communicating – either in person or online?