A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although kids younger than 4 can probably use this site with some simple pointing and clicking, we don't recommend kids under 8 browse online without a parent at their side. Fun with Spot is a simple and mostly commercial-free site starring a dog named Spot, a popular children's book character that's loved by kids all over the world. Though the storylines are extremely straightforward and geared to the youngest kids (generally birth through 18 months), really young readers will probably enjoy the site the most. The site offers counting and sorting games and multimedia clips.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Though Spot the Dog may run a veritable children's empire, he's still just a simple guy (um, dog) who likes to have old-fashioned fun -- flying a kite, hanging out with mom and dad (in his case, Sally and Sam), and playing with his friends (Steve the monkey and Tom the friendly crocodile). Creator Eric Hill started writing in 1980 the simple stories that are meant to stimulate youngsters' innate creative abilities, and the Web site -- like the books -- target skill and literacy development. The site includes memory games, printable activity sheets to encourage scissor and pencil skills, and even easy recipes. The graphics on the site, as in the books, are deceptively simple, almost unfinished (the figures are one-dimensional, the colors primary) but FunwithSpot.com utilizes Shockwave and kids can watch short videos and play games where objects disappear and reappear.
Is it any good?
The question parents will have to ask themselves is whether or not they want their toddlers browsing around on the site, even if it is educational. Though FUN WITH SPOT is a pleasant diversion, there's not that much to it, and kids will probably have more fun flipping through the pages of the actual books.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Spot's adventures and how they relate to real life. Spot loves to dig holes and bury his toys and then get clean in the bath. Do you love to get dirty and then play in the tub? Families can also discuss how Spot's helps friends and likes to spend time with his family. How do you like to spend your time?
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.