Imagination Cafe

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
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Articles, word games, and activities to inform and inspire.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about more than 30 careers, access homework and studying tips, and get help setting goals. Other activities reinforce language skills and promote reading. A career section offers detailed information on salary, training, and job responsibilities and also includes some Q&As with veterinarians and other professionals. Occasional typos and non-working links detract from the sites' value. Good site for helpful information on potential careers, plus homework, learning tips, and more.

Positive Messages

The site features a few testimonials from kids about their volunteer work and links to community service/volunteer organizations; users who contribute stories about helping other people are sent a "good deed" certificate.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

All comments are reviewed before they're posted, so the site's Open Mic section is swear-free.

Consumerism

Users can buy Imagination Cafe tote bags, T-shirts, and other items.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the site offers a variety of reading-based activities including articles about animals, body language, and other topics. There are also kid-submitted stories, descriptions of what various careers entail, and more. Some areas are only accessible to registered users.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

IMAGINATION CAFE offers articles; kid-submitted book reviews; and other education inspiration. Different sections stress positivity and personal growth in a subtle, but effective way; the quizzes, for example, mostly cover topics like friendship, but some touch on career aptitude and finance. The site strikes a nice balance between presenting information and lessons, such as in its Extra Helpings section, where kids' volunteering experiences are highlighted, along with information about getting involved with community organizations.

Is it any good?

Kids can drop by IMAGINATION CAFE to learn about a variety of topics ranging from articles on animals to celebs' embarrassing moments. Sections like the Tip Jar, featuring user-submitted book and movie reviews, offer a mix of light-hearted, upbeat things to read. The site's emphasis on learning and being ambitious, reflected in its volunteerism coverage and lengthy career section, is another positive aspect; kids can also benefit from helpful homework tips encouraging smart study habits. Imagination Cafe also serves up some just-for-fun activities -- including kid-friendly recipes, a monitored message board, and word puzzles and games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which websites are safe to post comments on -- if other user comments look OK, but the message board isn't supervised, should you post any information? What information, such as your full name or address, should you never post?

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  • The site's Career-o-Rama section lists more than 30 types of jobs. Which ones spark your interest? How could your child start preparing now to someday land a dream job?

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  • Another section covers volunteering, and offers links to kid-friendly community service organizations. What could your family do to help out in your area? Why is community service a good thing to do?

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Website details

For kids who love playing and learning

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