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 downloadable media player offers a safe, ad-free space for kids to read books, play games, and do activities. The browser is free, as are some of the games, but the site charges a fee for most of the content. Once you purchase an activity you can access it as often as you like.
What's it about?
Designed to give kids preschool age and older a safe way to play online, KIDTHING.COM offers books, games, videos and other activities that parents purchase in the site's online store. The downloadable media player device looks like a Web browser, but doesn't have any ads to click on or a place to enter a URL, so kids can only access pre-approved KidThing.com activities. There is no charge for the player and KidThing.com has no subscription fee; most of the content runs from 49 cents to around $7 per activity. You must be at least 13 to create an account. (Currently, the player is only available for the PC. A Mac version is coming soon.)
Is it any good?
For parents concerned about the wild and wooly world of the Web, KidThing.com offers a safe way for kids to feel like they're using the Internet and for parents to control what they see. Based on your child's age and interests, you can find content ranging from entertaining to educational, such as memory games and Dr. Seuss books. It's a great option for kids who are curious about what they can find online -- and for parents who want to delay exposure to links and ads.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it isn't always safe to randomly surf the Internet. How can you start out in one place, and end up on a totally different Web site? What kinds of things might you find, and why is it always a good idea to let your parents know when you're online and what you're looking at?
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