Kikki's Workshop

Website review by
Michelle Kitt, Common Sense Media
Kikki's Workshop Website Poster Image
Bulldozers, dump trucks, excavators. Kids will dig it.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn anything they want about construction equipment; from various breeds of bulldozers to how an excavator works like the human arm to pick up stuff and move it around. Kids can also learn about how big machines are making contributions around the world like demining landmines or recycling concrete. The Museum of Construction Equipment has photos of machines from each decade, beginning in the 1930s. Games are designed for fun rather than learning, but there's plenty of material in other areas of that gives kids the "scoop."

Positive Messages

The site feels like a fan club for utility vehicles; it matches the enthusiasm of its young visitors.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A Japanese company that manufactures the vehicles sponsors the site, but there are no ads or memberships. Kids can win certain prizes (a hat, a toy forklift) but there's no online store to buy them.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kikki's Workshop is sponsored by Komatsu, one of the world's largest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment. Parents may need to help younger kids with navigation and some of the games; Kikki's Workshop does mark a few of them with "With Mom’s Help" alerts. Games and tutorials require Flash.

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What's it about?

The site's main feature is a \"Great Picture Book of Construction Equipment\" with colorful photos and videos of excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders, dump trucks, and other utility equipment. And it's not just one photo of a dump truck; it's tons of photos of all kinds of dump trucks -- some that sprinkle water, or don't need a driver, or work like a train. Diagrams and interactive animations show how the big machines work, and kids can play around with mouse- and keyboard-based online games or printable coloring pages.

Is it any good?

It's a complicated thing to love big machines. They're amazing, but elusive -- there's not exactly a front loader on every corner. So, where can a kid get a good eyeful of a bulldozer or excavator doing its thing? Enter Kikki's Workshop -- a site that will make a budding young foreman's day. Komatsu is a Japanese company and the site has occasional errors in translation, but the information is sound and kids may be so busy looking at the impressive collection of photos and videos to notice. The construction equipment eye candy will appeal to younger kids and older kids can "dig deep" into their functions and mechanics with animated tutorials.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Building stuff requires a knowledgeable team with a wide range of skills. Families can talk about the different jobs people do in construction like equipment operator, laborer, electrician, engineer, painter, safety director, and foreman. Which job sounds interesting to you? Why?

  • Who says girls can't love trucks? Find out if kids are falling in line with gender stereotypes and dividing the world into "boy things" and "girl things." Help kids identify stereotypes in the media and check out our tips for battling them.

Website details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love cars and trucks

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