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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
MaMaMedia is all about the "Surprise," "Buzz," "Romp," and "Zap!" Each of these action words represents one of MaMaMedia's themes. "Surprise" is crammed with Web-based tools that let kids create their own animations, pictures, word games, and cartoons. "Buzz" offers a way to share thoughts with other kids. The "Zap" tools allow users to customize the look of their own "My MaMaMedia" page, and create their own personalized avatar to represent themselves. There are also articles on how to improve parental "new media skills" including hints on how to raise a "Clickerati Kid."
Is it any good?
One of the best games is "BotBlox." Users populate a grid with animals, people, cars, and buildings. Each one can be programmed to have different actions. For example, the dog might turn left and go two spaces whenever it confronts an obstacle. Press "Go" to start all the activity at once. It's a fun activity that will be appreciated by many age groups.
Other parts of the site are not as successful. The "Surf" section offers links to Web sites recommended for children. They are of uneven quality, though. For example, in Community Services, there are four links about Fire Departments. One is a dead end, one links to a very boring site on fire engine history, and another takes you to a particular fire department that didn't seem to have anything specifically aimed at kids. Only one was "red hot": It goes to the U.S. Fire Administration's page for kids on fire safety. The "Dress-Up Games" picks went to two sites. Both were dead ends.
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