Plinky

Common Sense Media says

Slick writing-prompt generator is spammy, lacks privacy.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids using their imaginations is always a good thing, and Plinky offers some smart and evocative prompts that should get them motivated to write.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

There are some random spambots with profiles, like "SexyIndianModelinDubai" that use the answer space to solicit sexual services. Really. Answers aren't moderated, so some sexual responses do crop up. However, the majority of answers are fine.

Language

Since answers aren't moderated, kids could encounter profanity, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some answers to writing prompts include references to drinking, drugs, and smoking.

Privacy & safety

Plinky makes a point not to collect any more info than necessary to get signed up. An email and password are required, and users can add additional profile info if they like. The site states that it's for users 13 and up. As a social network, though, Plinky is missing some important safeguards. As of this review, it's not possible to either block unwanted followers or regulate who sees your profile. However, it's not possible to send private messages and profiles do not include email addresses. Overall, Plinky seems to primarily be a writing resource.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Plinky is a website that shares daily writing prompts users can respond to. Answers are posted on the site and can be shared through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter or embedded into a Wordpress blog or Tumblr. It's a neat site for writers, but privacy settings are really undeveloped. Also, there's a bunch of spammers floating around the site posting explicit stuff.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing clearly
  • reading
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content
  • brainstorming

Communication

  • friendship building
  • conveying messages effectively

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The daily prompts are really fun and require just the right amount of self-reflection; it's likely that kids will return daily to face their next writing challenge. Site design is very streamlined.

Learning Approach

Quality imaginative prompts empower kids, and they'll soon amass a nice portfolio of responses. Users can socialize by following each other and "starring" favorite answers, but that's about it.

Support

The interface is intuitive and easy to use, and there's a reasonable amount of help. Users can see saved responses on their profiles and can also share through social media or export to a blog.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing clearly
  • reading
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions
  • decision-making
  • thinking critically

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content
  • brainstorming

Communication

  • friendship building
  • conveying messages effectively

Kids can learn to think on their feet by answering daily Plinky prompts; they'll use imagination and critical thinking to come up with creative responses that don't have to be limited to text. They'll also learn writing skills as they organize ideas, and there's the potential for communication if kids choose to share answers through social media. Plinky is a fine jumping-off point for kids who want to start a daily writing practice but would like a bit of guidance.

This Learning Rating review was written by cassiechism

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

Plinky offers a daily writing prompt that users can respond to. Teens first set up a profile with a username and optional bio and profile pic. They can \"follow\" other users to see responses to the prompts. Users can post answers on the site and can share them through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, or embedded into a Wordpress blog or Tumblr. Plinky allows writers to not only respond with words, but also to add images and rich text to their answers as well.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Plinky is great in theory, but it has a long way to go. Many of the Frequently Asked Questions have these kinds of answers: "We're working on it" or "Not yet." The good news? Design is chic and clean, and the prompts themselves are fantastic and diverse. They just need to build their community, banish the sexy spambots, and take the time to work on important privacy features before Plinky is a safe and recommended place to send writerly kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can do a version of the classic writers' activity, "morning pages." Grab prompts from the site and write them on a chalkboard in the morning. Then have kids sit down and write for 5-10 minutes on the subject without stopping.

  • Talk to your kids about your expectations for responsible social media use, especially in unregulated environments like this one. 

Website details

Genre:Creating
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Plinky was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools