What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sublime educational site geared to very young kids is beautiful, even though it doesn't have a lot of flashy computer tricks or complex plots. Even kids just learning how to use a mouse will be able to navigate easily through the various-leveled games and activities -- although parents will want to sit along side to explain things as they go along. The site is commercial-free, but users are asked to donate to the site upon entry (though you can still use the site without donating).
What's it about?
Upon landing on POISSONROUGE.COM you'll be transported to a playroom filled with puppets, building blocks, dolls, and finger paints. Clicking on a toy then easily takes you to a game or activity. For example, a mannequin brings up a full-screen figure that can be posed in various ways. It appears a little too simple at first, but the activity actually teaches how the human body moves and symmetry, not to mention proper navigation of the computer mouse. Another activity, a digital board game, allows users to learn counting through rolling a die and moving ladybugs across a stylized grass board. Basic music accompanies actions on the site and navigation is simple -- click on a toy to play with it and return home by clicking on the red fish at the bottom of each page.
Is it any good?
POISSON ROUGE is a beautifully designed site that is refreshingly simple. It does a good job of not overwhelming users with an infinite array of content. For example, at the "aquarium" kids pretend to play a fish gliding around and eating barnacles off of a gracefully moving silhouetted whale -- all with soothing whale melodies in the background. Some of the highlights of the site include the art gallery, where little ones can create their own paintings inspired by famous artists, such as Warhol and Mondrian, and the astronomy page where users can make constellations. Surprisingly, these activities are refreshingly appealing to bigger kids and even adults.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about cause and effect. The site is designed so kids can plainly see how by clicking on an image something will happen. To take this lesson outside of cyberspace, parents can ask kids to find ways they can do these tasks in real life. Like what happens when you bang on a drum hard and what happens when you hit it softly?