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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Following the path of Webkinz and other toy-based online worlds, Skoodlez are stuffed animals whose individual code unlocks a virtual world. What makes Skoodlez.com different than others of its ilk is its focus on literacy activities, rather than social interactions. In features like Tell Me a Story, kids create a story by selecting the setting, characters, and actions from a small graphical list of choices. The story can then be read with the accompanying illustrations by a narrator whose gender kids can choose as well. Levels increase with the children's literacy level. Users can progress from fill-in-the-blank stories to composing their own without any help. On the Library page, kids can read stories -- their own as well as other kids -- and rate their favorites.
Is it any good?
Designed to get kids excited about reading and writing, Skoodlez.com has a noble goal. Unfortunately, even though the Skoodles toys were heavily promoted at Macy's during Christmas '08, much of the proposed content was not available a month later. However, the main part of this site, the writing exercises, are live and fairly robust, and should allow kids a comfortable spot to flex their creative muscle. As new features are rolled out, hopefully they'll be as nicely done.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the elements of a good story. Characters, setting and emotions all play a big part in making a story that's enjoyable to read. What do you like to see in a story? Should there be suspense or events that make you want to keep reading? Do you like to read about characters who solve problems that you've encountered? Do you think the stories on this site are interesting? What do you like to write about? How does it feel to post your stories for other to read and rate?