A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about following instructions and, by playing different game levels, learn about achieving goals. The site also gives out stars to reward kids for exploring and searching for items. A narrator reads game titles, which can help kids build word recognition and other reading skills, but there aren't many written instructions. Using stars on purchases can provide basic math practice, including subtraction; avatar customization provides the chance to be creative. Although it's fun to explore, Sofia's glittery world isn't that focused on learning -- activities will keep kids entertained, but they're not ultra-educational.
A narrator responds to avatar choices and game moves by saying things such as, "Great style!", "Great choices!", and "Lovely work."
Products & Purchases
The site links to an online Disney store and features an ad for the U.K. Disney on Ice tour.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids don't need to register for this princess-themed site, based on Disney's Sofia the First TV show. The site currency, stars, are given out for playing games; users also receive 30 for signing up. Kids can spend stars on virtual avatar outfits and decor.
Is It Any Good?
SOFIA'S WORLD is sparkly and regal; characters wear elegant dresses, wander around stately castles, and practice their posture and waltzing skills. The Disney Junior show's website features lush graphics -- snack treats dance, dishes magically wash themselves and flying fish kiss mid-air -- and remembers kids' avatar and room decor choices without the need for registering or saving. (The site uses a Flash cookie to record avatar and other information.)
Girls who are passionate about the princess lifestyle likely will love the site's virtual world aspects. However, many of the site games and other activities don't offer much educational value. Kids will practice following instructions, thanks to the thorough explanation that precedes each game, but many involve, at most, only basic hand-eye coordination skills. Kids generally won't get a ton of new skills or be able to practice preexisting ones. However, Sofia's World is a fun and safe site for spending a little time -- kids can't chat with each other or email, and they don't have to enter a single piece of identifiable information.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.