What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that because this site is in the kids.us domain, there are no outbound links. While there is not any real advertising, the expanded CD version of SwitchZoo is advertised for sale. However, kids will have so much fun with the free online version they may never notice.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- collecting data
- making new creations
- producing new content
Engagement, Approach, Support
At first you might think this is a simple mix 'n' match game but there's more depth to it as kids consider habitat, diet, and sounds their new animal would make. Kids will get hooked on finding 34 "hidden" animals around the site.
The freedom to mix and match animal species will unlock kids' creativity. As they do so, facts appear about each new part and writing prompts guide kids to consider how the new animal would survive.
An extensive "Help" section assists with problems displaying animals. Users can also title and print their pictures.
What's it about?
The setting for this game is a very unusual zoo with nine different animal scenes, including a cheetah, a bear, a monkey, and six more. Click on the animal scene you want to visit: the elephant, for example. You'll see the base animal you've chosen, plus nine animal buttons on the bottom of the screen. Click "Head" and choose an animal button and you'll see the elephant's head transform into the animal you've selected. The realistic illustration smoothes out the transition between the new animal head and the elephant body so that it does look like a brand-new species. Don't miss the "Quick Switch" animals on the left. This lets you add in certain wildcard animals that are different at every location.
Is it any good?
At first you might think this is a simple "head of a bear, legs of a giraffe, tail of a crocodile" mix 'n' match game. It is, but there is more depth to it than that, as you'll see. Once you've gotten pretty good at the basics, you can step up the complexity by applying to be a zookeeper. You'll need to find 34 "hidden" animals around the site.
The site uses Flash, and there is an extensive "Help" section if you have problems displaying the animals. You can also title and print your pictures.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about animals and their habitats, make up funny names for the combined fantasy animals, and write captions for the pictures.
Do you have (or want) a pet? What kind of habitat would be best for your pet? Why don't wild animals make good pets?