ThomasandFriends

Website review by
Dana Cotter, Common Sense Media
ThomasandFriends Website Poster Image
Thomas fans will enjoy -- for a while, anyway.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Links to HIT Entertainment store. Ads run at top of every page for Thomas merchandise and there are links to promotions and live Thomas shows.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although kids younger than 4 can probably use this site with some simple pointing and clicking, we don't recommend having kids online who are that young. The site lightly advertises merchandise, events, and DVD/TV shows. Most instructions are in writing, and not all games and activities are intuitive. The younger set may have some trouble finding exactly what they want to do and figuring out how to do it if they can't read. Fans will be drawn to this site's games, bright colors, and stars, but parents should get the next mode of entertainment lined up, as the site won't keep kids busy for too long.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written byAiva Rose June 6, 2010
Adult Written bychickin1234 April 9, 2008

cool

a fun site for kids who love trians
Teen, 13 years old Written byF-Zero studios September 11, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written bysara4ever95 February 17, 2009

What's it about?

WWW.THOMASANDFRIENDS.COM is brought to us by HIT Entertainment (think Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Barney). On this site, fans can play games, participate in activities, and read all kinds of information about Thomas and his friends. There are educational games as well as arcade-like choices; kids can put together train car puzzles or participate in a train race. They can also color online or print out coloring pages and mini-posters to do their creative work offline. In the History section in About Thomas & Friends, kids learn how the series was created by a dad telling stories about steam engines to his sick son. Those stories were eventually put into writing with pictures and recurring characters such as Edward, Gordon, and Thomas. The Engine Depot is a cool library feature where kids can click on each character to see pictures and learn facts about them.

Is it any good?

The different-leveled games and activities are well-suited for young fans (some reading is required), but they're simple and will most likely grow old after a few rounds. The video clips on the site are such poor quality that they're barely viewable. For the true fan who wants to learn about the history of Thomas and his pals, however, www.thomasandfriends.com is a real treat.

As for ads, access to HIT's main store is provided by an animated ad at the top of every page as well as a button on the main page of the site. Kids can also click to get tickets to Day Out with Thomas (a real train ride extravaganza throughout the U.S. and Canada) and Thomas & Friends Live! On Stage (you guessed it…a touring theatrical performance). Other than that, references to products are kept at a minimum.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the character of Thomas started out as a story told to a son by his dad. What do you like about hearing a story told out loud versus reading stuff on the computer screen? Does playing the games with the characters make you enjoy the books more?

Website details

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate