A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tickety Toc is a website based on Nick Jr.'s popular time-telling show of the same name. Kids can watch videos and play some simple games featuring the show's stars Tommy and Tallulah. A unique (and time-related!) feature: Parents can limit the amount of time kids spend on the site; a timer lets you approve site use for intervals of between five and 30 minutes. You also can override the time limits to let kids finish activities or continue exploring the site. Although show clips appear in a pop-up window within your browser, kids could potentially click on the YouTube icon and end up on the video-sharing site, where they may happen upon adults-only content.
What's it about?
In the TICKETY TOC animated series, which airs on Nick Jr., twins Tommy and Tallulah complete activities in a secret world to keep a very special clock chiming on time. The show's simple website, intended for a preschool-age audience, has a few games and quizzes, which can help kids learn to recognize shapes, improve logic skills, and identify and find objects. Kids click on icons (a clock, a TV, a magnifying glass), which take them to the various sections of the site. A clock on the Chime Time page lists kids' local time, which also can provide time-telling experience. The site also includes short video clips, Tickety Toc toy information, and an infrequently updated blog with site news and promotional offers.
Is it any good?
Tickety Toc reflects lots of themes from Nick Jr.'s show: Tommy and Tallulah cheerily work to complete tasks, often in specific time frames, solve problems, and have fun. Characters express positivity and enthusiasm, even when faced with challenges, and their adventures reinforce time management and responsibility.
The small number of activities isn't a huge problem; kids that age don't need dozens. They will, however, probably need help navigating the site. Games include only written instructions, which 2- to 4-year-olds may not be able to read. The site's reward system, which encourages kids to complete games to earn a reward marker and unlock show clips, also can be a bit confusing. The reward-collection process information is buried on a page about how the site works, and kids may not realize they need to click on the Chime Time icon to view their videos and their rewards tally.
Kids can't watch full show episodes on the site; they have to download them from iTunes, which is a bummer. Parents also may not be too thrilled to see that one of the site's five sections is a list of show-related products, including links to a site that sells them. However, you can limit the amount of time your kid views all this stuff, using the Set Timer tool, which restricts kids' site use from five to 30 minutes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why you should never post information about yourself on a website -- including posting a comment on a show's Facebook page, if your Facebook profile lists your full name, city of residence, or similar information. What safety concerns could that cause?
The Tickety Toc site videos and games show characters completing tasks using time-management skills. Ask your kid to describe the best way to perform a task. Which day-to-day tasks do they sometimes find overwhelming?
Discuss ways to break projects down into steps. What should you do first? How can you determine how much time to spend on each step?
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