A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site includes strong safety measures. Parents have to register -- providing email, home address, and phone number "as a means of verifying parental identity and consent" -- and approve their kids' accounts, and are notified when kids add a friend, submit a comment, or do any other public activity. Younger kids who find the publishing tools challenging may want to work with a parent to create a book.
What's it about?
Budding authors can find a creative outlet on TIKATOK, an interactive site that lets kids write and illustrate their own online books. Using browser-based tools that mimic simple desktop publishing software, kids input text and images (their own creations or the site's stock art) into a template. Books can be kept private or shared with the Tikatok community, and visitors can buy printed copies of books in hard or softcover. The site also has a social element -- kids can create profiles, find friends, join groups, and even co-author books with fellow users.
Is it any good?
Kids who like reading, writing, and design will have a blast creating their own books, whether they buy print copies or not. The site has plenty of tools to help users get started -- or get past a bit of writer's block -- such as the "StorySparks," which offer topic ideas and writing hints. The community features are robust and easy to use, and there's plenty of activity -- kids who share their books are likely to get friendly feedback and suggestions from their peers.
Curious about copyrights? Tikatok owns user-created content but will return the copyright (with some conditions) on request.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the creative process and review our Creating with Digital Media guidelines. Where do you get your ideas for stories? What do you do if you're "stuck" in your story? If kids decide to share their books with the community or comment on other users' creations, parents can talk about giving and taking constructive feedback.