Webkinz

Website review by
Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Media
Webkinz Website Poster Image
Virtual world for real toys with many ads pushing more toys.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 113 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 410 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Kids learn empathy by caring for their virtual pet. And while most games are positive and sometimes educational, others like "Wheel of Wow" tend to have a gambling feel to them. But there's another under-the-radar aspect to Webkinz: cheating. Webkinz doesn't promote it, but kids know that they can find cheats on the Internet for Webkinz missions. Also, though actual products can't be purchased on the site, kids go into the W Shop and use virtual cash to buy clothes, furniture, and objects for their pets. Kids can also add other toys to their "wish lists."

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

Kids have to buy a Webkinz plush pet with a code to gain access to this website. There's also a "deluxe" membership that allows kids access to extra features, which can be bought online after purchasing the plush pet. Ads for Webkinz products appear on almost every page, and third-party ads (for things like shoes and cell phones) appear on the site, too. Parents can block third-party ads for 30 days by locating the tucked-away turn-off button. All third-party ads still appear on the main login screen.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Webkinz allows kids to "adopt" their store-bought plush pet and care for it in an online virtual world for one year. Some of the games here are casino-style "pull-a-lever" games, while others are somewhat educational. Kids play them for points to buy stuff for their pet. Ads for Webkinz features and plush toys are plastered all over, and third-party ads (which can be shut off by parents for 30 days at a time) seem to populate the site now more than ever. Cheat codes for Webkinz are available online, so parents should talk to kids about how cheating online is the same as cheating in real life.

User Reviews

Parent of a 13 year old Written bybusy mom 2 August 10, 2009

Beward of Webkinz Estore

Webkinz Estore--BEWARE!!!My children frequently purchase Webkinz and have lots of fun on their website, however, the Estore is a total disgrace. We recently sa... Continue reading
Parent Written byThe cool parent September 11, 2011

Love this website!!!

I love this website!! So do my 2 little girls who are age 8 and 9. Yes, you do have to buy the toy, but it's worth it. Very safe. It's truly a good we... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 10, 2015

It was fun at first...

well i started playing this when i was little and i grew fond of the game. since i was little i didn't really know of any other games (i wish i had known... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 25, 2010
This a site I really used to love when I was little. This teaches you about the importance of earning and spending money for yourself. It also teaches you about... Continue reading

Is it any good?

This site is a favorite for many elementary school-age kids because of all of the colorful, fun things to do that mimic real-world responsibilities. It does promote shopping and spending -- there are plenty of ways to earn and spend KinzCash (to buy clothes and furniture for the pet's room), on- and off-line. The ads for Webkinz products and other third-party ads are all over the place, and the site doesn't make it easy for parents to find where to turn the third-party ads off. Overall, Webkinz is slightly educational and mostly fun, which adds up for lots of repeat visits. Time limits are a must.

Online interaction: Kids can participate in KinzChat, which is a controlled, pre-scripted chat that prevents kids from sharing personal information. In regular KinzChat, you can only chat with others in games, unless you know your friends' -- then you can mail letters to them, and visit their Webkinz online "house." Even in KinzChat PLUS, which is a filtered chat that parents must approve, members can report other members who aren't chatting age-appropriately.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the rules for playing safely in an online world.

  • Kids may be tempted to play in virtual worlds for long periods of time. Families can also talk about setting computer time limits.

  • Families can talk about the prevalence of cheating and how Webkinz secrets and cheat codes are offered freely on the Internet. Ask your kid whether they think it's OK to use cheat codes in a virtual world.

Website details

For kids who love playing online

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