Webkinz Jr. Website Poster Image

Webkinz Jr.

(i)

 

A commercial yet easy and educational site for preschoolers.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids identify their pets' moods by watching their facial expressions, as well as their hunger, sleepy, and happy meters. Age-appropriately, there's no chat or friends components on this site for kids age 3-6.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

You have to buy a Webkinz Jr. plush toy for about $25, or pay for a code to gain access to this site. The logo of the Webkinz parent company, GANZ, is on each page, and there's an ad for the Webkinz catalog on the main page. In the Webkinz Jr. virtual world, kids spend coins on items like clothes and furniture for their pet, which they earn by playing games. There's an extra fee for the deluxe version of the site that gives parents more reports on their child's progress in games and gives kids access to more features on the site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while we don't recommend kids this young play alone on the computer, WEBKINZ JR. is so easy to navigate that most 3- to 6-year-olds could easily do so. There's no reading required, and many of the games teach preschool- and kindergarten-relevant skills like shapes, letters, and numbers, as well as emotional awareness, map knowledge, and matching skills. Parents have their own login and area to set their child's skill levels and manage the account.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Once you set the difficulty settings for your child's ability level on his or her WEBKINZ JR. account, this site is so easy to navigate that it takes very little if any parental assistance even for preschoolers. The same basic Webkinz world applies here, but without chat features. Each Webkinz animal -- a dog or monkey, for example -- gets its own little house, park, store, and classroom, and it's up to your child to take care of it. No doubt, this site promotes computer use at a very young age. But there are many educationally appropriate games for the pre-K and K set on this site. And the confidence they build by being able to navigate a safe, adorable, intuitive site on their own makes this site among the top picks for the youngest computer users.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the amount of screen time allowed in your home. Negotiating screen time wisely starts early. If your preschooler loves Webkinz Jr., consider offering computer time in place of one of his favorite television shows instead of adding to the amount of screen time.

  • Even though Webkinz Jr. isn't a full-fledged online world with chat features, read Common Sense Media's Parent Advice on Online Worlds for Young Kids Tips because this site does have some virtual world traits, such as spending online "money" to buy things for your virtual pet. 

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Webkinz Jr. was written by

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Quality

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

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  • Virtual world preschoolers can enjoy with adult help.

For kids who love virtual pets and playgrounds

What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 2 year old Written byheyzeus December 27, 2009

waste of money since the website doesnt work

like every one else says. it doesnt load properly. just wasted a lot of cash on a useless product.
Kid, 8 years old February 18, 2010

coooool

pretty cool i used to use it and i loved it
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old November 24, 2009

great website

love it its so fun for ages 2 and up
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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