A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wild Kratts is the companion website to the adventurous Kratt brothers' popular PBS show. Kids can play some of the games on this video- and animal-centric site using a webcam, which is cool: They'll be able to see themselves on screen and make characters walk and turn by moving, but their activity won't be recorded. The kid-friendly registration lets you select images to create a secret code or choose a secret question to use as a prompt if you forget your password. Older kids may enjoy seeing some of the unusual animals, but the site content is structured for a young, early-elementary audience.
What's it about?
The WILD KRATTS website, based on PBS' Wild Kratts show, features games, videos, and other activities designed to introduce 6- to 8-year-olds to science by teaching them about animal behavior and how animals interact. Brothers Chris and Martin Kratt discuss how animals socialize, their role in the food chain, and other topics, through animated and live action video segments. Kids will see and learn about unique animals (Ever heard of a draco? What about a carical?) and can also create a customizable avatar and travel to different habitats.
Is it any good?
The WILD KRATTS website provides plenty of exotic animal images. But scenic platypus and Tortuga turtle shots aren't the only thing kids get out of the experience. The site content also provides a look at world geography and the environment. A virtual map offers a look at different terrains; animation and live-action scenes explain how geckos walk on smooth surfaces, what bees eat, and how animals relate to and depend on each other. Segments also often touch on how creatures fit into a larger ecosystem.
Kids will also learn investigative skills through the Kratt brothers' adventures. The duo's unbridled enthusiasm for creatures big and small comes through in show episodes and site activities. Kratts pop up during games and habitat adventures to provide an animated, bubbly stream of wildlife facts; live-action intros show the brothers giddily interacting with animals. The emphasis on using character narration and videos to present show clips and game instructions can help also kids who are still working on basic reading skills absorb the information without getting frustrated or lost.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about balancing risk and adventure. The Kratt brothers approach wild animals and explore unknown areas. Explain the difference between being inquisitive and doing something that might be dangerous to your child, and provide a few real-life examples.
Ask your child to compare how some of the animal behavior on the site resembles human behavior. Can your child identify two to three similar ways humans and animals interact?
Kids can watch a lot of videos on the Wild Kratts site, and it's easy to get sucked into playing some of the games. How much time should you spend online each day -- even if you’re learning something new?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, using supporting evidence
Science: animals, ecosystems
Social Studies: exploration, geography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: asking questions, investigation, thinking critically
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Wild Animals
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