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Wilson and Ditch
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 educational website is a guided tour of the United States hosted by sibling gophers named Wilson and Ditch. The self-named GoBros drive in their microbus to various U.S. cities, seeing the sites and spewing fun facts and funny dialogue over every mile. Each stop is showcased via regular webisodes (short videos imbedded in the website). A small but entertaining collection of games, activities, downloads, and podcasts round out the site. New cities are added regularly, and an interactive map enables users to track the brothers’ cross-country tour.
Is it any good?
Animated (literally and figuratively) hosts Wilson and Ditch are goofy gopher brothers who “dig America.” Together, they tool around in a well-worn van seeing different cities and teaching kids about their stops along the way. Well-done webisodes mix real footage of interesting sites (such as the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia) with the animated antics of the brothers. The GoBros have distinct personalities and showcase their learning in delightfully different ways. Wilson, the serious eldest brother who loves planning and facts, writes a regular blog, with an entry for each stop in every city. Playful younger brother Ditch creates comic strips that focus on the fun they find in each place. Silly and sometimes slapstick, these colorful characters come across as real siblings, and kids will be so distracted by their gopher guides, they won’t even realize they’re learning about culture, history ,and geography during their fun- and fact-filled trip across America.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why it’s important to learn about the many different states in the U.S.A. and the people who live there. How many states has your family traveled to? Which ones would you like to visit? What have you learned about how the states are different from one another? How do sites like this help you discover new places to see and things to do?
How another set of animated siblings -- Phineas and Ferb -- do everything they can to follow some simple rules when they’re on the World Wide Web. It’s travel of a different kind when they explain the rules of the road that help them stay cybersmart.
The importance of staying safe online. Even when you’re on a website that your parents deem safe, what other safety tips should you keep in mind when you’re there?