Wonder Rotunda

Website review by
Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media
Wonder Rotunda Website Poster Image

Product no longer available

Virtual fair's rides and exhibits teach and entertain.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The site encourages kids to explore their world and educate themselves so they can become successful, caring adults. Through the dozen-plus adventures kids learn that life is a feast of interesting opportunities,  from starring in movies to supporting worthwhile causes to helping run our country’s government as elected officials.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

It's not sex, but there is a sheepish-looking cartoon boy sitting on a toilet at the end of the human digestive system adventure.

Language
Consumerism

The site is completely ad free. Kids do earn Wonder Dollars, which can be spent on snacks, souvenirs and postcards, just like in a real theme park. However, kids don't have to blow all their money on junk food and stuffed animals. For instance, buying a healthy snack from one of the 12 food stands, such as yogurt or carrot sticks instead of cheese fries or cinnamon buns, gives avatars more energy for exploring the park. Also, kids can hire blimps to fly over the park raising awareness of their favorite causes, such as saving marine mammals. 
 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this vibrant virtual world is designed to replicate the sense of wonder and excitement the creator felt as a child visiting the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. About as close to perfection as an online experience for preteens can be, Wonder Rotunda is safe, fun and highly educational. Eric and Diane Garfinkel, founders of the company Back to Basics Toys, used their own worldwide travel experiences and input from their four children, ages 9 to 23, to develop the colorful animated adventures and fascinating background facts. (Did you know that the fifth type of tastebud is called umami and located in the center of the tongue?) This closed site is not free, but there are no ads.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written byjill3108 February 13, 2010

WonderRotunda

Very fun and educational!
Kid, 9 years old November 19, 2011

all about a virtual world

it is brilliant u will like it.
Kid, 8 years old April 3, 2011
sort of like it

Is it any good?

It’s a little slow to load in places, but overall Wonder Rotunda is gorgeous to look at and easy to use. This virtual theme park does a nice job of using exciting avatar-driven rides and experiences to inspire kids to learn more about the world around them. Kids will have fun zooming down into the colorful park map, entering various buildings and rides, and feeding their avatar from the food booths. The cartoon narrator, Mr. Wonder, explains things on a grade schooler’s level; for instance, “urine, also known as pee.”  Throughout each adventure, kids can pause the program to read a few paragraphs on topics they’ve just encountered. For instance, as their submarine whizzes through the human digestive tract a la Fantastic Voyage, kids can stop to learn more about the taste buds and salivary glands. 

The best thing about Wonder Rotunda is the rich variety of interactive adventures, which cover topics as diverse as tropical rainforests, African wildlife, marine life, money and business, American government, nutrition, classical music, and social causes.

Online interaction: Kids have to create an avatar in order to use the site. They have the option of creating a companion avatar as well, to walk alongside them, and they can see other avatars milling around the park, waving, smiling and waiting in line. However, to keep the site safe and focused on learning, all avatars are scene dressing only, to create a parklike atmosphere. Kids can't communicate or interact with each other in any way -- there are no chat, talk bubble, message board or commenting tools.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the changing landscape of learning. Wonder Rotunda offers lots to play with as well as learn. Read more about raising kids in a digital world.

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  • Even though this site is educational, kids should still practice reasonable computer time limits.

Website details

For kids who love playing and learning online

Our editors recommend

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