Wonderopolis

Website review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
Wonderopolis Website Poster Image
A wonder a day will keep kids' eyes open to discovery.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn information to help foster their interest in a wide variety of topics. Kids are encouraged to read and explore the material with their family members and further their knowledge by digging deeper into the subjects they're wondering about and interested in. Links to outside educational sites offer additional learning opportunities, videos supplement the written information, and a list of relevant vocabulary words related to the "Wonder of the Day" help build on each concept. Wonderopolis is a fun-filled destination that provides a fascinating outlet for curious kids of all ages.
 

Positive messages

Learning, discovery, and curiosity, as well as the concept of sharing the experience with family members, are strongly encouraged throughout.
 

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

In an effort to encourage additional learning, there are outside links throughout the site, mostly leading to educational websites that offer supplemental information, but their content and advertising isn't monitored by Wonderopolis. The site also promotes its Thinkfinity sister site, an online community for parents and educators that's part of the Verizon Foundation.
 

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WONDEROPOLIS is an informational site that asks and answers interesting questions about the world. Every day, a new "Wonders of the Day" question is posted, and each is designed to get kids and families to think, talk, and find learning moments together in everyday life. Sponsored by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and supported by a number of philanthropic partners, there are hundreds of wonder-filled moments for adults and kids alike, but it takes some reading to get them. The questions cover dozens of categories from animals ("Why do skunks stink?) to cultures ("What is zydeco?") to history ("Who is Uncle Sam?") to science ("What is space?"). Click on any question to find facts, information, suggestions for exploring further, useful links, and videos.
 

User Reviews

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What's it about?

This safe site is smartly simple. With hundreds of intriguing questions in its archive, and a new one posed and posted each day, families can find answers to things they've wondered about or search topics of interest. It doesn't stop at just answers and information, however. Each offers a video, thought-provoking questions, and suggestions for activities and links that can lead to more learning. There is also a section for user comments, and Wonderopolis staff responds thoughtfully to every single comment.
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Is it any good?

Wonderopolis is smart in its simplicity. There are hundreds of intriguing "Wonder of the Day" questions posed (one per day, in fact) and kids can search by topic to find those that fit their interests. Find something you're wondering about and Wonderopolis offers more than just a simple answer, however. Click on a question and kids will discover more information along with some thought-provoking ideas and activities to encourage further contemplation and exploration. Each question leads to just one single page, but that page provides prompts that will encourage more questions, spark discussion, and ignite a bit of creativity. There's even a list of vocabulary words to read and remember. Young kids will definitely need a parent's help to read the questions and navigate the text-heavy answers, but there's something for kids of all ages -- and their parents -- no matter what you wonder about.
 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to ask questions about the world around us and how questions can lead to discoveries and innovations.

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  • Discuss other questions kids would like answered about topics they're interested in. What is a source of wonder in their world?

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  • Talk about how the Internet is a wonderful source of information and how accessible answers are compared to when parents were young. Discuss the importance of making smart decisions about the technology that is so readily available.

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Website details

For kids who love exploring

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