A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zoodles lets younger kids get a sampling of age-appropriate web content, including games and videos. The application selects content for kids based on age (up to age 8 or third grade), skill level, and special needs. Users can only get to pre-approved sites (such as Disney and American Girl), and are prevented from exploring parts of those sites that haven't been added to the content rotation. A premium version of the application ($7.95 per month or $59.95 per year) gives parents access to special features, including the ability to monitor kids' activities, block ads, and customize content. Parents can try out the premium version free for 14 days.
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Is it any good?
Designed for computers and certain mobile devices, ZOODLES creates a kid-safe "playground" full of games and other content that's chosen based on age and skill level. The browser also smartly makes adjustments for kids who are color blind or hearing impaired. Parents who want to monitor and customize their kids' activity -- rather than just limit them to content that's pre-screened as safe -- will need to pay for the premium version of the application, which offers extensive options for fine-tuning kids' experiences. One highlight: If parents object to Barbie's focus on beauty or find Barney too annoying, for example, there's a clever feature that lets them block certain characters from the "playground."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the advantages of using a customized application rather than a general browser to find age-appropriate content. What are the benefits of having browsers, search engines, and applications designed just for kids? How can you tell which sites you can trust?
Families can also talk about respecting and protecting privacy. Why would your parents need to know what sites you are looking at?
For kids who love to play online
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