A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about a wide variety of math concepts (for example, arithmetic, algebra, measurement, and geometry), "word" skills (such as letter recognition, parts of speech, grammar, and punctuation), and reading comprehension. It's too bad that the learning is pretty drill-based; it would be nice if games and educational content could be melded together a bit. Rather than being an instructional site, ZooWhiz is ideal for reviewing or testing what your kids have learned elsewhere.
Kids are in a safe, welcoming, learning environment here. However, they do complete learning activities so they can rack up coins to spend playing games. Whether or not this feels like a positive message is a value call for parents to make.
Products & Purchases
All ads are for upgrading to the premium version, but they're very prominent throughout.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ZooWhiz is a virtual learning playground wherein kids complete math and language-arts learning activities. As they work through lessons, they'll earn coins that can be spent on animals for their personal zoo or used to play games in the site's arcade. Kids must create an account using a parent's email address, but ZooWhiz is private and has no social sharing aspect. ZooWhiz keeps track of your kids' responses to generate performance charts for parents or teachers to see. Kids get rewarded (with coins) for completing learning activities. Though ZooWhiz advertises in abundance that it's free, the free version offers limited access and customization capabilities and a lot of heavy promotion to purchase the premium version. ZooWhiz is made by an Australian company, so some terminology might be new for anyone not from there (and videos have narrators with Aussie accents!). Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Zoowhiz.
Is It Any Good?
ZooWhiz boasts a fun, creative, and appealing premise that offers a welcoming learning-themed environment. Kids will be motivated to complete learning activities so they can populate their zoos or have fun at the arcade. The learning activities are mostly drill practice or quizzes, which make them more useful for review than for learning something new. Unfortunately, the fun (buying animals and playing in the arcade) feels separated from the learning. For example, learning activities have graphics and sometimes present silly situations, but they still just feel like jazzed-up drill practice. Also, with 17,000 learning activities, they can't all be good! Some are clever and right-on, but others lack clear instructions or have ambiguous educational value. Sometimes quality is better than quantity. The options for customization are really nice. They allow kids to really focus on areas that are relevant to their personal learning needs.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.