Shiny Object: ZoodlesCecily Kellogg
When I decided to upgrade my laptop from a very old (in computer years) MacBook to a slightly less old (and new to me) Macbook Pro, I stripped my old laptop down to nothing more than a few games and programs that my daughter could use for play and learning. One of the things I installed on my laptop for her is install Zoodles Kid Mode on my browser (I use Chrome, but you can use any browser, as well as your mobile device or tablet).
So what is Zoodles? This ambitious website/application is the host of multiple games for children ranging from toddlerhood to eight years old. What I love about Zoodles is how much FUN the games they offer are, because my daughter is absolutely willing to play them. I also like the fact that the site is completely safe for my daughter to click around in. I was able to set her up to go directly to the kindergarten-age appropriate games (ideal, since she’s five and a half) so she can just crack open the laptop and get started without me.
According to the Zoodles site, they launched with a rather ambitious goal:
We started Zoodles in late 2008 with the ambitious mission of improving the lives of children across the world. Since our launch in early 2009, the feedback from parents, teachers, and children has been incredibly positive and over 2 million children across the world have used Zoodles to safely and independently play and learn on phones, computers and tablets.
The best part? You can completely control how much access your child has to the various games. If you want your child to focus on math or reading, you can set it up so that only the games that focus on those skills appear in your child’s “toy box”. Which is ideal when you are trying to help your kid improve their skills. Right now we’re working primarily on reading in this house, so I’ve got Tori focused on the reading games. And that leads to my VERY favorite detail about Zoodles: the report.
Each week, Zoodles emails me a report of Tori’s activity. It looks something like this.
I rest my case. You can’t go wrong with Zoodles!