As of 9/2/10 this contest/giveaway is closed! This post had to be moved to my review blog, so the comments that were originally left could not be moved. I have added them to the end of this post. The winners of the giveaway are Kitten, Lisa, and Chrissy. Congrats! I will forward your info to Zoodles, who will email you your prize!!
I have an almost three year old child who is growing up in a completely different world than the one his father and I lived. We grew up when electronic toys were a speak n’ spell and Pong. Now there is THE INTERNET, ipods and Wii. The first time we had a computer at home was 1984 and it was a Kaypro and it was big. My little guy lives in a house in which each parent has a laptop along with the desktop in the family room.
So of course he would like to “work” on the computer like mommy and daddy. His first experience using a computer game was actually at our library, which has a kid-friendly computer stocked with educational games. We do not own any computer games at home that are age-appropriate for a preschooler. I personally do not think he needs to play on the computer at his age, but I do realize that it is very well possible that a required school supply for kindergarten may be a laptop. (Ok, I jest, but it’s possible, right?) I know before not too long he will be using computers in school and will need to type his first report on the computer, so playing a few age-appropriate computer games occasionally may help him learn how computers work and how to properly use a mouse. He also really likes playing on the computer but since I’m not planning to purchase games, I need to find appropriate ones online for him to use. Enter Zoodles, a safe online service that helps parents find age appropriate educational games for kids that are fun!
Zoodles is a free web browser that a parent can download to provide a safe platform for a child to play online, age appropriate games. Zoodles does the work in finding the appropriate kid-friendly games that are educational and fun. After downloading, the parent or child can access the browser by clicking on a desktop icon and enter a safe internet zone, a place that has controlled content. One of the features I really like about the Zoodles browser is that I can search for age-specific games related to what my monkey boy likes, namely, Curious George. By entering some basic search info, such as “Curious George three year old games”, I get a list of age appropriate games that involve Curious George. My monkey has enjoyed playing a George juggling game, which helps him with counting and number identification. The Zoodles directory of games is chosen based upon the National Educational Norms, so as a parent I know that the games are appropriate and educationally based. The ages the games range from are age two to age eight. That is a massive amount of games! In just the three year old category there are 510 games available. With a searchable directory, there is a way to customize my son’s playing time each time he plays by searching for the type of game or character he is interested in at the moment (if he decides he no longer wants to play a George game, that is!!)
Currently my son is unable to master the use of the mouse. He keeps practicing, but with Zoodles I can play along with him to help him. This has been a fun way to show him how to use the computer while also keeping control over what he sees and how long he stays on. Currently I limit his play online to about ten minutes at a time. Having Zoodles to help me identify fun games for him has been a nice chance for us to play together.
While Zoodles is a free browser, there is a premium level upgrade that allows parents to have even more control over what their child is doing on the computer. With a premium membership, parents can set play timers, ad blocking, violence filtering, receive weekly activity reports showing play history, and more. Premium membership is sold by the month, 6 months or annual rates. The free browser allows parents to set up a profile for each child and based upon the child’s age, content is selected. For a family with several kids in various ages, this lets each child have his or her own profile with age appropriate educational activities selected.
As my little guy continues to grow by leaps and bounds, I know his interest in playing online games will grow too. I’m glad he will have Zoodles to help him enjoy this activity.
When a parent downloads the free Zoodles browser, a free time-limited premium membership is also provided to give one a chance to see how the premium level works. Zoodles would like to offer three of my blog readers a complimentary 3 month premium subscription to really try out Zoodles with their child/children and get a feel of just how this great service works. To be eligible for this giveaway please leave me a comment below telling me a memory of your first experience with a computer. This giveaway will end on September 2 at 11:59pm EST. The three winners will be notified by email by September 4th. The winner's information will be forwarded to Zoodles, who will send a redemption code directly to the winners. Good Luck!
Disclosure: I was provided with a 6 month premium level membership to Zoodles in order to write this review. The opinions expressed are mine. No monetary exchange occurred.
Also, this is the first giveaway I've ever held on my blog. Please be nice. :-)
Comments, as left on my main blog, knittingzeal:
Sure, I'd love to try this for my very computer curious toddler. :) My first memory of a computer? I was very young and had met my mother's new boyfriend for the first time. He decided to entertain me by setting up his hand built computer to print out plane engineering plans. It must have been 1979 or so and I was immediately enthralled. By the time he moved in, when I was five, just two years later, he had built a new computer that he 'shared' with me. I got to play silly ascii games on something called DOS and I got to write on it.
Thanks to my stepfather, I now have a degree in computer science today!
Hmmmm....well, my FIRST memory of computer related interaction is a Smith Corona Word Processor. LOL That was in my college dorm---I had the version that looked more like an electric typewriter---and the girl across the hall had to one that looked like a computer (separate monitor, etc).
That year I also took a computer "programming" class in college........typical "green" type on the screen and print outs via dot matrix printer. LOL WOW am I dating myself. That was back in 1993....."only" 17years ago. EEK!
First email account was assigned to me when I was working at my first job out of college--1994/1995. WOW---now we can't live without them!!
SO...obviously (to you), my baby is far too old for this...but I did want to put my "two cents" in. To all the toddler moms facing this dilemna: please include some basic keyboarding programs early on. When I was in high school, I took "typewriting"...you know...on a typewriter (does anyone here remember that round eraser with the brush attached?)! DS learned how to play computer games at around age 3 but still does a hunt-&-peck type of keyboarding when it comes to school reports, etc...albeit rather quickly. Just sayin'....
Well, I feel rather old sharing my first computer experience. I was in High School sitting infront of a screen with blinking green letters on it and listening to a teachere who was very unimpressive. I thought how in the world is this computer stuff going to be helpful to me in the real world.
Fast forward to the next century, I used computer time as incentive for potty training!