Friday, December 17, 2010
Recently Thing 1 and I were given the opportunity to play a bit on Tiny Planets, an award winning website for ages 4-12.
When you sign up, your child has what is called a "Cadet" account, which is managed by your own parent account. I LOVE this. We use a number of programs around here that involve a parent account above the child's, and it just makes so much sense to me. Especially since in the case of sites like Tiny Planets, there is a paid service. The Parent account is able to add purchased "keys" to the Cadet accounts, rather than an adult having to log onto the Cadet account directly and purchase the keys. And if you have more than one child playing, you are able to manage all of those Cadet accounts from your one Parent account. So no logging into numerous accounts for you to manage the Cadet accounts. You can purchase and distribute keys all from the comfort of your own login :)
The Keys, which while not 100% NECESSARY for the website to be used, make the Tiny PLanet site a bit more interesting and fun, are purchased at the following prices:
10 keys- $1.95
25 keys- $3.95
85 keys- $9.95
600 keys- $49.95 (That is a LOT of keys, but there is a LOT of content you can unlock with them!)
Once you have your accounts set up, the site is divided into six sections, Tiny Planets TV, My Tiny Planets, Tiny Planets Books, Tiny Planets Fun, Tiny Planets Lab and Tiny Planets Learning. A few are pretty self explanatory (like the TV one). My Tiny Planets is the section where Thing 1 and I spent most of our time. And it was in fact both of us because the navigation was a bit much for Thing 1 to have been able to handle (honestly, it was tough for ME at times... it was similar to in video games where there are icy sections... lots of coasting involved). In My Tiny Planets, you have your own spaceship and even your own planet which you earn stars to purchase additional upgrades for by playing various mini-games. You can purchase some of the upgrades with the previously mentioned keys as well, further expanding the customization options for your child. This is also the "social" area of the site, where your child can make friends with other cadets.
On Tiny Planets TV, you can use the Keys to purchase videos to watch. There is one free one, and then after that, the videos cost at least 5 keys to unlock. Tiny Planets Fun contains Bing and Bong's individual corners, containing games and coloring pages respectively. Tiny Planets Books is similar to the TV section, where you have a couple free samples, and the other books are purchased using Keys. Tiny Planets Lab has the new games to be tested out, a link to find out what else is new, and access to the blog.
Then you have Tiny Planets Learning, which is the educational section. This area contains puzzles and lesson plans. This is the section with educational material regarding such things as science and numeracy, and social and emotional development. These lesson plans DO utilize videos and books from elsewhere, so you will need Keys if you want to do all of these lesson plans. You can explore the website without using these lesson plans, but the lesson plans tie things together rather nicely.
All in all, we enjoyed this website. We focused on free content while exploring, so I know that Thing 1 and I would've enjoyed it even more with additional content available. Perhaps sometime in the future the Keys will give Thing 1 incentive to do his chores or something. Who knows?
If you want to learn more about Tiny Planets, go over there and explore a little yourself! If you'd like to know how my other Crew mates felt about this, head on over to the Crew blog and take a look.
Disclaimer: I received this opportunity in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation.
Posted by Stephanie at 5:23:00 PM