Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ZooWhiz (Review)

As soon I saw that the Schoolhouse Review Crew may get a chance to review this one, I took my little one and off we went to investigate this site!  My nine-year-old animal lover was hooked!  She kept asking me if we had been chosen to review this one about 100 times before we actually were.  

ZooWhiz  is an award-winning, learning site, based around the setting of a zoo.  The colorful graphics and inviting animation draw the child in, and the Learn and Earn sections with fun, educational exercises keep them engaged enough to earn coins that allow them to purchase more zoo animals for their own zoo

The kids get their own login information and get to choose their own avatar zookeeper (immediately giving them a real sense of ownership in the game): 

Once they choose a ZooKeeper, they get to explore the entire zoo! There's a Biodome (where the animals are purchased), an Arcade, the Learn and Earn section, and the Milestones section...

  • The gist of the game is to build your own zoo full of animals. 
  • With a free membership, the child can only purchase certain animals, but they can still play a lot of the games.
  • With a premium membership  the child can purchase all available animals and play all available arcade games. 

·   But there is more to it than just building your own zoo. . . 

·  There are leveled activities your child must complete in order to earn coins to spend in the zoo shop, where the animals are sold.  

The kids can also choose to use their coins to play games in the Arcade (Abbey has yet to spend a dime in the Arcade, as she loves collecting animals way too much to do so.): 

The Learn and Earn activities include Math, Reading and Words.  I loved that we could easily adjust the level of learning.  For the Math, she was at age 9 -10, for Reading, age 10 - 15, and for Words, ages 7 – 11. So each level allows for customized settings--another great feature!  

Here are some screen shots from just one of Abbey’s days of play! 

As a parent, you can check on their progress in the Milestones section of the Zoo Park and see, at a glance, with which problems your child succeeded or struggled! 

Out of the mouths of babes: Abbey said she likes that you get 100 coins every day just for signing in, that you have fun choices in the Zoo Shop, including the fantasy-like animals like dragons and Sasquatch, and she really liked Australian-accented characters that cheered her on through each activity!!!

Out of the mouths of moms:  The only thing I would like to see added is a way for the animals to be placed in their own "pens" that would allow the kids to interact with each animal more, as a zookeeper would.  But I mean, how often do you have your child beg you to play a game where educational activities are so front and center?  And my child did--every day--checking her math folder to make sure I had included ZooWhiz time in the lesson plan.  

Go check it out--I promise the catchy music will suck you in just like it did me, and you'll stay and explore for a long time.  While this is not a standalone curriculum, it is a wonderful way to supplement and take a break from the books! I recommend it whether you homeschool or not! 

Best Ages to Enjoy this Site: Preschool (with help reading) to age 12. 

Pricing Details:  You can actually play ZooWhiz for FREE, but a Premium Membership is only $14.95 for an entire year, for a limited time only.  This is 75% off the normal price, so if this sounds like a site your child will enjoy, jump on this great price today! 

As always, don't just take my word for it, check out what my fellow Crew mates thought about ZooWhiz, over at the main dock

Disclaimer: I received a full year, premium membership to ZooWhiz.com in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was given.

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