Thursday, July 29, 2010

My first giveaway!

    I am very excited to announce my very first review and giveaway!  This one is great for all those mommies, daddies or teachers of young children. I was approached by a company that is developing a free service for young kids to play, learn and explore online without any adds. 


     Let me start with a little background about Zoodles.  The company was built when one of the owners, Mark, was watching his four year old struggle with the computer.  After speaking with other parents and learning that they wanted more say over what their children were doing online he and a friend created Zoodles. 
     Zoodles is a free web browser that has a great directory of games for young children.  The games are grouped by age, grade, subject or character and then there is a description of each game that explains what the game is about and what skills it teaches.  This makes it easy for parents or teachers to preview the games before they allow their children to play them.  It also makes it easy to develop a plan for enriching a child's education. As a parent having the games grouped by age made it so easy for me to quickly view the games that were appropriate for O.  It was nice to have all the work done for my and have all the games in one place.  I have limited O's experience on the computer, up till this point, for the simple reason that I had not done the research to find age appropriate games for him.  He is now loving working on the computer and wants to do it daily.  As a teacher, up till just this year I taught first grade, I love the fact that the game are not only grouped my age but also by subject.  This will be nice feature to use when I am looking for games to go with a specific lesson or if I have computer time as a center in the classroom.  There are sites with games, such as Starfall, which have already been approved to be used in the classroom in the local school district in which I taught in.

     Another great feature of Zoodles is how easy it is for young children to navigate through. With a simple click on the desktop icon Zoddles opens up for the child to a menu where they can easily choose their toy box and begin playing.  The pictures make it easy for young children to select their toy box and begin exploring.  Each child's toy box can be customized with a player timer, ad-blocking, violence filter, and the ability to block or promote content based on subjects with a premium feature account for a small fee
     Once the toy box is open I love how easily O can navigate the browser.  His options are only the games and I don't have to worry about him clicking on something that he should not be and ending up moving a file or on the Internet on some other site. He can only choose from he games that are in his toy box. The games that he visits frequently, the PBS Kids Sprout is one of O's favorites,are listed on his favorite page and he has learned to click on that page easily.
     The last thing that I really like about Zoodles is the parent control and emails of my child's activity and progress.  The ability to change the focus of the games available to O and receiving the emails letting me know is progress and activity is great.  Now O always has  someone watching over him as he is working on the computer but with Zoodles I feel comfortable to look the other way and pay attention to little B knowing that I have adjusted the settings for O's computer time and I will be getting an email letting me see where he has been and what he has worked on.
     I am happy to say that I am very glad that Zoodles contacted me to do this review and giveaway because it has allowed me to comfortably allow O to use the computer in our home.  He has enjoyed being able to play the games and my husband and I feel comfortable knowing that we have set the parent filters and he is seeing and playing age appropriate things.  I will be telling all of my mommy friends, teacher friends and colleagues about Zoodles.  
   
Win!  Three readers will receive a three month Premium Membership to Zoodles.

Mandatory: You must follow my blog publicly

Please use a separate comment for each entry.

Following my blog - 1 entry
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Giveaway will end August 9th at 10pm. The winner will be picked and announced the next day.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will select a new winner.
 
   This was not a paid post and honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own may vary from others. Thank you to Zoodles who supplied this product for the review and the giveaway.

19 comments:

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