You may – or may not – be aware of huge phenomenon that is Club Penguin, an online world aimed at children aged 9+. And if you aren’t yet aware, then it’s only a matter of time until your little cherubs return home from school talking of nothing else!
The Club Penguin concept dates back to 2000, but began in earnest in 2005 when a virtual world started to take shape; a safe place where children could play online and connect with one another. Then in 2007 Club Penguin joined the Disney family, giving children an ever greater online experience.
Club Penguin state “We think kids are pretty awesome. And we believe that every child should have a safe place to play. So everything we do stems from our values and commitment to safe and fun online play“
Club Penguin have created fun games that involve problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking and money management (earning virtual coins to buy items, instilling a habit of saving) so that children are learning without even being aware!
Safety is an important part of being online, and the web site are very aware of this. There are rules for children to follow; Be Cool, Be Heard and Be Safe. Children are asked to act respectfully towards others, to speak up if they feel uncomfortable and to protect their own information. And further to this, Club Penguin have filters installed, have their own moderators, have a ‘block and ignore’ button and restrict children from inputting any numbers.
The website is beautiful and super attractive to children – brightly coloured and packed full of fun. There are more than 20 games to play, children can adopt pets (puffles) and care for them, customise their own avatar (a penguin) and chat to other children.
And they can get further involved as there is a monthly magazine (great for tearing little ones away from technology and encouraging reading whilst maintaining their interest), clothes, bedding and toys.
My little Munchkin is only 4 and he has loved checking out this website, it’s really brought on his reading – and as I know he’s on a safe site, he has had a little bit of independence whilst sat next to me, playing on the iPad. He absolutely adores the secret agents and spies aspect of this site, although Disney make this fully accessible and have a full range of penguin characters to suit every little boy and girl.
*DISCLAIMER We received a month membership to Club Penguin, but all opinions are my own*