Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kid Friendly, Kid Safe, Zoodles Website Review & Giveaway - 5 Winners

Computer and TV time for kids has a bad reputation and sometimes for good reason.

I have never felt that too much TV is bad, I feel it is WHAT they are watching on TV that can be bad. As long as the programing is monitored, educational and age appropriate, children can learn a lot. My son was spelling words like House and Blue at the age of 23 months thanks to Blue's Clues.

Computer time should be strictly monitored, but with the appropriate websites, your kids can get a fun, interactive, and amazing education.

This is how I feel, shoot me. I truly believe that TV and computers are not bad! How they are used is the problem.

That is why when the opportunity to review a website called Zoodles came up, I was excited to participate.

The kids are allowed on the computer a few times a week under strict supervision, the biggest reason is that they are using, my little old laptop that has it's own issues and I need to make sure they don't rush it. We go to Starfall, Noggin and Webkinz but I am always on the look out for a great site and never have the time to really search them out.

Thanks to Mark who created Zoodles while watching his 4 year old daughter try to navigate the web, we now don't have to search.

Zoodles is a safe, fun, educational, interactive online experience for your child.

It was so easy to open my account. I signed up, entered my child's name and date of birth. If you have more than one child, through your account, you simply add another child. Each child gets their own "toybox" which we, the parent configures.  Through parental controls, we decide what gets filtered out and blocked. We set up the subjects (language and literacy, life skills, math, science and social science) we want covered, by moving a slider up or down to increase or decrease the subject.

Each child has their own tab on the Parental dashboard. You can add their picture and answer some basic questions about each child.

Is your child able to type their name?

Can your child read basic instructions?

Is your child allowed to print on their own?

Is your child hearing impaired?

Is your child color blind?

Then you let them play.  So simple!

I sat with 4.5 year old Goddess who was so excited to get started. First she was given a dog and asked to name it. Then we started playing games.

Depending on your child, there is even a Parent Play-Along Mode so you can explain and assist if necessary. Great for younger kids. (You can check out and see a video of all Zoodles features here.)

She loved it! We played a Kai-lan game, we did some phonics, Wordworld, Starfall, and more. Every once in a while the computer tells her that she played a lot of games and gives her a chance to feed her dog. Very cute!

At the end (I was done and wanted to start writing up my thoughts, she wasn't), I am brought back to the parental dashboard where I see a listing like this of everywhere she was and a pie chart that tells me how long she spent on each subject.
  1. Kai-lan's Great Trip to China (8 minutes)
  2. Let's Talk with Puppy Dog: ABCs and Phonics (5 minutes)
  3. The Letter L (3 minutes)
  4. Frog's Rhyming Machine (3 minutes)
  5. Where do Slippers Sleep? (3 minutes)
  6. The Letter R (2 minutes)
  7. Alphabet Song (1 minute)


  1. Nick Jr. (11 minutes)
  2. Starfall (6 minutes)
  3. Zoodles YouTube Videos (6 minutes)
  4. PBS Kids (4 minutes)
  5. Other (less than a minute)


  1. nihao, kai-lan (8 minutes)
  2. WordWorld (3 minutes)
  3. Blues Clues (3 minutes)
  4. Between the Lions (less than a minute)

In A Nutshell: What is not to love!???  You control everything! You see exactly where your kids go. What they learn. What they like and enjoy. How they are doing. In the progress report tab, you get a bar graph telling you how long they worked on each subject. It is like school at my dining room table. It is everything we look for when we sit our babies in front of the computer screen.

6-Ad Free

That's right you read #5 correctly, Zoodles is free. Zoodles believes that every child is entitled to a safe, educational, online experience.

For parents who'd like to participate more in their child's Zoodles experience, Zoodles offers a Premium Membership that enables parents to block ads, block and promote content, and monitor their child's activity.

All parents who download the free Zoodles browser will also be given a free trial of Zoodles Premium Membership. Once the free trial expires, basic Zoodles members can still continue using the browser for free.

For parents interested in becoming Premium Members, Zoodles offers a number of pricing plans, including $7.95 per month, $39.95 for 6 months and $59.95 for the entire year. See Pricing details for a complete description of the difference between free and premium Zoodles Membership.

I stand behind Zoodles 100%!!!

The folks at Zoodles have been very generous by giving me a 6 month premium membership. They have also offered to give 5 of my readers the chance to experience premium Zoodles for 3 months.

To enter this giveaway fill out the form below before midnight, January 28.

Fill out the form below.
Finally A Worldwide Giveaway (you will get a discount code to enter if you win)

For Extra Entries:

*Blog about this, and leave me the link for 3 extra entries
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Thank you to Zoodles for this wonderful opportunity!

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