Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pen Pal Kids Club - Try it FREE for the month of July! 3 MonthMembership Giveaway Chance, Too!

PenPal Kids Club

I hope everyone is having a fun summer, and that your kids are finding a lot of great ways to spend their time.   If you're looking for one more thing to do, that could be fun, and educational, too - You may want to check out the brand new site PenPal Kids Club to kick off the site's grand opening, it's FREE for the month of July.

This is a kid safe site where your children can learn all about other countries and places, through interactive games, videos and and a learning library.   They will also have the opportunity to interact with new friends from all over the world... if YOU decide that's okay for them.

Parents always have access to view their children's activities, and can control what the kids can or cannot do on the site.  There is also a guarantee  that there will be no outside advertisers or clickable links  to other sites.

In order to begin, a parent account is established, and then the parent adds the children once the account has been verified.  Then the kids can log in and create their profile with their favorites (food, subject, music, hobby) and an avatar they can customize.. like this guy.

PenPal Kids Club

These settings can be used to match up with pen-pals.  The hope is that children from around the world will begin friendships, and exchange information about their cultures, traditions, and other interesting information.

Another fun way to learn is through the site's games.  While the kids play, they are also learning  some age appropriate world history, culture, social studies, economics, geography and government.

PenPal Kids Club

The Library is what you see in the photo below.  There is a color photo (postcard) of a famous landmark, and when it's clicked, there is a little bit of information about the place.  If the subject interests the child, they can click links within the article to learn more, but the links stay contained within the site - always.  The source of the information is the Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, for Kids.  There are also keywords in the margin.
PenPal Kids Club

Here's an example of how this works.  I clicked on the Eiffel Tower postcard.  I read about the tower, then clicked a link for the French Revolution, (it did discuss the Jacobins and the reign of terror.. you may want to supervise) from there I could click on more links.  If something is very interesting to me, I could go on and on, or read one page and be done.

It seemed to me that the games were well suited for younger children, and older ones might like the library.

Children may only communicate in the ways their parents allow.  Either through multiple choice forms or typing.  Messaging can be turned off by the parent at any time.   There is a video sharing area where children can upload videos for children around the globe to watch. ALL video content must follow strict rules, be approved by the parent, and be approved by the site before anyone can see it.

There is also a safety net for messaging, answered best here.
Q.Why can't my child freely type the message they want to send to their pen pal?
A: Private messaging allows your child to communicate with their pen pals on a variety of subject matters, by answering a series a questions. Based on the answers your child provides, a scripted response will be sent to their pen pal. Private messaging is the default style of communication for child accounts. If private messaging is turned "off", your child will be able to freely type messages to their pen pals. However, if the pen pal they are sending a postcard to has private messaging, the message will default to the safest form of communication between the two.
From everything I have seen on the site, at this point, I do think it's kid friendly and appropriate, although parents may want to join their child for library activities.  It's fun, it's interactive, and it's educational.

As I mentioned, the service is FREE for this month, and if you like it, it will be $4.99 each month for up to FIVE memberships per household.   (I love family friendly companies!)  It is also possible to put an account on hold by canceling and then reactivating.

PenPal Kids Club has also been very generous, and offered one  FREE THREE MONTH membership to offer as a giveaway for one lucky reader.

[Giveaway Closed]

*Facebook does not endorse or sponsor this giveaway nor are they affiliated with this blog or these products

**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.