Tuesday, July 10, 2012
OK, maybe I've always wanted her to have a pen pal; I have so many fond memories (and shoe boxes full of letters) from my childhood pen pals growing up. I had a handful in Australia, and getting letters from them were the highlight of a boring week on the farm.
Today, kids aren't as into pen pals as they used to be; everything is online, which can be OK, provided it's done safely. PenPal Kids Club is a new website designed to give children the experience of having pen pals to converse with from all over the world, with the technology they crave. It's also very safe, as I have seen firsthand. Parents have the choice of whether to enable instant messaging, for example. They can also see activity reports of when and how many times their child has logged on.
Additionally, private messaging allows kids to communicate even if it's not "turned on". Kids are allowed to answer a series of questions about themselves to be put into a scripted message. This lets kids have conversations with their penpals, even if they aren't very skilled with how to maintain privacy on the internet. Videos may be uploaded to a kids account, but parents must approve them first. Also, the staff at PenPal Kids also approves videos to ensure they are appropriate for the website.
My kids will enjoy the many games on the site. Since we homeschool, I am always looking for fun and engaging geography activities to do; these games fit the bill and are actually rather entertaining. Kids can play at different levels, as well, so as they learn more geography, they can progress to a higher playing difficulty. (Games are based on national Social Studies standards.)
A membership to the PenPal Kids Club is reasonable - under $3 per month or $30 per year. One parent can set up to five kids on one account, which makes it a good buy for big families like ours!
Learn more about what I think could be an exciting addition to a social studies curriculum at PenPalKidsClub.com.
Wanna Win? We are excited to be able to have 3 prizes of a PenPal Kids Club membership to give away! One winner will receive a grand prize of a one year membership; two will receive 6-month memberships! To be entered to win, just tell us if you had a penpal growing up. You have until July 25th at 11:59 pm CST to get your entries in. One entry per person, and we will pick one winner at random from all eligible entries. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ages 18+. See our full rules here.
Don't forget to enter our other blog giveaways while you're here!
*Membership received to review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Review of PenPalKidsClub.com