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#1 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom in law just e-mailed me to ask if she could buy the kids webkinz. I'm glad she asked but I have no idea about this. My dd is 4 1/2 and my ds is 2. So far they don't have anything to do with the computer except once in awhile I'll show them pictures of things they like(horses, trucks). I thought it best to not start them on the computer at a young age. What do you ladies think? Please give me your opinions/experiences


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#2 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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I know I'll be in the minority, but I'm not a fan of (my) children being on the Internet, no matter how "secure" a site is.

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#3 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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My DD has a few of them, but we don't go online with them. I don't even have the little tags you're supposed to keep. She just thinks they are nice stuffed animals. I think her favorite one lately is a snake.

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#4 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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Can't they enjoy the stuffed animal without doing the internet part?

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#5 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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The internet site is cute and I don't have a problem with it at all personally, though a 2-year-old won't get anything out of it, and a 4-1/2-year-old likely won't either. And they're expensive for stuffed animals without the internet stuff. She could probably find nice stuffed animals that size cheaper. Maybe puppets - puppets are good for that age group.
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#6 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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DD got one for her 1st birthday and for Christmas this year.

She's way to young to enjoy the computer part, but she loves the stuffies. I gave the codes away to people I knew online.

If she was closer to 5, I would have kept the codes until she was interested. But I have nothing against computers for kids in moderation. It's not like a 5yo is going to be in a chat room having cyber sex. So it seems alot safer than letting as 12 or 13yo be online.
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#7 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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My DD has a few of them, but we don't go online with them. I don't even have the little tags you're supposed to keep. She just thinks they are nice stuffed animals. I think her favorite one lately is a snake.

We also have a few and do not go online with them. They are very cute stuffed animals and that is why we got them.
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#8 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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I find them to be a pain. You get the toy, then you have to sign it up, and I guess you can starve it to death if you don't go online enough? I don't know for sure though, but I think we killed all of ours.

My kids get limited computer time, and we don't do websites where you need to sign up first, and have a username- too invasive.

So pbskids.org is a go, and there are a select few others. Never alone though.
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#9 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I didn't like it at all personally. I found the format to be like " consumer training". You buy your pet all sorts of ridiculous items all with a checkout cart system like you do with online shopping. There was also emphasis on getting more webkins friends.
It was a good time waster and a cool idea, but I didn't like the product.
I was disappointed. I guess I was hoping that it would be more realistic. Like you would feed your pet realistic food and make a habitat for it or something.

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#10 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Hi Jenny! My dd has some Webkinz and she enjoys playing with the plush toys and also spends some time on their website too. I try to set a time limit for using the computer. I like the site because it's safe and it helped her reading. So I don't see any problem if your los use the computer for a short time.
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#11 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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I happen to love Webkinz! I have 5 on my own personal account and DS now has five. He's 4 and he doesn't play with them online a ton, but he does have some games he likes on the Webkinz site. I think the games are great and he has learned how to use the mouse exceptionally well already and I attribute a lot of that to Webkinz. The site is totally safe (one of the reasons I got one for myself first was so I could test it all out first, then I got hooked on the fun games!). Even the "chat" feature only allows you to exchange pre-written phrases. It is very safe.

They are coming out with a new line of pets and a new site very soon. It will be called Webkinz Jr and is geared for the 3-6 year old set. I don't know if I'll get DS one of those pets or not yet.

If you children don't want to play online, then they can just play with the nice toys. Or you can use the codes to set up an account and decide what you think of the site. I think it is important in this day and age to expose kids to computers ASAP and I think Webkinz is a great way to do that.
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#12 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies!

My gut feels like they are too young for it and I was worried about the consumerism aspect as well. I feel like a bit of an ogre because I've already told my mil we don't do barbies or brats. She was disappointed she couldn't buy barbies for dd, but thankfully I steered her to the only hearts club dolls and she bought those for her instead. The kids could just use the stuffies in the old fashioned way...but my goodness they don't need more stuffed animals. Thank you for helping me make my decision I'm off to e-mail my mil.

Jenny
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#13 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Mine asked for one and got it. The Internet games are for a much older child than mine but she does enjoy the stuffed animal.

A lot of children in her preschool have them so I didn't really think about whether it would be age appropriate or not. They aren't for 3 year olds. But my 3 year old doesn't mind.

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#14 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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I didn't like it at all personally. I found the format to be like " consumer training". You buy your pet all sorts of ridiculous items all with a checkout cart system like you do with online shopping. There was also emphasis on getting more webkins friends.
It was a good time waster and a cool idea, but I didn't like the product.
I was disappointed. I guess I was hoping that it would be more realistic. Like you would feed your pet realistic food and make a habitat for it or something.


-we have two, and the kids appreciate their cuteness.. but I do not want them to go online and "buy" items (or even make "friends" with other webkinsters, honestly).

My kids do use the computer, however, but more for silly youtube videos, pbs games and netflix (). My nearly eight-year-old reads mommy-approved blogs, too..

so, a 'no' vote for the online part of it but if your mil wants to buy them for the stuffedness, then so be it

(maybe you could suggest something like this instead? the $50 donation includes a stuffed animal )

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#15 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Ava got her first webkinz when she was about 4 1/2 and it was a mom intensive experiance. So your kid slikely won't be very interested. or they may just play a couple of games. I doubt your two year old will care. However. Some of them are just very nice stuffed animals. a good size, nicely weighted, cute, soft. So if nothing else they are nice toys. your kids likely won't even be interested in the whole internet thing. however . . it could be really fun for you. I won't lie. I enjoy the games.

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#16 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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I think they're pointless for younger children (<10 imo)

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#17 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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I think they're pointless for younger children (<10 imo)
Pointless doesn't mean they are harmful.

DD has a couple because they were the only form my sister could find the right animal in.
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#18 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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My kids don't have Webkinz, but they have some Folkmanis puppets that came with codes where you can go online and learn about their habitats, play games, etc. It's pretty neat, though they really haven't done it much.
If my mil or mom wanted to get the kids one, iw ould probably explain to her that they wouldn't use it much, but if she still wanted to, whatever. It's not something I feel strongly enough to fight over, kwim?
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#19 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I sent her an e-mail just explaining that I think they are too young for the online part but if she wants to get them they'll be happy to play with them the old fashioned way

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#20 of 34 Old 03-24-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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I'm just not a fan of giving my kid another excuse to stare at screen. But that's me. The animals are cute though.

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#21 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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Mona is much older (11 1/2) but she LOVES Webkinz. She enjoys the site, and I enjoy knowing it is a safe place for her. The site is designed well, with no real chat function (you can choose from various pre-written sayings, from what I could tell), so I feel it is safe for her. She loves the games, and keeps all of the animals in a stuffed animal hammock in her room. I think your children would like the animals, as they are a nice size and rather cute, but probably especially the 2-year old would not get much out of the online stuff.
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#22 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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My DD has a few of them, but we don't go online with them. I don't even have the little tags you're supposed to keep. She just thinks they are nice stuffed animals. I think her favorite one lately is a snake.
That's what we do. Dh bought one for ds2 as his first stuffed animal, he didn't even know what it was... other than a brightly colored lizard. Ds1 (8) has one, but has never been online with it. He goes to Lego.com and plays games, but that's all the internet he does.

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#23 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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I would never have bought one, but DD was given one last Xmas and has cousins who wanted to "play" in Webkinz land. She really loves it. I'm a little "enh" on the consumerist/shopping emphasis and there also is sort of a gambling angle that some might not like. I do like that you earn the most money the fastest by answering educational questions and that there is definitely more to the site than just acquiring stuff. The site also feels safe and innocent.

I find the games are mostly too hard for her, though. She is 5.

Also, before she could read, it was pretty boring for me to sit there and do it with her--unless you have patience for that, I'd recommend it much more for kids who can already read.

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#24 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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I didn't like it at all personally. I found the format to be like " consumer training". You buy your pet all sorts of ridiculous items all with a checkout cart system like you do with online shopping. There was also emphasis on getting more webkins friends.
This. A friend of ours was telling us how great they were. I've got enough of my own consumerist tendencies. I don't need a toy in the house that so blatantly encourages it.

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#25 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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My kids all have them. My ydd is 5.5 and is just now enjoying the games. My ds who is 6 goes through phases of interest. 11yo dd plays occassionally and likes to help ydd with the games.

They think its fun. I think its pretty harmless and occassionly earn my dd some quick webkinz cash (it adds up fast on the math fact games!)

We also give them as birthday gifts to other kids.

My kids only "friends' on there are each other--they love to send each other stuff.

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#26 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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Oh good, I'm not the only mommy who likes them!! BTW, I think they do a good job of teaching the value of money and saving up to get things that you want. If you play the games with your kids and explain about making money, saving it, and spending it, it can be a great learning experience, IMO.

Off to do my webkinz daily activities now...
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#27 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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We love webkins...six of my kids have them. I have one of my own, that my daughter bought for me, so that we could be 'friends' online.

I know that some have said it pushes consumerism, but I think it is also an easy way for children to learn balance early. I think parents have a lot more say in the development of budgeting and spending. I don't want to just teach my kids, don't buy. I want them to learn how to save, how to spend wisely, and they've already experienced buyer's remorse of buying things and wishing they had saved their money. They've learned that if they buy something, and want to resell it, it's not worth as much. They've learned that they have to earn money. They have to take their webkins for walks, feed them, take them to the dr, to school, to care for them.

Outside of that, the older kids have learned that after a while, the blush is off the rose. It's not as fun or exciting. They are on other boards, that they don't need to purchase something, panfu, club penguin, millsberry (altho if you don't like consumerism, that one will drive you NUTS because everything you buy is duh, mills brand) and then Woogi World, which is new to us but is all about positive influence. Maybe you'll like that better?

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#28 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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I guess I was hoping that it would be more realistic. Like you would feed your pet realistic food and make a habitat for it or something.
Well, but you do feed it realistic food. You can feed it anything you want, but you get bonus points for feeding preferred foods. The same is true for the house. You can build the house how you like, but you get special gifts if you match habitat furniture to the type of pet. If you get a water pet, you get a water room (how cool is that?) You can put in a garden and you have timelines in caring for your pet and the garden.

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#29 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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We love them here. I think we have about 30 total. : I was all "No Webkinz! They're evil!" But really, we've found them to be kind of fun and a very gentle introduction to the world of computers. They're actually coming out with "Webkinz Jr" for the younger set, and I fully plan to hook my five-year-old up.

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#30 of 34 Old 03-25-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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DD has a couple and when she first got them she was really into taking care of them and decorating their rooms and such...

Now, though, I think she lost interest because she hasn't been on the site to do anything with them, so I assume they are dead (or hibernating?)

I really don't care, it's not a big deal to me if she wants to do them or not. I was impressed with her registering and entering the codes and such on her own. She's very proficient at using the computer as well as navigating online -- and that's a good thing, IMO. But then, obviously, I let my kids use the computer multiple times per day and do a variety of stuff online. To me it's better for them to learn web safety at a young age, than not have a clue when they are young teens using their friends computer (and they will eventually have unsupervised internet usage!). We have a filter that blocks a lot of content, our computer is in a main area of our home, etc.

Webkinz, to me, is pretty harmless and if it's something my DD enjoys, I wouldn't deny her of it.

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