Friday, December 17, 2010
Tiny Planets Review (TOS Homeschool Crew)
Today's review is for the educational website Tiny Planets (www.tinyplanets.com)that is based upon the television show of the same name. In a space exploration setting, children ages 4 to 12 can discover and create to their hearts content. Parents, rest assured, this is an educational website that will challenge your children as they play along with the characters Bing and Bong. The television program Tiny Planets is the only tv program to be endorsed by Montessori Centre International - just in case you wondered if it was really an educational website!
After signing each of your children up for their own Cadet account, you can access the Tiny Planets universe ~ places like Tiny Planets TV, My Tiny Planets (an online community and virtual world), Tiny Planets Fun, Tiny Planets Books, and Tiny Planets Learning. Some of the things my children did on TinyPlanets.com include adopting and naming their own planets, taking care of said planet (growing plants, releasing oxygen, choosing landscape, buildings, and scenery, and more), having silly but fun adventures with Bing and Bong, visited with other Cadets (with emoticons and pre-programmed phrases - no free chat on Tiny Planets!), tried out new games in the Tiny Planets Lab, and spent most of their time hanging out in Bing and Bong's corners of the website.
The first time my 10-year-old logged on to play, she spent about 45 minutes at the site and was easily entertained for that time span. She probably would have played longer, but we limit the amount of time our children are aloud to "play" online and 45 minutes was more than enough time for one sitting! Her favorite spot was Bing's Corner - they have a good selection of games & while my 10-year-old liked most every game she played, my 12-year-old felt some of the games were a little easy for her. My 12-year-old daughter liked the comics and puzzles at Bong's Corner. These can be printed out or saved as a file on your computer. The puzzles could be printed out and taken with when traveling (or when driving around town for day-to-day activities). And the color pages (kind of like comic strips) are detailed and challenging enough they could count as homeschool art for elementary students. The Tiny Planets Labs have games that are better geared toward older children; both my 10 and 12-year-olds were challenged by these games.
My honest opinion of the Tiny Planets website is that it is a good option for kids who want to spend some time online. I like the features available for parents and I am pretty impressed with the amount of material on this site. There are some features that must be paid for (called Keys) but most of the site is free of charge.
And since it is almost Christmas, why not look at www.TinyPlanets.com in the next few days to keep your kiddos occupied as you finish up your holiday chores? You might be amazed how much a mom can accomplish while her little students spend some time on Tiny Planets!
Thanks for reading my multiple reviews this week - lots of good homeschool stuff for me to talk about!! Enjoy your last weekend of Advent before Christmas & have fun checking out Tiny Planets ! (Access to this website was given to me free of charge for review purposes.)
Day 62 done :)
Jan L. Burt
P.S. ~ Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of my book "The Homeschooling Mother's Bible Study: God's Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers" can leave a comment and receive a copy for only $10 flat(no extra charge for shipping). This is a short-term offer & my Christmas gift to encourage homeschooling moms...so leave me a comment!