Considering what I do for a living, and just how plugged in I am, it’s no surprise that my 5-year-old is quickly becoming quite web-savvy himself. His regular circuit online includes PBS Kids, Nick Jr., Kookeys and a couple of others.
So given his growing interest in the computer, a recent email from the Habitat Heroes folks sparked my interest.
Habitat Heroes is basically a social networking community for kids. Children adopt an animal avatar from an entry page that shows different avatars of endangered species. As they click on each animal, a pop-up explains what the animal is, how many are left in the world, what the dangers are, etc.
They then register and take their animal into an online world where they can interact with other children as other animals. They earn money and communicate with other “young environmentalists.” (If you choose to let your child do this alone, there is a “safe chat” mode)
Kids can decorate their habitat (where their animals live online) and can explore other houses around them.
I logged in and played with it myself for a bit – it kind of reminded me of a Webkinz, only I further appreciate it because it comes without purchase and it’s teaching my child about an important issue regarding the dangers facing today’s wildlife, all while he has fun doing it.
If your kids like to play online, check out Habitat Heroes – it launched on Earth Day so it’s relatively new but I know that personally I like what I see on there thus far.