I have always been of the mind that children learn through everything they do, and that just because something is fun, doesn't mean that it is not helping them to learn and grow. My daughters don't spend a lot of time on the computer (way less than mommy, that's for sure!), but I have started to allow them to play computer games in the past year or so. I love that at three and five, my daughters are both comfortable using a computer as it is a skill that I just feel is necessary these days. I love finding fun online games that are safe and engaging for my children, so when I was contacted about the new online world for kids called Go Go Kabongo, I was eager to try it out and see if it was something that would make both my children and myself happy with the time they spend on the computer.
We have been playing these games off and on for a few weeks, but it seems as we get deeper into the school year and with some other things we have going on right now, neither myself nor my children have spent very much time at the computer. We've just been too busy (I have so many great reviews to share with you all, but with everything going on things are piling up!). I wanted to take some time to tell you about Kabongo though, because when my daughters do have a chance to play around on the computer, Kabongo (or, Funny Duffy Monster Game, as my three year old calls it) is one of the first things they ask to play.
Kabongo was developed by learning experts and award-winning game designers, and it shows! Kabongo’s reading games promote the thinking skills that lead to reading, and their goal is to inspire confidence through play, and provide positive reinforcement of necessary skills.
The games are designed more for preschoolers, but can be enjoyed by early elementary as well. The recommended ages are 4 to 7. My daughters are 3 and 5, and both greatly enjoy playing. Basic membership is free. To begin, parents need to go to http://www.kabongo.com/, where you can sign up, using either your e-mail, or your Facebook account. I signed up with e-mail. Once you sign up, you can confirm your account and then access your Parent Account. You are able to make an account for each of your children, which is great because Kabongo will periodically e-mail you updates on how your children are doing and from the Parent's Center you can view personalized progress reports. There are also lots of great resources for parents, and extra things like coloring pages you can print out for your children.
When you sign your child in (log your account in, and then select your child's name), your child first meets Duffy, a colorful character who my daughters think is hilarious. He is there to act as a sort of a tour guide for your child. He's a lot of fun. He welcomes you to The Tree House, which acts as the Home Base. He then directs you to create your own character, and my daughters had a blast choosing different heads, bodies, and feet to find their favorite combination. This really appealed to my girls' love of playing dress up and really sparked their imaginations.
Once you have your character, you can explore the tree house (upon clicking, many items provide humorous interactions). When you're ready, you click the map. If you're ever confused on where to go, or what to do, just click the question mark for help. The map gives you the option to explore three different worlds. Galaxy Gardens, Twister Top, and Laughter Lake. Each world, has a few fun and education games for children to play. You can play the first two worlds for free, and also have the option of adding more premium games for a fee of $4.95. Keep reading though, because I have a special code for you to use to access these extra games for FREE!
Each world introduces you to fun new characters that will help guide your children along in the games. The games are all challenging for young minds, but not to the point where they are frustrating and become a chore rather than fun. The games will also take into account your child's skills to be sure that the level of game play matches up to what they are ready for. Kabongo uses positive reinforcement by rewarding players for playing games. Players can select one of three rewards for winning a game. The rewards are fun things to use in the tree house.
If you'd like to try out Kabongo, simply sign up for a basic membership (no need to enter your credit card information). Then, once you have the basic account, you can enter code LEARN to upgrade! Pretty awesome deal, if you ask me! You can't beat FREE! :o)
*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for the purposes of this review through the above mentioned company or representing PR agency. In the event of a giveaway, the prize is shipped by the sponsor and I hold no responsibility. Thank you for reading!