Walk About: Adella has the Skinny on Webkinz

Our daughter is no geek. As a littlel kid, she showed little interest in computers. That was fine with us because we had this idea that Adella should learn to enjoy the company of people, and when nobody was around, to be at home alone with her imagination. So she didn't start using a computer until the second half of her kindergarten school year. Her skills and understanding were behind the curve for a little while.

Early on, when she showed an interest in writing and began to pen poems and stories, we set her up with a blog so she could share them with friends and family. When she tried out the camera, we showed her how to add these and to make slide shows. She learned what she needed to know as she needed it; she was like the rest of us.

Then came Club Penguin, thanks to a neighbor whose mom is a top-notch social worker. After that, classmates introduced Adella to Webkinz. She did some online checking and discovered they were available in Waterbury when our town and the surrounding white-bread suburban villes were sold out. We got the thing, she set herself up online, and away she went, engaging in activities that look an awful lot like her homework in color and with moving parts. We watched her understanding of the Internet and of computers generally grow as she played some very innocent games on these sites and interacted with friends through site-based instant messaging and games online. It has been simple, easy, and good.

Nothing trashy has happened to our computer since she signed up on Webkinz with her first name only and her hometown. It's as safe as hanging out with the neighborhood kids. Our world has not been invaded by the Anonymous Internet monsters we all fear will find our true selves when we type in our username and password. (Click here to find out about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.)

There's no reason to believe me, though. I don't have a Webkinz. If you watch this little movie, Adella, whose credibility is far greater than mine, will tell you all about it--that is, if you don't mind coming down cellar with us to the computer.

Click here for more on Webkinz


  1. Anonymous2:58 AM

    Tried to put the painting image you liked on a poster but my jpg was the wrong size. I did succeed it adding it to a mousepad, which is kind of fun. It is there in the store now if that would be of interest' best wishes, The Artist

  2. I am smitten! While I should have learned something about Webkinz (and I did), I was much impressed that Adella has defeated the first great danger of kids spending a lot of time on a computer or on video games: rather than becoming catatonic, she has excellent verbal communication skills! There was skilled interviewing, too - avoiding questions which lead to one word answers, etc. E.g., she asked, "Can I show you ... ?", and you answered, "Yes, would you?" That is not typical grammar school speak! My four admittedly brilliant CT and NJ reared kids did not speak so well at that age! You are doing a wonderful job, and so is she!

  3. Thanks, Greg. You're very kind! One of the standard chat Webkinz questions is, "Do you want to adopt more Webkinz?" Marketing...Oh well. Della has less interest in the toy than in the website. The thing cost $15 at the Waterbury Hallmark store, and that's far less than a lot of other toys and games out there. I noticed the age range for this stuff goes to 13. If we can keep kids playing with stuffed animals and "quizzies" until they're 13, that's cool (especially in the cellar....!). Have a great day!


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