Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zoodles Games: Review and Giveaway

Before the boy was born, I was certain he wouldn’t watch TV, that I would never ever ever plop him in front of the TV so I could have a few minutes of peace. I should have known better than to say never. Like all kids, the boy loves TV, and sometimes if the hubs isn’t home yet and I need to start dinner, or if we need to clean the house, the TV is an easy solution, perhaps not the best solution, but it works.

Similarly, I was adamant that I didn’t want my little boy playing video games. My nephews love video games a lot and it’s made me a little biased, I just don’t want my boy addicted to electronic devices; I want him to use his brain, to imagine, to play and to explore. That being said, I recognize there is a difference between playing a video game with guns and violence and playing a game that is focused on learning, perhaps colours, shapes or matching. The latter is a little bit more my speed.

I was given the opportunity to test out ZOODLES, a web browser, that allows your child to play age appropriate, educational games. They have a huge directory of games that allows you to browse by age, grade, subject or branded character. Although the boy is still a bit young, we tested out some of the Toddler games, and I’m sure that in no time flat he will be all over the Ni Hao Kai Lan Games.

What’s great about Zoodles is that it appeals to my need to ensure that IF my boy is going to play video games, the games need to be violence-free and age appropriate. Zoodles provides a suite of Parental Features including the ability to set time limits on the amount of time each of your children use the program, block advertisements or specific games and promote specific subjects or games.  Check out the video below for more information on the Parent Dashboard.

In an effort to keep the parents informed, Zoodles sends a weekly email letting you know which games your child has played and what learning competencies those games develop. Although the browser itself is free for download, the parental features are provided via a Premium Membership, which can be purchased in one month, six month or annual increments.  All Zoodles downloads include a free trial of the Premium Membership so you have the opportunity to test it out and decide if the program is a good fit for your family.

Overall, I found Zoodles simple to download and install and very easy to use. I did find that upon logging in, the games themselves were a little slow to load, especially given they are very basic games, but at least instead of the boring little hourglass there was a cute little icon drawing small flowers, boats and other kid-friendly icons to distract the boy while we waited. The games were easy to figure out and the games we tested seemed age appropriate for Toddlers.  I suspect that as the boys hand eye coordination develops, Zoodles will definitely provide hours of fun for the boy while giving me peace of mind that he can’t get into any trouble.

With such a plethora of games in one easily accessible place and easy to use parental controls, Zoodles is sure to satisfy the needs of both the adults and children in your household.  A great program, I rate Zoodles a 4.5/5.

Want to try Zoodles out for yourself? Download your own copy of Zoodles OR enter our giveaway for a FREE 3 month Premium Membership below!

Enter To Win:
3 Month Premium Membership from Zoodles

The First Entry is mandatory; all other entries will be disqualified if it is not included. Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

First Entry: Visit the Zoodles website and tell us why you want to win!

Second Entry: Follow the Momma Stuff Blog via Google Friend Connect (left sidebar)

Third Entry: Like Zoodles on Facebook

Fourth Entry: Like the Momma Stuff Blog on Facebook

Fifth Entry: Follow Zoodles on Twitter

Sixth Entry: Follow the Momma Stuff Blog on Twitter

Additional Entries: Retweet this giveaway (once per day - leave a link)

@Zoodles gives you control of the games your child plays - #win a 3 month premium membership @MommaStuffBlog http://bit.ly/awggcs

Giveaway closes Sunday August 22nd at 8pm. Winner will be determined by a random number generator. Winner will be notified via email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new name will be drawn and contacted.

Contest is now closed. 
Congratulations to our winner comment #5 Shairbearg

10 comments:

  1. Cool giveaway! Too bad my little guy is too young yet!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to win this because my kids are tired of always playing the same games!

    claudecampeau at videotron dot ca
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would want to win this b/c we like having access to educational programs for our son and want to know he is safe while using his computer.

    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. like zoodles on FB
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. gfc follower of mommas stuff
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. like momma stuff on fb
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. follow zoodles on twitter
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. follow you on twitter
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the parental controls! Safety is always a huge concern when my kids are online.

    ReplyDelete
  10. tweeted @knitwitshair
    theknitwitbyshair@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete

What do you think?