Our children grow up surrounded by electronics, games, apps, and so much more! They learn at a very young age how to operate electronic devices, cell phones, iPads and computers almost as good as adults do! Sometimes even better. So it stands to reason that our children would love a more technology based entertainment factor. But as responsible adults we don't want them to be fully reliable on electronics for their entertainment. There must be a balance. That, I think is where Webkinz can help! Webkinz are brilliantly designed to be two toys in one; to appease both the old school parents and the new aged technology driven children!
What are Webkinz pets?
Webkinz pets are lovable plush toys that come with a unique Secret Code. You can then visit Webkinz World where you can then complete your pet adoption process, using this secret code.
Once you finish your virtual pet adoption you then enter the Webkinz world where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net!
Yet the online world isn't all the fun that is to be had with Webkinz pets! You still have an adorable plush toy that your kids can enjoy and play with off line too! My boys still love their stuffed animals; and have quite the collection on their beds. T is absolutely in love with plush puppies and J. loves a large variety of animals. So when we got Webkinz Rockerz Dog and Candy Googles it was easy to know which pet was going to be adopted by which boy.
It only took me opening the box before T. instantly said, "I want the puppy!" The plush pets were immediately welcomed into our home by very eager kids. And what I really like is that the plush pets are soft, cuddly and fun; but also a toy I don't have to worry too much about if the toddler get a hold of them when the older kids happen to leave them laying around the house. Which we all know that is more a question of when not if it will happen.
We spent a good 20 minutes just letting the boys enjoy their new plush pet toys, and even a little jealousy tantrum from Jade as she wanted to cuddle them too.
And then I told them the secret about the Webkinz pets. The virtual pet on the computer! Oh goodness, you would have thought I had just promised them the moon; or at least a year's supply of candy, by their reactions. Yes, there was jumping, hooting, hollering and a mad dash to the living room where we have the family computer hooked to the TV to use as the monitor. Then we began the process of adopting the virtual pets so my boys could begin exploring Webkinz World.
Adopting your Webkinz virtual pet
In order to begin enjoying the online portion of a Webkinz toy, you must first adopt your virtual pet. This process is very easy, and exciting for the kids. I told my boys that they really were adopting their pets, making it official and they really loved that they got to name their pet all by themselves!
Simply log onto Webkinz world and begin the process by clicking Join now for free! Then you will be able to create a user account. You will have to answer which country in the world you live in. This helps the virtual world know which time zone to place your virtual pet into.
Then you need to get the secret code that is inside the tag that came attached to your Webkinz pet. Each code can only be used once and can't be transferred. You add the secret code online and follow all the simple prompts, including letting your child name their pet.
After you finish, your child is presented with an official pet adoption screen that they can even print off and keep. How cool is that? It definitely made my kids feel extra special knowing it was all official and that the Webkinz pet was now completely theirs.
Now it is on to the fun of the virtual Webkinz World!
Experiencing Webkinz World virtual pet online games
Having the kids play Webkinz world on the TV while hooked to the computer ended up being a great thing for our family! It allowed plenty of room for everyone to sit and join in the fun. With the bigger screen we could all see what was happening in the game and talk about what to do each step of the way.
It definitely makes taking turns a lot easier with my kids, as even though it may be one boy's turn; the other kids can watch him play and have almost as much fun themselves! Even our little Jade had fun watching her brothers play Webkinz World online. I just set the timer to keep track of how long each boy played, so they could both have equal turns playing their own virtual pet.
Not only are there lots of fun games to play online, but each pet also has their very own room that the kids can decorate in their own fashion. They have beds, play stations, even stereo systems which you can direct your pet to visit which then starts to play music. It provided a lot of entertainment for the other kids watching and even I had fun watching the fun things my kids were able to get the pets to do in game. It is slightly like The Sims or Second life with it's light RPG elements; but on a more simple scale geared towards kids and using pets instead of people.
Not only can you play online on the Webkinz website, but you can also play on the Webkinz Facebook Page.
My kids are still too young to have their own Facebook account (per our parenting standards that is) but I still took some time to play the game myself. It is very similar to other Facebook games but with the same Webkinz theme. The layout is very simple, it is easy to navigate and fairly quick to catch on. If you like to play games on Facebook, you will fit right in playing Webkinz. Which is perfect because then your kids can play the Webkinz World while you play on Facebook. Or they can watch you while you play on Facebook and be entertained too. That happens a lot here.
Webkinz is also now available for the iPad, so be sure to try it out!
Even after a week of play we are barely scratching the surface of all the fun things the kids can do. They now have a big motivator to come home and quickly get their reading, homework and chores done so they can play more Webkinz. And after watching the joy on my kids' faces for the last week I would have to say that Webkinz would make a great Holiday gift for kids of all ages. They are full of hours worth of play, excitement and even family interaction. And even more exciting there are new Webkinz coming out for the holidays too so be sure to check out the Webkinz Holiday Gift Guide to see them!
You can visit the Webkinz store locator to find where you can purchase your own Webkinz plush pets. They can be found in stores across Canada and the United States. And much to my amazement; they even have them in my very little town here in Idaho! I'm quite excited and can't wait to go see which other pets my kids might like!
What Webkinz would your kids love the most?
What do you love most about Webkinz plush toys and virtual pets?
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Webkinz. I received a product sample and a promotional item to thank me for participating. However all opinions are my own.