Foozkids.com is a paid application for kids to play on, where they have access to a huge variety of videos, games, crafts, avatars, and even their own email account, but parents are able to control every aspect, and have the ability to view all emails sent and received. The website is bright, colorful and very inviting, and is for kids from preK – upper elementary school, for the most part. Parents set up the account (one time fee of $11.99) and assign their children user names. I was able to set up filters for what I wanted my girls to have access to, and could view every aspect of their separate accounts. The website is set up like a television screen and has channels for that will access all the different areas.
- WEB – takes you directly to a variety of links including disney.com, cartoon network, pbskids.com, and nick.com where you can select a from a huge variety of tv shows to access. There are almost twenty different pages, with a dozen shows per page that are sure to keep every kid from 3 and 11 years old happy. Shows range from Star Wars to Anime, Mary Poppins to Thumb Wrestling Federation, Sesame Street to 6 Teen, and everything for kids in between! Once you select a show, a link will open to access you to that show. The majority of the shows I accessed would kick you back to foozkids.com instead of being able to jump around on the open website because you don’t have access to a browser bar. There were parts that did open, but as I kept trying to jump off, into other links that would take me out of the website, I was always told I didn’t have access to it, and would be redirected to foozkids.com. Some sites did let me get to different areas, but others were pretty strict on the level of access I had.
- CRAFTS – I wondered how there appeared to be so many different crafts related to the shows under the web links – turns out the crafts consisted of wallpapers, pictures, and coloring pages mainly. ZOOM did have several different easy, kid-friendly crafts with detailed directions. I would like to have seen step-by-step pictures or video clips to go along with the directions. I did love the Caillou paper doll and outfits that you could print out and color – too cute! There are well over 100 different activities that kids could do – definitely a go-to on a rainy day.
- GAMES – these are based on the same tv shows that are under the WEB links, and return you to the websites. Ok, but nothing that internet-savvy kids haven’t already played if they’re familiar with the websites.
- VIDEOS – these also take you back to the WEB links and are short (average 2 minute) segments of the different shows that are selected. They automatically loop to the next clip in the series. I was able to jump around the website a bit from the WEB and VIDEOS sections, but was still redirected back to foozkids.com if I tried to access too many other parts of the websites. I will say that when I was on nick.com, it did let me access different shows that are not listed under the foozkids.com WEB links. Not being a fan of Spongebob, I was bummed that I could access it (and so could my kids!). I’d prefer that it only gave them access to the areas that they are able to get to on foozkids.com.
- ADD FRIENDS – this is pretty cool, especially if you have friends who have foozkids.com, because your kids can become friends. This can be done based on usernames, or parents can send invites to people they know so their kids can join too (this is FREE – waives the $11.99 charge!!!). Once your child has friends, they have access to an ultra-secure email between each other. They can draw pictures and send letters, and using the parent dashboard feature, I can check all outgoing and incoming mail.
- MAIL/VIDEO MAIL – I love this feature! My girls are able to draw pictures and send them to each other, or to me, because I automatically am friends with them. The emails that they send through foozkids.com go directly to my personal email account – what’s better than rainbows and hearts plus a message from your kid? We don’t have video mail at our house, so I’m not sure how this would work out – but I would imagine the kids would only have access to other kids they’re friends with on foozkids.com.
- FLIX – this is a huge variety of movies that kids can watch. Some are free, while others are included in a subscription package. I would love to have had access to these videos, they seemed pretty cool. There is an open lock that you can select to access all the free videos – of course, the ones I really wanted to see, like Dances around the World and other arts and science – related videos were subscription only. One area I liked was Star Math, a British series that covered a wide range of math topics. Some of the vocabulary was different than state-side vocabulary, but the concepts were well done and kids in the 5 – 9 year old range would like them, once they got over the accents!
- UNIVERSITY – this is a unique tutorial section for Pre-K through 5th grade with a variety of math-based concepts, which is a part of the subscription package. Kids play to unlock different levels as they successfully complete each area. Parents can access “report cards” through the Parent Dashboard to track progress. From Pre-K through 5th grade, there are over 20,000 questions and 1,000 videos, so if you have several kids who fall into these age-ranges, and could use some extra math practice, this might be something to check into. Another point to note is that the UNIVERSITY feature is available for tablets and cell phones, so learning can be as portable as you want it to be.
- PLACES – this is where kids can design their own unique room for their avatar. You can select furniture, accessories, backgrounds and lots more – with easily over 1000’s of combinations.
- MALL – now we’re talking! This subscription-based area is the favorite place for my girls to visit. They have spent a lot of time…ok, maybe too much time…dressing their avatars in the mall. You can make yourself as fancy as you want, from ball gowns to tiaras to magic wands, see how you’d look as a baker in full whites, a chef hat and a bag full of icing, dress in a kimono or even turn yourself into the Statue of Liberty! There are thousands and thousands of choices in the mall. I LOVED playing with this feature, and you should see how fabulous I looked in a flamenco gown and mantilla! However, I wasn’t so happy to see some of the accessories and clothes, like baggy pants, gold teeth, and gangster face masks. Other than those few questionable items, all of the other options are fabulous! You can go from being a magician to a ninja, a scuba diver to a rock star or a athlete to a princess all with the click of a button. It’s too bad that this isn’t a part of the basic application, because it’s one of my girls’ favorite parts of foozkids.com.
- PARENTAL DASHBOARD – this area allows access to the accounts where you can view any emails sent or received, set filters for which websites you want your child to have access to, and you can literally view their entire accounts – even the rooms they set up. It’s very easy to set the filters, and you can search by age/gender if you know that your little boy won’t want anything to do with, say…Holly Hobby, or your little girl could care less about Biker Mice from Mars. You can also limit the account of each child you have individually to make different areas as accessible or inaccessible as you see fit.
The subscription package that you can purchase for FLIX, UNIVERSITY, MALL and TREASURE BOX is $6.99/month or $69.99/year which, if you’re going to do it, seems like it would be a pretty good deal, based on the variety of offerings.
When you first begin exploring foozkids.com it’s a bit time consuming to learn how to navigate to all of the areas, but that’s only because there are so many different options. It didn’t take long before my girls were pros, showing me all the features that they liked, and the parts that they didn’t care for so much. When I talked to them, they both said that their favorite part was the mall. They got distracted by the links because once they were at a different website, they just wanted to play there, and if it was one that they didn’t have access to, they didn’t like that. They both wanted to play on the University section and watch the Flix that we didn’t have access to – something to think about, I guess. All in all, we’re fans. It’s fun, there are more than enough areas for my girls to play with, and I love that they can send me emails whenever they want, without having actual email accounts, that are open for anyone to access.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received a basic foozkids.com account free of charge to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your opinions may differ.