If you don't know what a Webkinz is -- you must not have a child in elementary school. (For those with older children -- think Beanie Baby Version 2.0). Webkinz look like the Beanie Babies children craved in the 1990s and are just as hard to find. The big difference between Beanie Babies and Webkinz is that the later have their own virtual world. Manufactured by a Canadian toy company, each animal (dog, cat, tiger, frog, unicorn, etc) comes with a secret code that once activated introduces the child into Webkinz World.
Your child, once she owns a Webkinz, will want your computer; hence my problem.
(I had given my daughter my old computer, with no Internet access, to play educational games like JumpStart Animal Adventures. Now, she wants (and needs) my computer to play Webkinz.)
Once a child enters the secret code - she can name her pet, furnish its room, connect with other friends who own Webkinz online, play arcade games, and lots more.
Bella is obsessed with her new pug dog- she named shark. The pug needed a bed; so she selected a hockey-themed one (See previous post on ballet & hockey pasttimes.). She has played arcade games, searched for hidden jewels, answered trivia questions (okay, there is some educational value here), and now wants to e-mail her other WebKinz buddies - her cousins Jillian & Allie. Soon, she'll add her school friends, dance pals, and Daisy scout friends, who have a Webkinz, to her online "World."
I have limited Bella's time in Webkinz World to 30 minutes a day; but fear I'll soon hear those famous words -- "xxxxxx lets her daughter play for 60 minutes." Or "xxxxxx gets to play when she gets home from school until dinnertime."
Already, she has begun compiling a list of which Webkinz she needs to get. AGHHH!
I guess this is better than the next phases to come - cell phones, makeup, boys, dating, etc...