My girls love the idea of playing in virtual worlds. Times have changed since I was a child and there are many options out there for kids to play online and have fun! I worry, however, about the messages and the safety of some sites. I was really interested in trying out MiniMonos with my little girls to see they would enjoy the experience and what type of message and safe environment it had.
According to the MiniMonos’ “About Us” page, “MiniMonos is a virtual world for children, focused on sustainability, generosity, community and fun. We’re based in New Zealand and we welcome children from around the world to create monkeys and play on MiniMonos! MiniMonos (Little Monkeys in Spanish) was founded by mom and entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds, who was one of the first two New Zealanders to be trained by Al Gore to present The Inconvenient Truth slideshow. Melissa’s pioneering work in the New Zealand environmental movement paved the way for more Kiwi presenters to be trained last year.”
I liked that, when my little gal first registered at the site, she could name her monkey but the site did not ask for her name or age. It also asked for her parent’s email address and I had to confirm her subscription in order to activate her account – a security feature that I really appreciated! Once I activated her account, I could choose to include her name and age if I wanted but it wasn’t mandatory (something else I appreciated as some sites make it mandatory to include the child’s name and I personally don’t feel comfortable doing so).
Once the account was activated, she was able to log in. She had to agree to a very positively-worded code of conduct on the site which I thought was great as we were able to talk about what it all meant:
Throughout the site, there are so many things to see and do! Your child can choose the world they wish to visit and then get started!
There are so many things to so and do that I know we haven’t seen everything but some of the highlights that my little gal enjoyed included:
-being able to decorate her own treehouse;
-being able to see a map so she knew where she could travel around the country;
and having all kinds of fun as she travels around!
I really like the fact that buying a membership on MiniMonos also means giving back to others who can use it! According to their website, “Your child’s Gold membership provides clean water for a child in India! Through our relationship with the wonderful folks at Buy1Give1 and the Bird India program, every time you purchase a Gold membership or Banana Chips, a child in India gets clean water. For every one-month membership or purchase of Banana Chips, a child gets clean water for a day; for every six-month membership a child clean water for a week, and for every one-year membership a child gets clean water for two whole weeks!” And memberships are reasonably priced – a 1 month membership is $5.95, a 6 month membership is $29.95 and a 1 year membership is $49.95. Gold Members also get some extra special options which are very cool!
While my little gal is still finding all kinds of new things on the MiniMonos site, I know she is loving it and I’m really impressed with what I have seen of the site as well. I’m impressed by the variety of things available to do, see, learn and play as well as its safety features and positive messages!