Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Webkinz are not only the latest craze in pop culture, but they are also quite educational. Webkinz makes a selection of Webkinz for the younger preschool crowd called Webkinz Jr., but older preschoolers who have some reading experience may want to jump right into the regular Webkinz. The choices for furry friends are endless, and once the secret code is entered online your child has a world of fun and learning at their fingertips. Each code is unique, and a one time use only. Once inside the virtual Webkinz world your child can create a home for his or her pet, as well as feed, clothe and play with it. The games are varied, with most of them have educational components. I just finished teaching a Webkinz class, and there were lots of ideas I gleaned from some of my younger students about Webkinz themed learning. Below is a list of ideas you can use to teach with Webkinz, either in a classroom, homeschool co-op, or as enrichment for your preschooler at home. You may just find yourself hooked on this wholesome and enjoyable site!
Language Arts Themed Ideas- Children will learn how to use varied adjectives to describe their WEBKINZ pals. Share information about your furry friend, and discuss using adjectives that are colorful and unique to describe your pal.List adjectives together using a whiteboard or refrigerator magnet letters. Next, play a round of "Eager Beaver's Adventure Park" with your child and see if you can find adjectives.
Math Themed Ideas- After playing several rounds of "Get Eleven Solitaire" review all the sums that equal eleven. Make a list of these equations, and count out familiar obejects to show them in a hands on way. For example, use jellybeans at Easter, candy corn at Halloween, or non edible items anytime, such as lego bricks or premade manipulatives. The choices are endless! Cater this idea to your preschooler(s) needs and interests for greater motivation for learning.
Science/Geology Themed Ideas- Teach your students or child about the three types of rocks and do an art project. Visit Are's Curio Shop and mines on the Webbkinz site and hunt for gems. Create these gems out of playdough or clay, and compare/contrast them to the actual gems. You can find free printables on rock types at Enchanted Learning.com.
Cooking Themed Ideas-Preschool students can taste a mystery recipe, straight from the WEBKINZ cookbook, and try to guess what it really is! Check out the recipes section on the main website for Webkinz. There are lots of choices for cooking experiments, and most of them are quite simple. You can tailor this to your child's individual dietary needs, and choose a recipe to make that fits your individual circumstance.Don't forget to check out the section for mystry recipes, where the ingredients are listed, but not the name of the dish! Get creative and come up with recipe names with your child to match these recipes. Create a recipe together, too. Who knows when Chef Gazpacho's will need new ideas?!