Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World Review and Giveaway | Toronto Teacher Mom

Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World Review and Giveaway

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Nowadays, children are exposed to a variety of different forms of entertainment, from reading books and watching television to listening to mp3's and playing virtual video games. It's always great to encourage your children to be active and enjoy the outdoors, especially with the gorgeous weather we've been having, but sometimes on those rainy days, it can be hard to find something that will keep your kids from bouncing off the walls. Here is something I recently discovered that would come in handy on just such an occasion - The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks.

Wiglington and Wenks is the ultimate in virtual worlds for kids that was originally a children's book series written by John Bittleston. It was later transformed into a magical virtual world by Aldric Chang and Ngo Chee Yong. Designed for children between the ages of 7-14, it was intriguing enough for my 4 year old daughter and challenging enough to keep me interested in further exploration. (And I'm 30-something!) This virtual world was launched in December 2009 and has quickly become one of the top 5 virtual worlds for kids, with close to 100,000 registrants from all corners of the world. The beautiful scenes with colourfully cute graphics will expand from 50 to nearly 200 over the next few months.

In terms of educational value, I give it two thumbs up. Through adventure, exploration and discovery, children are introduced to a slew of interesting characters and are launched into a well-developed plot all the while learning about famous historical characters such as Einstein and Ghandi, famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, wildlife preservation and environmental issues. In short, children learn about geography and history in a way that is interactive, fun and appealing. Now, why didn't they have something like this when I was a kid?

One of the neat features is the ability to customize your character, purchase cool costumes, buy exotic islands and build culture-inspired homes. The more you explore, the more money you earn and the more you can shop! Along the way, you will find a bunch of games such as the Wordscotch typing game and the Tower of Hanoi. My daughter just loves playing a gool ol' game of pool, too. You can even play games against other virtual participants. So, while your kids are busy having fun in their own virtual world, they may not even realize that they are learning important facts and building on their observational, critical thinking and problem solving skills. I did find it a tad frustrating trying to manoeuveur my way through the site but I'm slowly becoming more observant and have refrained from clicking on everything and anything, which makes it a little more rewarding when you discover something new. Other fabulous features include chat logs, a special login for parents to monitor your child's playing habits, phone number and URL filters to prevent sharing personal numbers or inappropriate sites, and the ability to report inappropriate behavior.  Speaking as a mom and a teacher, Wiglington and Wenks is a fantastic virtual world that brings exciting travels and adventures into your home in a safe and effective manner and provides an unparalleled learning experience for kids. Of all ages!

Here's a YouTube video which better illustrates what Wiglington and Wenks is all about:

You can register for free or take advantage of the additional features by becoming a member. There are a number of memberships to choose from, including a monthly membership which costs as little as $5.99 US. Or, be one of the first five readers to leave a comment on this post and you will receive a complimentary 1-month membership absolutely free. All you need to do is visit the Parents' Corner and tell me something that you learned about The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks. Once I have five winners, they will be required to register for a free account at www.wiglingtonandwenks.com and then email me their "registered account names" in order to activate a one-month complimentary full membership.

Bon voyage!

Disclosure: I was granted a complimentary 3-month membership for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own honest opinions and have not been influenced in any way.

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