Online virtual worlds offer kids a place to explore, discover, and play with friends. The best of these vast playgrounds provide a new kind of social experience that can be healthy, positive, and educational -- when used with age-appropriate rules and time limits.
We love the online worlds that immerse kids in a specific subject, like ecology or animals, because kids can pursue interests more deeply and progress at their own pace. Here are some of our pre-screened faves.
For Younger Kids:
Top picks for Online Virtual Worlds. Some of these sites send out updates on your kids' virtual game experiences, which you can use as conversation starters to learn how your kid is interacting.
For older kids:
This game-based virtual world encourages kids to go green with games about recycling and composting.
Devotees of American Girl dolls can maximize their investment at this safe, positive site with pre-scripted chat.
At this Nat Geo virtual world, kids learn about plant and animal life while navigating through Jamaa, a land where the animals are disappearing and the environment needs help.