In case you are not familiar with this recent toy sensation, Webkinz are plush toys that were created by the GANZ Company and released in April of 2005. Each plush animal comes with a secret code enabling the owner to access the Webkinz.com website to play a wealth of games and activities for no additional money. Webkinz come in hundreds of different animal forms, with creatures that are both real and imaginary.
Children go crazy over these toys, and I must admit I find them quite fun myself! They are not only wonderful, soft and well-made stuffed animals, but they offer such a great computer experience for a younger child that is really not paralleled elsewhere on the web, in my opinion.
Access to some areas of this website will require additional purchases, and this site has also spawned an online virtual store to sell virtual products for the site, if you can believe it! On the bright side, there are so many other activities on the site that other purchases are not required to have lots of fun playing games, decorating and making new friends in a safe atmosphere designed for children ages about 5 and up.
If you do decide to bring a Webkinz pet into your home, you will certainly have to help your child on the site to get started. There are a lot of things to read for parents, and you must have a parents email to get an account, so that the parent has access to it as well.
The first step to playing on Webkinz.com is to register and adopt your pet. This is not hard to do, even if you aren't very talented at the computer. Once your pet is registered, he or she will be given a room of its own! What a lucky pet! You can decorate the room with things found at the "w" shop. Once you buy or win something on Webkinz World, it shows up in the lower dock, just click and drag things into rooms.
To take care of a pet, you must earn what are called Webkinz Kinzcash. When you adopted your pet you were given 2000 dollars, and that does go a long way, but you need to play games on this site to earn more money if you want to buy fun room items. Go to the tab on the bottom of the screen and click "Things to Do". The best place to earn money is in the arcade, playing games. Some of them are hard, but you earn more dollars for them.
Part of taking care of a Webkinz is to feed it when its hunger meter goes below 100%. As you are playing games, keep an eye on the meters, as they do go down quickly! Food can be earned in a few different ways, so that you don't have to spend a lot of your Kinzcash on it. You can go to "my pets" in things to do, and click on "daily Kinzcare" you get a free food item everyday! You can also get free food from your daily spin on the "Wheel of Wow", which is under the Daily Activities.
If your pet starts to drop in its health levels, you can also take it to Dr. Quack, the town Vet! He takes a quick peek at your pet and if it needs medicine, he will offer to sell it to you for a small price. It is also possible to take your pet on a virtual vacation, which keeps its health meters up for a long time!
One of the newer additions to the site is an area called the Magical Forest. Access to several of the places in this area requires an additional purchase of at least one of the Webkinz Charms, Figurines and/or the Kinzclips. All of these products are usually sold where the Webkinz are displayed. I recommend buying one because not only will your child enjoy the toy, but you will have the opportunity to earn many more Kinzcash on every visit to the site, therefore increasing your playtime and enjoyment.
There are many other activities in Webkinz World for your child and you to explore and keep your pet happy and active. There are games to play, like Dicekinz. I had a hard time figuring out the rules to it, but it was fun a few times. You can "train" your pet at the Kinzville Academy, and you can even get your pet a job at the employment office. I like that place, because your pet receives cash for doing a small "job" (a game). You can only do that activity every 8 hours, though.
If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a very large site with many activities for you and your child to explore. Go on a gem hunt, or plant a garden! Be warned that this is such an addicting site that you may find yourself going on just for fun all by yourself!