Sunday, October 7, 2012

Zoo Whiz - Schoolhouse Crew Review

Kayley has told me a dozen times that when she grows up she wants to be an "animal rescuer and zoo doctor." So, she was beyond thrilled when we were given a chance to review a great program through the Schoolhouse Review Crew called Zoo Whiz!

Zoo Whiz is an online curriculum-based gaming sight geared towards children ages 5-15 that offers Math, Reading, Word-Skills, Punctuation and Grammar learning in a fun, intuitive and effective approach.  Learning is simple when disguised as a game and Zoo Whiz takes your child on an unforgettable learning adventure.

Zoo Whiz is cleverly designed to motivate the kids to want to learn through a system of reward and reinforcement by connecting with children through a love of animals and the joy of collecting.  Each child assumes the role of Zoo Keeper and through learning and earning activities they can save enough coins to create their own menagerie!

Here's how Zoo Whiz Works:

After the initial login, the kids are given the opportunity to choose their avatar.  (Kayley chose the cute little blonde with piggy-tails.) 

At the main screen (seen below) you can choose from several places to visit.  The Arcade, Milestones, the Biodome or the Learn n' Earn building.   Notice the toolbar at the bottom?  The coins show Kayley how much money she has while the other three show lessons, levels and milestones. 

In the Learn n' Earn, Kayley has the opportunity to complete educational activities to earn coins. The activities are fun but challenging.  The activities are punctuated with hilarious little sketches of zoo animals applauding her efforts!  While playing she is constantly giggling and shouting, "Mom!  Come watch this!!"

By controlling the "age floor," Zoo Whiz allows you to restrict access to activities that are too easy for your child while tailoring the curriculum to ensure your child is challenged but not overwhelmed.  If your child is struggling (or if it is too easy) you can change the age floor in your parent controls.

As she completes activities she can see at a glance how she did.  Oops, it looks like she missed one!

In the Biodome Kayley can either use the coins she earned in the Learn n' Earn to buy animals for her zoo or visit the animals in the menagerie to learn fascinating details and facts about each one.

In the shop she can choose from all types of animals.  Not just your typical zoo animals either...dinosaurs, dragons, insects, domestic, wild....if you can name it, you can buy it!  The animals that are marked with a "p" can be purchased by Premium Members only.

Below is Kayley's impressive Zoo Collection.  It's funny.  I never would've guessed that collecting virtual animals would be so appealing but I often have Kayley shouting "Mom!  Come look at what I just added to my zoo!" or "You won't believe how many animals I have now!" 

By clicking on the animals Kayley can learn all of the scientific facts about each one!

In the Arcade Kayley can play games!  But--It costs you coins...  Another reason to continuously learn and earn!  You earn a LOT of coins in the Learn n' Earn so Kayley spent a lot more time doing the Learn n' Earn activities.  It helped her meet her goals of adding to her collection!

In the Milestones building I can check in and see what activities Kayley has accomplished.

What do you think?  Do you like what you see so far and want to take a closer look?  Take an introductory tour of Zoo Whiz to learn more!  Remember, you can also try out basic Zoo Whiz content for free!

What we thought of Zoo Whiz:
We loved it!  This was a game that Kayley asks to play -- even on weekends!  I felt great knowing she was learning and just not playing mind-numbing computer games.

A bonus?  Zoo Whiz can be changed to fit any country/currency.  Check out the curriculum correlation page to see all the current country options!

A computer learning program at 19.95 per year it is a great deal!  Wow!

How to purchase:
While you can play a limited amount of Zoo Whiz for free, a Premium Membership offers so much more!  Unlimited access to Zoo Whiz content (you can purchase even more animals in the BioDome), Progress Feedback, Progress Reports in your email and more!  Zoo Whiz is currently in early-release phase 2 with new content still being added.

Zoo Whiz Premium Membership is only $14.95 per year - purchase HERE.

We had a great time reviewing Zoo Whiz and I know that we will continue to use it.  Try it out!  I bet you will like it too!
Many of my fellow crew mates reviewed Zoo Whiz as well...if you would like to read their thoughts, click the link below...
Disclaimer:  We received Zoo Whiz free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All the opinions expressed here are my own.

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