Moshling Mums View
SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR KIDS
I suppose it had to happen. We know how much kids enjoying networking with their friends. Some parents, just like you and I, got together to create a fun way of keeping their children safe online while also providing a level of education. They came up with the idea of Moshi Monsters- a free online game where kids adopt a monster and look after it.
Children need parental approval to become “users” on this site. The idea is that they must take care of their monster by solving puzzle games which earn their monster virtual rewards called Rox. Parents can also join in, if they so wish. Be warned. You may get hooked. Careful nurturing of a Moshi Monster can produce pretty impressive results!
This is the currency or money of the game. Options for spending Rox include virtual items like food, furniture and other treats and toys. Over time the Moshi Monsters increase in level and are able to visit new locations in Monstro City where they can earn all kinds of game rewards for playing. Believe me, this is an irresistible storyboard for children.
PARENTS HAVE ULTIMATE CONTROL
What particularly appeals to me about Moshi Monsters is the fact that it has inbuilt restricted social networking features. Monster owners can make friends with other owners and invite friends into their networks but only if you give your consent. (This is easily done by e-mail). Further, your kids can communicate with others through features like Pinboard or The Moshi Monster Forum. All messages are filtered and everything goes through an approval process. The kids don’t know it, but they have inbuilt protection from any less than desirable material. And that’s surely peace of mind for you!
Making friends on Moshi Monsters is easy once the kids know their friends names- also referred to as Monster owner names. They can find friends by sending out invitations to join their Moshi network. Once an invitation is accepted, kids can write messages on each other’s pinboards. They can also find friends if they already know a friend’s screen name or if they see a name on another friends’ Friends Tree. They could perhaps guess a person’s screen name or see one featured in the Community Section.
MOSHI MONSTER ACCOUNT
By now, if you are anything like me, you are probably beginning to see the benefits of Moshi Monsters. Hours of free entertainment for your kids with no worries about their safety. If you give your permission, you child can access a Moshi Monsters account and this will open up the door to being featured in the Community Section of the site. There are various competitions, like Monstar of the Week and Room of the Week where children’s achievements are celebrated. Winning children will be featured on the site, but no personal information is shown or shared unless you give your full permission.
Max and Emily love Moshi Monsters and I feel that valuable learning skills are been practised through this site. (My personal background is in primary school teaching). Everyday your child’s monster will create a series of fun puzzles that test everything from vocabulary and arithmetic to logic and spatial skills. The better your child does, the more Rox they can earn. The difficulty of the puzzles automatically calibrates every day so the puzzles get harder if the children are doing well and easier if they are not. This is inbuilt differentiation.
Believe me, nurturing a Moshi Monster is no mean feat. It takes creative thinking, hypothesizing strategic thinking, the ability to manage resources and collaborate with friends and nurture a wide range of life skills to be successful.
The adopted monsters love words and communicate with the owners regularly via speech bubbles to encourage reading. Their moods are visually represented and also expressed by printed words in their virtual room. Since their moods change regularly, the child has plenty of opportunity to learn new vocabulary.
Well, I hope this has helped to explain this new phenomenon. Happy Moshi Monster adopting!