I was looking forward to this review as I enjoyed looking through the NGKids site so much.
The LittleKids site is part of the NGKids but I wanted to treat it as an entity on its own. It is aimed at the 3 to 8 years age group. There some research pages on animals and the environment. It is important to remember that these reviews are for websites for children to access for research with as little adult intervention as possible.
At first glance, the design of the site will appeal to children with its illustrations, cartoons, music and photographs but the site would be hard for a child to navigate independently.
This is the Main menu for the LittleKids site.
It took me a while to realise where it was and kept clicking on the links to NGKids. The text is so small.
The focus of the site is to inform children about their environment in a fun and interesting way through games, puzzles, videos and texts for children to discover. I entered the games area and clicked on “Are we there yet? World adventure”. I thought it would be about countries in the world or famous landmarks but I was wrong. ‘Snow Sliders’ was sliding down a snowy mountain dodging (or maybe hitting) the items. At the end of the game was a short video with children skiing down a mountain. I thought that Pigeon Problems was promising as the initial video showed children feeding pigeons in Italy. The focus seemed to be on friendly pigeons rather than the country.
There is a lot of content on the site but, to be honest, I couldn’t see much opportunity for research or learning. One of the geography games re-directed to another site. I was going to have a look but it took ages to load. I looked for an item that was spectacular but couldn’t find one and admit to giving up easily after a while as I was bored.
The writing style isn’t easy for children to decipher or understand. I’m struggling to find positives here but remind you that I’m looking at this from a ‘child research’ point of view. The site offers lots of activities for children but the research learning is missing.
I wonder why National Geographic felt it necessary to split the site in two. I feel it would serve much better if they were incorporated into one excellent site in which children of all ages could learn to research.
I wish I could have found something!
As a site for research, I’m not impressed but as a fun site for little ones it is good.