Mr Z is really interested in computer games these days. As he’s young, of course I have to limit this and make sure he sticks to the type of games that are appropriate. I was really interested when I was offered the chance to try out The Virtual World of Club Penguin with Mr Z as this seemed like the perfect type of gaming environment for him, as it’s catering specifically for children and it is a reputable site made by Disney, a brand which we know and trust.
You can join Club Penguin for free, and then if you purchase an additional Club Penguin membership your child will get access to some extra features like accessories and exclusive Puffles. Mr Z was given a month’s free membership for the purpose of this review, but regardless of whether that is renewed or not, the basic account with his penguin will stay there which is great.
Mr Z was very keen to set up his penguin, and we now have a cute little red penguin going by the name of Amigo(+a string of numbers! 😉 ). In order for your child to set up a penguin, they need to get approval through a parent’s email account. This is very sensible as you would not want your child to have accounts without your knowledge! I had an issue with receiving my activation email so I emailed the club penguin support and they could not have been more helpful. They sorted it all out for me very quickly.
Club Penguin has been around since 2005 and in that time it has developed a reputation for being a really safe environment for children to start their journey into internet usage. I would much rather Mr Z used a reputable site like this than trying out something new and unknown. There is a whole E Safety for kids section which gives some guidance to children so they know the appropriate way to behave on the site, as well as a Parental Controls section.
Amazingly since the site was launched, over 220 million penguin avatars have been created in 190 countries and children log in from around the world to play Club Penguin in six different languages. I remember my nephews playing Club Penguin when they were younger and I think it is just something that has a universal appeal throughout the years and across the world!
You can navigate Club Penguin using the maps, or just wander around and find new things to explore. I preferred Mr Z to use the maps so that he can choose what he wants to do and spend his time better. You can choose to show just the games, just the places or different options like this so it’s very easy for the children to use.
All of the different locations have lots of details and areas where your penguin and puffle can interact with their surroundings, whether that’s finding dropped items on the floor to add to their inventory or being able to use the equipment in the park environments. Mr Z found his Puffle and Penguin very cute and liked to see them walking around doing things. You will also notice lots of other children’s penguins there and see speech bubbles coming up as they type any messages. Mr Z has not been interacting with this so far. He is more interested in playing his games and doing his own thing with his penguin than in the social side of the website, which is fine with me. There’s plenty of time for that as he gets bigger and there is enough to do on Club Penguin without needing to focus just on the chat and social side.
There are lots of games, and your child earns coins by playing them which they can then spend on extra accessories, puffles or whatever they wish to buy from the Club Penguin store. Some of the items are only available to buy when you have a Club Penguin Membership. This gives you the chance to:
- Dress up and express their unique styles
- Shop for new items in different catalogs every month
- Get the latest fashions, accessories and sport styles
- Collect rare and exclusive party items
For example Mr Z’s orange tabby cat is for members only. The membership is £4.95 per month or cheaper if you are buying a 6 or 12 month subscription. This is pocket money prices so if your child is really keen to have the members only items then it’s within their reach.
Mr Z has really enjoyed his experience with Club Penguin and I’m sure he will keep playing. It’s a very enjoyable and relaxing site for him, and I’m happy for him to use it knowing that it is properly monitored and safe. He was attracted to the characters straight away and I have to agree with him, they are very cute.
We were sent a Club Penguin magazine along with our membership, which I really liked as this is a great way to use Mr Z’s interest in the game to help encourage him reading for enjoyment. He was also very keen on the stickers included in the magazine and went about transforming some of his own stuffed toys into Puffles as you can see!
Over the last week there has been a Puffle party which saw the introduction of two new Puffles; the tabby cat which Mr Z has chosen and a blue border collie who is also very cute. Throughout the party some free items are released and can be collected by your child’s penguin as they wander around. We picked up some Lavender Bunny Ears on the beach!
The Puffle Park is a new area which was added during the party, and Mr Z really enjoyed this area. It’s very interactive as I mentioned before. Here you can see Amigo and Mr Z’s Puffle “Little Harry” enjoying a turn on the slide! (bottom left)
The Puffle Parties are a regular event with Club Penguin so I can see that it would be exciting to watch out for new events coming up and more items to be added in future Puffle Parties.
Overall Mr Z is really enjoying Club Penguin and it’s a site I’m happy for him to continue using. If your child is interested in starting to play some games online then Club Penguin would be an ideal safe environment for them to do this, and something that I am happy to recommend to other parents.