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e-Briefing | Kids' Internet

These Sites Offer Games for the Brain

April 05, 2001|KAREN JONES | karen@kjnyc.com

Gamebrain.com and Bonus.com offer an eclectic mix of entertainment and educational content.

Gamebrain.com (www.gamebrain.com), an edutainment venture from LearningSoft, is targeted at kids from 3 to 13 and offers a technology called Learningtrac, which monitors each child's academic progress throughout the site. Learningtrac customizes the content to fit the age and abilities of the child and supplies parents with a monthly progress report.

Gamebrain.com camouflages Learningtrac with games, activities, stories and musical features, so kids can enjoy Funky Monkey or Casper Creepin' Haunted Maze without feeling they are part of an online classroom.

Parents register along with their children and can decide whether kids can participate in online chats and e-mail and whether a monitoring filter should be enabled.

Bonus.com (www.bonus.com) describes itself as a "comprehensive children's entertainment Web site" and is loaded with content for kids 2 to 16. There are more than 2,400 educational and entertaining activities.

Bonus.com also provides a proprietary technology called Contour, which creates a "virtual fence" around the site, limiting access to inappropriate material.

Bonus.com sports a huge inventory of Java-based games, found in the Play section. The Imagine section offers activities and information on fashion, pop culture, holidays, storytelling, music and cooking. In Explore, kids learn about their world and beyond.

Bonus.com also features a Parents & Teachers section that provides resources such as homework and curriculum help and family fun.

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Karen Jones is a freelance writer specializing in children's interactive media.

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