If your kids are anything like mine, they love their video games. My kids are always asking to play video games or computer games. And then there are those online communities for kids. I’m not a huge fan of those because I have to make sure they aren’t buddying up to some creep masquerading as a kid on the internet.

Enter Ohanarama.

This unique, Philly mom-owned site (love that it’s the invention of a local mom!!), is sort of like Facebook for Families. Ohanarama allows kids to play games and connect with friends and family members in a safe and protected environment. For those of you with family that lives far away, this is the perfect way for them to interact in a way that your kids can relate to. Your kids can play games with Grandma or Aunt Myrtle from across the country. And YOU control who is in your space, so you have total control over who your kids are talking to online.

Even better, the games all have an educational component so you don’t feel like your kids are totally vegging in front of a blinking screen. And the same goes for the older generation. They say that games can help keep your mind sharp as you age.

Ohanarama is a safe introduction to social networking, and let’s face it. Social networking is here to stay, so I figure we might as well teach our kids how to use it appropriately before they are off starting illicit Facebook accounts . . . not that my kids have ever done such a thing! (They truly have not, thankfully, but I have a friend whose child did just that. And I’ve heard that it’s quite common.)

The part I like best is that Ohanarama takes an activity that can be isolating (electronic gaming) and uses it to build connections between children and their family members. It’s so easy to get caught up in activities online, at least with Ohanarama, you’re sharing those activities with the ones you love most.

I’d love to know. Do you let your kids play computer games? Do they belong to any of those social networking sites for kids? Do you think you’ll check out Ohanarama? Let me know what you think!

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time in writing this post and spreading the word about Ohanarama. All commentary and opinions are mine.

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2 Responses

  1. In theory, I think this is a great idea for younger kids, but in reality, proposing this to my 7th grader, whose friends are all on FB, or the rest of my family, who are mostly NOT on FB, it probably would not go over so well. What does your son think about it…I know they are the same age.

    We have always said that our daughter would have to at least wait until she is 13 (the legal age for FB according to their policies) to get an account. We are now CONSIDERING allowing her to join as a 12th birthday gift, after finding out that all the kids she went to Australia with this summer keep in touch via FB and she is left out of that (not concerned about her local friends, however). My dilemma is that I am not sure that I want to be her seeing what I post on FB…not that it’s bad, as I have a lot of business contacts on there, but not everything is appropriate for a kid her age. So, I am considering having her set one up and me having the password so I can check occasionally, but I’m also a big believer in giving my kids privacy and trust unless they prove that they don’t deserve it.

    We will also have rules, such as she is not allowed to friend anyone she doesn’t actually KNOW in real life (no friends of friends) and that she needs to use correct grammar, lol…she’s been looking at all the devastating pictures of Hersheypark on their FB site with me this week and reading the comments and is appalled that grownups are using not only curses on a public site but can’t spell or use correct grammar. She thinks they sound stupid. That’s my girl 🙂

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