We’ve been trying out the children’s website GridClub over the past few days. Admittedly that is not quite long enough to test all areas of the site, but enough to give us an overall impression of the site's functionality and what it has to offer.
GridClub describes itself as the world’s greatest online adventure for kids and is aimed at children aged 5-12 – so very high expectations are set from the outset - but thankfully the site really is pretty good and it’s worth trying out their 60-minute free trail to see if you want to take out a year’s subscription (see the special offer at the end of this post).
It is full of educational games and videos – over 500 in total – and includes a mixture of spelling games, historical games, maths quizzes, cooking games, diving games, video clips and a whole lot more. In fact, it contains many more games than we have had time to look at. There is also a parent zone with full details about the site.
A typical maths game (click to enlarge):
The site is colourful and engaging and easy to navigate. Pages were quick to load and we had no problems with the site crashing or freezing at any point.
I particularly liked the cyber café which educates children about internet safety and provides information about the safe use of chat rooms, emails, using mobile phones and surfing the internet, in a fun and informative way.
Of the site’s long list of games we liked:
Mission inedible where you create your own superhero who you then have to feed a healthy balanced diet so he has the energy to complete a mission. The game educates children on food choices, the five food groups and teaches them about a healthy diet.
The Quest of the Comma Castle which helps develop children’s English Language skills and teaches them about the correct use of capital lessons, putting words in alphabetical order, plurals and punctuation.
The Art Factory where you can draw, paint and create collages, and Print and Go where you can make your own posters, postcards, invitations and more using the GridClub characters and colours.
Overall the site is extremely good. It is educational, there is plenty of variety and the games are closely tied in to the National Curriculum. The games offer a choice of skill levels which will suit children of all levels and abilities. It is worth exploring the site with your child as there are so many games it is easy to miss some.
I only found one area where I felt there was room for improvement - the site’s graphics are very good but not exceptional, occasionally the onscreen print is a little difficult to read, as we found with the Secret Agent game:
Nevertheless, it is a comprehensive sight with plenty to offer and one worth exploring.
Grid Club is the winner of a number of prestigious awards including a BAFTA for best online learning website, a BETT award for learning beyond the classroom, an EMMA for best multi-media resource and an ISPA for contribution to internet safety.
We’ve been given a year’s access to the site for the purpose of this review.
Kidoo.co.uk is a new family group buying site and they are offering a 50% off the standard annual subscription cost off the award-winning online education website Grid Club so it's £14.95 instead of £29.95. The offer closes at the end of this week.