I see a need for a social networking site for young children. One that is more educational, as opposed to the few that are online now that seem to be mostly for entertainment. I also see a need for a site that helps with parent interaction, as well. A lot of times parents find activities for their children to do, but don’t always participate. While I understand that life can be busy for everyone, I want to offer a site that teaches children and parents the benefits of chores and responsibility with the use of social networking, games, and activities.
The site I propose to build is TheLittleHelpers.com. It will be a site that mainly focuses on learning activities for young children. Through the use of online forums and blogs, it will help children learn the importance of doing chores and behaving properly. Initial, both parent and child will be able to get online and create the child’s Little Helpers Avatar and room. There will only be a few options for this in the beginning. There will be a section where parents can decide what type of chores their children will be responsible for. Each time a chore is completed, they will be able to check it off the list. Weekly, if everything is checked off, the child will earn items for their avatar or for their avatar’s room. It’s a reward system that doesn’t center around snacks or treats.
The child will be able to play learning games that help with counting, colors, spelling, etc. to also earn points to trade for upgrades. For the child to check chores off their lists, they’ll have to have their parents present for their log in. This will prevent cheating and cause interaction with both parent and child.
A good part of the parents section will discuss child safety while online. This will include rules they should discuss with their children. There will be information about chores for children including what is age appropriate, benefits of chores and responsibilities, etc. There will also be a forum for parents to discuss with each other what chores their children do, ask questions of other parents and help with ideas for activities. TheLittleHelpers.com will be a great way for parents and children to learn about social networking and get involved with online communities.
Through my research, I have found sites such as MoshiMonster.com and ClubPenguin.com. While they have some educational games and provide social networking for children, I feel they are targeting an older generation. I also see that these sites, and others like them, don’t involve the parent as much. TheLittleHelpers.com will work to provide activities that both the child and parent will have to do together. I see that television and video games are an easy way to keep children entertained while parents go through their daily routine. TheLittleHelpers.com will not only be educational, but also promote parent/child interaction.
By week 4, I plan on having comps for the site. Week 5, I will provide site maps and wireframes. Then the following weeks will be used to build the site. I plan on having the majority of it build this quarter with polishing and implementation of the site held for next quarter.
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