China Toy Fair


Sesame Workshop and Ounce Partner for Family Engagement

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Ounce of Prevention Fund (Ounce), are partnering on a new parent and child engagement initiative. The program is aimed to bolster parents’ understanding of the importance of early education and foster social-emotional development in their kids.

In collaboration with the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the partnership is set to develop resources for lower income communities to link experiences in the classroom with those at home in support of school readiness.

This program was announced by Secretary Hillary Clinton during the CGI America 2014 meeting, and is set to launch in early 2015 with three key components: a mobile platform with tips for parents to connect their children via media offerings such as videos and activities; a social network that will offer parent-to-parent contributions, connections, and encouragements; and a toolkit to help educators reinforce relationships and build connections between parents.

Report: 56.8 Million Americans Have Played a Social Networking Game

According to a new report by The NPD Group, Social Network Gaming, approximately 20 percent of Americans ages 6 and older, or 56.8 million U.S. consumers, have played a game on a social network within the last three months. In terms of kids’ activities, according to the report, 23 percent of children ages 6 to 12 reported that they have played a game on a social network within the past three months.

The report also states that 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming and have never played any other type of gaming before playing on social networks. According to the report, gamers are nearly evenly divided between genders: 47 percent are male and 53 percent are female.

Social Network Gaming also reports that 10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money playing social networking games, although the games are free to play, and 11 percent of those surveyed are likely to make a future purchase. Gamers surveyed also report spending 20 percent less on gaming overall since they started playing social networking games.

New Parent-Controlled Social Site for Pre-Teens Premieres

KidzRocket.com, a new social networking website for children ages 9 to 12, has premiered and is promoting internet safety by only allowing access to children if they have parental consent.

The child cannot begin activity on the site until the company has contacted his or her parents, confirmed approval for membership and participation, and initiated a trial membership using the parent’s credit card. Additionally, every friend the child communicates with on the website must be approved by the parent. If the child leaves KidzRocket.com to move around the internet, each site they attempt to visit is subject to parental approval.

Internet reports of their child’s online activities can be generated using the free KidzRocket WebFilter, a real-time image composition analysis engine. The engine allows parents to control and monitor pre-defined internet privileges by telling them which websites their children have attempted to access.

KidzRocket.com is a subsidiary of BizRocket.com, Inc.