Virtual Pet Ownership


Each year teacher’s appreciation week yields a wonderful assortment of handmade cards, notes, candy and dollar store treasures from bright eyed students. This year a small soft stuffed animal arrived. The kids quickly pointed out how lucky I was to have a Webkinz. “My mom said they are hard to find.” claimed one knowledgeably. “You can decorate his room!” exclaimed another. “and you can play games to earn cash to buy him things.”according to an experienced virtual pet owner of 5 months.

Birthdays and Holidays seem to be the occasions linked to a Webkinz gift. They instructed me to look at his tag. Inside the tag I found a secret login code. With expert advice I navigated the site. Once we got in and named our pet the students took turns going up to the whiteboard to show me around. They cautioned that I make sure Fuzzy is happy and well fed. They insisted that it will be my daily duty to check on Fuzzy. Naturally they wanted to help!

Of my 17 students, 7 already have at least one of their own virtual pets. Kindergartners are not reliable when it comes to estimating time so I didn’t ask how many hours a day they spend in the care and feeding of their pet. Even my teens took an interest when I took Fuzzy home. I told them we needed to earn point (cash) in order to spoil our digital pet. My son, who is graduating this year and has no more homework was happy to help. The games are apparently addictive.

Here is what wikipedia says about webkinz.

See what parents are saying on this parent forum. Many are concerned.

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One Response to “Virtual Pet Ownership”

  1. Paul Harrington Says:

    Hi Kathy – I have finally tracked down your blog via podomatic – I know that you are heading towards a break – but if your pupils want to receive Flat Stanleys from Wales ( poss when you return to school – which is when ???) I could arange it…
    Mr H from Cefn Fforest School, Wales

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