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App of the Week - Webkinz Friends for iPad

Do you have oodles of free time to spend with your family? If you’re like me, a good part of the day is spent shuttling kids to and from activities. Life happens in the little moments when you’re waiting for soccer practice to end or as you’re grabbing a bite to eat before piano lessons.

For my family, I’m always looking for ways to use technology to enhance the family time I do have. Whether I’m organizing carpools, sending off postcards or practicing math facts, I probably have an app for everything.

Now, the smart people at Webkinz have given me and my family a fun, goal-based app that I can play along side my children – Webkinz Friends for the iPad.

Let me start by saying – It’s FREE!

Your Webkinz Pets get to live in a big happy family in Kinzville, all custom-designed by you or your kids. The options for building are so plentiful, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first start. Looks like the creators assumed this, so they keep a handy Goal reminder on the screen so you can focus on the task at hand. Start by picking my First Pet, Toots, then on to building My House and go from there.

My First Pet - Webkinz Friends
My First Building - Log Cabin - Webkinz Friends

Building Kinzville with my 8-year old feels like a good civics lesson as we chat about how to lay out roads, what kinds of buildings are good for a town and how supply and demand work. Even just trying to decide on which pet to adopt into our family has been fun as we debate whether or not an elephant, a bunny and a Cocker Spaniel can all live in the same house.

Since I like to limit the time my kids spend on a computer or in front of the television, I was worried that we’d start Webkinz Friends together and never be able to stop. Luckily, Webkinz Friends is built for bite-sized windows of playtime. Just like Rome, Kinzville can’t be built out in a day as each item has a time and materials requirement. When it’s time to turn it off, we’ve got a good start on the next day’s building and resource gathering.

Another bonus of this app -- I don’t have to fill my house with hundreds of stuffed animals to have a huge pet family in Kinzville. While you CAN create pet friends using your plush toy codes from the original Webkinz World, you don’t need any codes for pet adoption in Webkinz Friends.

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And, if you’re already set up in Webkinz World, your prizes and gifts can be shared across the platforms all while private information is kept secure.

Well, it’s time to harvest my carrots and look for some ingredients in my Dessert Collection.

Collections Webkinz Friends

Be sure you’ve updated your iPad to the latest operating system (iOS 4.2 or later) AND that you’ve got a good, strong wireless connection. With thousands of pets, household items, buildings, trees and roads, Webkinz Friends app takes a few blinks of an eye to load up.

If you don’t have an iPad, you can always play the original version on Facebook too!

Next time we’re waiting for the next event at the swim meet, you can guess my kids are going to be asking to play in Kinzville with all their pets. And I’ll be happy to keep building our little town together.

Note: The review of Webkinz Friends was sponsored but the opinions are mine alone.

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