Other Choices: FunBrain, CoolMath, Poptropica
Synopsis: Games and videos make exploring the brain fun.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that WONDERMIND aims to teach kids how the brain works through a series of puzzle-style games and accompanying educational videos that draw on examples from Alice in Wonderland. An accompanying blog allows comments, but nothing inappropriate is posted. There are no ads.
- Families can talk about using technology to learn. What are your favorite games or websites that are both fun and educational?
- What are other ways you can make science fun?
What's the story?
Commissioned by the Tate Liverpool gallery, which featured an exhibit on the art of Alice in Wonderland, Wondermind introduces kids to concepts in neuroscience through four Alice-themed games. Each one is accompanied by a video that uses stories from the book to explain topics like memory, language development, and spatial skills. For example, a card-matching game serves as a jumping-off point for discussing the difference between working memory and long-term memory. Wondermind also includes a blog that uses examples from the book to explore questions like, "Do animals understand language?"
Is it any good?
Wondermind's games are simple (and fun) enough to appeal to its target audience of kids ages 8 to 12. Some of the science may be a bit difficult for younger kids to fully grasp, but the friendly narrators do a good job of using examples from Alice's story, and from the real world, to illustrate the concepts. Teens and adults interested in neuroscience, or in the intersection of science and art, may also find Wondermind engaging. Kids could get through the four games pretty quickly -- adding more would make Wondermind even better.
The Good Stuff
Messages: Wondermind encourages kids to be inquisitive about science and art and does a good job of not being condescending to young learners.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Not an issue
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue