Wubbzy's Wow! Wow! Ring Catch
Some of the reviews on this site are tagged as "kidsafe", but a few months ago, when my 2-and-a-half-year-old was begging me to find him some fun games to play on the Internet, I couldn't really find very much at Jayisgames that he would enjoy.
So, I had to scour kids' sites to find stuff. The problem with a lot of the sites is that they are poorly designed—they might have a good game here and there, but they are buried under so many links (and dead ends) that my son would get lost on the site, trying to find the game.
We're down to 6 sites that I would say are well-designed, and which actually have content that a toddler would enjoy. In no particular order, they are:
Many of these are Canadian sites, but that may be because I got a lot of suggestions on a Canadian parenting forum.
My son started with toopyandbinoo.com (he taught himself to use the computer mouse, so that he could navigate this site) and has moved on from there. I'm not going to go into detail about all the sites. Most of them are of limited interest to adults.
Some of the games, though, are actually kind of fun, even for me. The one that I will highlight is Wubbzy's Wow! Wow! Ring Catch. We don't actually get Nick Jr. on tv up here, so while we've certainly seen a lot of the shows highlighted on the website (Dora and Diego, for instance), Wubbzy is not a character I'm familiar with. Nor was my son, but that didn't stop him from exploring that part of the website (after playing through all the Dora games, of course).
In any case, Wubbzy's Wow! Wow! Ring Catch is very simple: use the mouse to move Wubbzy and try to catch falling rings on his tail. The more you catch, the higher your score. Blue balls also fall occasionally, and you get bonus points for bouncing these off Wubbzy's head, up to five times for each ball (the bonus points increase after each bounce). Acorns and books should be avoided, but all they seem to do is stun Wubbzy for a second or two. On the later levels (there are only 4), the real challenge seems to be maximizing the number of bonus points you get with the balls, and trying to sneak in an occasional ring along the way. My top score is a paltry 657.
The game won't entertain forever, but I think that it demonstrates an important gameplay element for "all-ages" games—it has to be simple enough for tiny tots to play (the most important aspect for this, I think, is that you cannot lose, and you cannot get stuck), but it's interesting enough for adults to try to get the highest score possible. Another Wubbzy game on the site, Wubbzy's Amazing Adventure, shares the same benefits, although it's a completely different game. (My top score on Amazing Adventure is 1006, but I think I could probably get that up to 1020 or so.)
So, probably a link of limited use for this site, but on the off-chance that anyone else out there has a 3-year-old (or so) who likes games as much as WE do ... there you go.