Anyone can sign up for a free basic membership, which basically just allows the kids to play the games.
The optional premium membership costs per $5.95 per month, or less if you pay for 6 or 12 months in advance. It allows you to have tons of control over the site, like blocking games you don't want the kids to play, and blocking all advertisements. You'll also be able to see what the kids have been playing, for how long, and what skills they've been working on.My impressions: I think this is a pretty neat idea. My son doesn't do a whole lot of internet gaming, because he's only 5, and at any rate, I'm always right here with him, so I don't really worry about what he's being exposed to. If he were older though, and allowed to play on the computer independently, this would be a blessing, since it eliminates the possibility of kids running into something inappropriate while looking for games.
My son enjoyed the large variety of games selected for him. We'd played a few of them before on the PBS website, but many were new to us. There were also a few short video clips available for him to watch. He didn't want to stop playing, which translates as a thumbs up from him.
My son has recently discovered the joy of video gaming, with his Gameboy, our Wii, and Playstation. He loves it. I'm actually going to be using video gaming as a reward for his cooperation during school next year. (A little disclaimer: Before you stone me for "bribing" him, remember he's got some special needs, and I've been advised to do this by several medical specialists. I agree with the premise. Carrots work better than sticks.) I'm going to include Zoodles as one of his options, and will be glad to have at least one choice that's educational.
Go to Zoodles.com, and sign up for a free 2 week trial of the premium features, so you can check it out for yourself.
Thank you to Zoodles.com for providing me with a 6 month premium membership, in order to facilitate the review. No other compensation was provided, and the opinions expressed are my own.