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"Winnie the Pooh": Online Educational Fun for Children

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Author: Daniel Punch

 
 
Recently I read a very cool book called "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff written back in the 1980's. It shows how the popular children's cartoon bear Winnie the Pooh created by A.A. Milne in England in the 1920's, though a Western concept, actually embodies the ideology of the great Chinese (Eastern) philosophy Taoism (pronounced Daoism). I remember enjoying Winnie the Pooh stories when I was a kid so I thought I'd do the modern task of searching for his name on the Internet. Of course there are hundreds of sites based on Pooh, but I decided to go to the official site entitled: http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/pooh/. Uh oh, Disney! Of course Disney didn't have the rights on Pooh Bear from the start, but where there is a dollar to be made in the realm of children's entertainment...

I may sound a little judgmental here, but I just get a weird feeling about Disney, like they are planning to take over the world one day, possibly replacing the current governor of California, movie 'star' Arnold Swartzenegger, with Donald Duck or heaven help us, Goofy. Then again maybe that wouldn't really change the world much at all! I don't want to get too political as this article is basically going to be a positive review of the Pooh website, but when I think about it, having Pooh Bear as president instead of George Bush could have some really happy and peaceful repercussions around the globe.

Getting past the idea that Pooh Bear has been 'acquired' by the Disney Corporation there are some positives in all situations (Taoist belief of the balance of yin and yang energies) and one of these is the fact that Disney have a lot of power and money behind them. Therefore, the Pooh Bear website in question sets a very high standard of how high the quality of websites can reach. The colored graphics are astounding as well as the movement and interactivity of the site in general. The main point of the site that I want to emphasize is the enjoyable educational value that it holds for children approximately 3-6 years of age, although after reading Hoff's novel, parents and people like myself can also get something out of the stories. Milne's original tales were a social commentary at the time of writing as well as promoting happiness and friendship to the youngest generation. Hopefully in keeping in character, Disney doesn't lose too much of the original purpose and perspective, though in being perpetually politically correct I'm sure all real controversy has disappeared like honey from Pooh Bear's jars.

Your kids can enjoy Pooh based on-line video games, as well as downloading coloring-in pages, mazes, and color wallpaper posters. You can also download a fun empty family tree that the child can then research to fill in. As the site is highly professional and under constant updates in construction, it says that soon there will be Pooh alphabetical flash cards and even an 'Enchanted call from Pooh and Tigger", although this sounds like a pure money/honey making exercise. Speaking of money please be careful as this site has lots of different products and merchandise your kids are bound to obsess over. If I were you, just try and choose the stories and videos that seem to have genuine educational value. However, there are a few nice freebies that you can download from the 'Characters' link, such as a Tigger mask and a valentine card for Eeyore the donkey as well as more fun activities. Whether you want to show your young children an interesting and fun time on the computer/Internet, or you are planning to build a children's website of your own, this site is an excellent choice.


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