Here’s hoping there are “educational” properties in Webkinz. Why? Because Katie has spent the better half of the week setting up house with her animals.

In an article by Allison Merlino, she writes, “There are various educational benefits to taking care of your virtual pet online. The concept of care taking maintenance is exercised in that the child feeds, bathes and plays with their pet in order to increase it’s happiness. The child also must learn to prioritize “spending” and earn the “cash” needed to purchase items for their pet.

In a toy review, they say Webkinz are everything that the company promises – the company is Ganz. “Overall, this kid-focused web portal seems to be everything it advertises: a safe and educational site for kids,” they say.

Okay, so maybe we are on to something. Her interest in Webkinz started a couple years ago. I think our fist Webkinz was adopted in August 2007.  She was hot for the online game for a few months and then her interest waned. I, on the other hand, got hooked. I loved planting my garden and watching it grow. My garden provided fresh food for my Roary Lion Webkinz.

But this week, Katie has rediscovered her love. And it is layered with a whole new understanding. At 10 (rather than 8) she’s much more tuned into money – earning and spending – and weighing the value of things based on their cost. She’s more interested in “having a job” and earning extra money.

So I guess I will let the fun keep going. I was encouraged as she dragged each of her Webkinz to the doctor (for a checkup) and stopped the activity long enough to brush each animal’s teeth. I think a few also got a bath and a shampoo.

Now if she’d just treat me that well! My feet could use a good rub!