What It Is
Monkeez Makes a Difference is a collection of sock monkey characters who introduce children to philanthropy. The program includes the stuffed characters, online games, and real-life do-good challenges. There are more than 90 sock monkey-style stuffed characters, including owls, bears, kangaroos, and more.
Once you purchase your character, go online to monkeezandfriends.com and enter in your character's special code. Then you can pick a charity to which you'd like to contribute, and Monkeez Makes a Difference will donate 10 percent of the wholesale cost of the toy you purchased to that charity on your behalf. There are three charity partners: Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Samaritan's Purse, and Best Friends Animal Society. The website also includes educational games and ideas on how kids can make a difference in the world.
Each stuffed toy comes with Do Good Trading Cards that consist of really simple tasks kids can do in their everyday world, such as "Today at lunch, look around and invite a child who is sitting alone to sit with you." When the child reports back to the parent that the task has been completed, the child is given a Do Good code that can be redeemed on the website for incentives in the educational games.
The stuffed characters are available in a variety of sizes. Depending on the size of the animal you purchase, the retail cost can be anywhere from $2.99 to $100.
Why It’s Fun
The Monkeez Makes a Difference stuffed characters are really cute, and kids will like collecting and snuggling up with their favorites. The online component with the Do Good Trading Cards is great for extending the play.
Who It’s For
Monkeez Makes a Difference is for ages 3 and up.
It will be most useful in families where creating a sense of service and reinforcing charitable activities.
What To Be Aware Of
Monkeez Makes a Difference items are available in specialty toy stores and at monkeezandfriends.com.
The online games are very rudimentary, but may be difficult and frustrating for younger kids.
You need to install the Unity Web player to access the games.
For parents who are looking for ways to engage their kids in giving to others, Monkeez Makes a Difference is a fun and interactive way to do so.
It's important to note that parents modeling and encouraging this kind of behavior will have more meaning than anything related to a toy or an online game.
Parents who wish to support other charities than the three supported by this company may wish to make another choice for engaging their children in socially conscious activities.