What is Word Central?
Word Central.com is a children dictionary site created by Merriam Webster. The site is aimed toward younger audiences that have already mastered basic reading and spelling skills. The activities on the site appear to be focused on improving spelling and vocabulary.
Word Central Content
The site contains a standard dictionary, rhyming dictionary, and thesaurus. Entries list definitions, word function, and pronunciation. There is accompanying audio for the pronunciation, as well as a pronunciation chart.
Word Central also contains links to outside websites they believe would be of interest to educators and students. Many of these links appear to lead to more Merriam Webster websites and products.
The site has a Build Your Own Dictionary feature which allows users to submit their own words and definitions for those words. These words are not added to the main site’s dictionary. They are kept separate. Anyone can write material for these definitions, but they do not appear immediately on the site. The site does not list the exact review process for these words, but they do seem to go through a review process.
The site offers games as well as a daily buzzword, a word of the day that you can subscribe to. There are four games: Alpha-bot, Robo-Bee, Bigbot, and Jumble Kids. To play Alpha-bot users must rearrange a grid of letters to spell words. In Robo-Bee the user must “fly” the bee to the word that correctly completes the sentence. In Big-bot the user must “feed” the Big-bot the word the correctly completes the sentence. In Jumble kids users must unscramble words to get the answer that wins the game.
Concerns for Parents
- Playing games online can be fun and it is easy to spend a lot of time playing them. Talk to your child about the amount of time you want them spending on the internet every day.