It all started out when Cousin Robert asked for a Club Penguin membership for his birthday. His mom didn’t seem to mind, his father said he refused to pay online for games. I found that Club Penguin sold membership cards at stores so no online payment was necessary to become a member. Even if you are not a member you can play Club Penguin no charge but you don’t get all of the perks. Robert sent to me the cutest “thank you” card. It had a short note and then stated “Waddle around and meet new friends”. This is Club Penguin’s motto.
The following month Cousin Stephen, Cousin Robert’s brother wanted the Club Penguin membership for his birthday too. That was easy to do and really made him happy. Come Christmas time, Jessica, my daugher, was interested in Club Penguin too. She was 5 years old. We played Club Penguin together to start. It was so cute the way the penguins would walk around and play goofy games. I signed her up to be able to free-text after reading the parents section that explained how they limit numbers, cities, bad words and more. A penguin can also report another penguin for a variety of reasons to the moderator. We had some help from the cousins, and then from Madison in Florida. Madison knows the ropes of Club Penguin and gave us one or two secret clues to find hidden keys or other difficult challenges in the game. These keys are not just hidden behind something,sometimes you have to do a motion, like float on bubbles that pop to get to hidden keys and other hidden treasures.
As a member, you can earn money and purchase clothes and items for your igloo. You can also buy other igloos. When we started the game, if you purchased an igloo and switched it, the old igloo was gone forever. Now igloos are in your inventory so once you have bought one you can always pull it out to decorate again. Membership also gives you more places to go, especially when there are parties going on. Club Penguin has parties for all sorts of events.
If you are not member, you can still play games, dress in the clothes and play the games to earn coins. Now Club Penguin has it so no one can identify if another penguin is a member or not. As long as a penguin is signed up to free text, they can all communicate. If not, there are certain servers for Club Penguin where you can only click pre-written phrases to communicate.
The penguins can have pets called Puffles. As the story goes, Rockhopper was traveling in the seas and came upon an island where he met a red puffle. He ended up taking some puffles to Club Penguin and they have expanded to many colors. Rockhopper has his faithful companion, Yarr, a red puffle who travels the on the Migrator with Rockhopper. These are cute fuzzy little critters that live in your igloo. You can purchase many items to keep your puffles comfortable while they live in your igloo. They can go with your penguin to all of the places on the island. They need to be taken care of or they run off into the woods. They need food, entertainment, to be clean, sleep and groomed properly. You can now purchase puffle hats! Coming soon, you and your puffles can wear matching hats.
Everyone wants to meet the famous penguins. They come with certain parties or adventures. Usually they are found on busy servers. When logging into Club Penguin, if you see many lines for a server that means there are lots of penguins on it. Jessica has met so far Rockhopper, G, Candence, Aunt Arctic, and Sensei She has yet to be able to get into the room with the Club Penguin Band. Also Rookie hasn’t been seen, but since he really goofs up projects he’s not high priority to find. Now when you find these famous penguins, you click on them to get a special background for your player card. In addition, you can ask them to be your friend. This friendship with famous penguins is new as of 2011. Jessica is friends with Rockhopper and Aunt Arctic. When you are friends with a penguin, you see when they are online on your friends list. Everyone wants to hear Rockhopper tell a story. Last year Rockhopper and Aunt Arctic were dancing together, how wild!
I do not want to spoil this article by telling you the details about all of these famous penguins. The best way to keep afront of Club Penguin news is to read the scrolling headlines when logging into Club Penguin. This informaiton will give clues to new parties and adventures, tell what plans Club Penguin has for the future and takes penguins opinions on current events. The next best way to get news is to read the Club Penguin Times. This newspaper typically comes out on Thursdays or Fridays and has the latest information about the island. On the back page is a clue that sometimes gives out secrets about the island or certain games. This newspaper is located on the left upper side of your screen. Make sure to read both sides!
The key to Club Penguin is knowing that often more than not, there is more hidden that expected. For example, when decorating your igloo, if you hit the arrow buttons in certain directions, you can have a piece of furniture turn into another piece of furniture. You can click on a lamp and it might turn on. You can click on a pond to rotate it or possibly have a fish jump out of it. For some of the games there are hidden clues too. I really think Jessica has yet to find many of them. Some we figured out together, some she masterminded, but who really knows what all of the hidden extras are on this island.
Be warned though, there is evil on this island. Herbert P. Bear Esquire, and his crab friend Klutzy the Crab. Based on the books Jessica has bought from Club Penguin (real books sold in bookstores), it seems Herbert P. Bear was tired of living in the cold so he hopped on an iceberg and floated to Club Penguin. He met Klutzy on the way. Herbert wants to live in a warm place because he is tired of being cold. This polar bear has tried many ways to sabbotage the island so that it will be warm, grow palm trees, and elminate all penguins from the island.
Because there are so many penguins, when playing the game you want to communicate with other penguins. You can type in the bar in the middlecenter/bottom location of your screen. You can just have a conversation, invite a penguin to play a game, invite penguins to your igloo, or go have some food or drinks at the local shops. Sometimes if the penguins group together, they can fight to a cause that is currently happening in the world, such as save the tornado victims. Other times penguins will dress up in similar clothing and become a group of maybe lifeguards, medieval knights, walking trees, or anything your wardrobe has to offer!
I found that when Jessica first started playing this game, it took a while for her to communicate with the other penguins, but she had an interest. As of last year she knew where all the letters were on the keyboard and could keep up pretty well with the other penguins. As I watched her I could see her backspace if a word was misspelled to correct it before sending the message to share. I know she likes to play “house” with the penguins. They hang out at the pet shop or other places to find a mumu, duh duh, sista, or even a pookie. Even though the names are not correct, the communication is there and the typing is going on. Now in second grade Jessica is learning typing on the computer once a week. Yes, I know, in tenth grade I had my first typing lesson. She knows the home row and is expanding each week. I can watch her type and she is so quick even though not using all the proper fingers in the proper locations.
To top it off, there is a secret organization on Club Penguin. Another penguin must send to you an invitation to join this organization. It is the Elite Penguin Force or EPF for short. In this special club, members and non-members can tackle the weekly challenges to protect the island from evil. Additionally if you investigate the building further you will find a location to go on several adventures. These adventures make the children think and piece clues together. If you child cannot read, or is just starting, they will pick up on reading at least these clue words not only in the EPF but all over the island. Once you have completed an adventure, you receive a medal.
You also receive stamps in your stampbook for a variety of accomplishments Other penguins can view your stamp books to see what you have succeed in. Some are simple acts that receive stamps. Other require ingenuity to accomplish. As of this writing there are 305 stamps available to get on Club Penguin. When you get a stamp, you know it because first a bright large stamp blinks at the top of the screen and you also hear a pretty little tinkly jingle that represents the stamp being awarded to you. These stamps have no value and do not help you progress in any game or feature of Club Penguin. Sometimes they are more to brag about and display on the front of your stamp book.
I can say that playing Club Penguin is a continual learning experience for my daughter. Even though there are days on Club Penguin when nothing is happening, starting a conversation by typing is a plus for any child. No, not all penguins type correctly, but they try, they communicate, and they have fun. I would guess my daughter plays Club Penguin once or twice a week at the most, but the opportunities it offers her regarding reading, writing, contributing to causes and more make it a worthwhile expense for our family.