Like most parents, I am protective of my kids when it comes to online safety. The only computer that our kids use is the family computer in the living room so that we can at least be around when they are online. It’s not that I am constantly peering over their shoulder or anything, I still feel better knowing that I am in close proximity so I know they aren’t seeing anything or anyone they shouldn’t be while online. Of course we have safety barriers set up on our computer but when doing a search there is ALWAYS still the chance that something may show up that out 11 year old doesn’t need to be viewing. Of course there is also chatting to worry about if that’s something your child enjoys doing. So, who is Chatman?
Chatman is an online safety gadget for kids. He is an emoticon character that not only keeps your child safe online and warns of “stranger danger”, he’s also a desktop friend that your child can interact with. Your child can talk to chatman, play games and much more. I was really excited when I received the opportunity to bring Chatman into our own home and meet him. He’s a pretty friendly guy!
Installing Chatman is really easy. Connect him to your computer via USB, and use the software disc to begin. It should start up on it’s own and follow the really easy setup wizard. Chatman even joins in and explains everything and walks you through the process.
Through the set up, your child can choose Chatman to be a boy or girl (if you choose girl, his voice becomes a girl voice) and choose a name for him. In our case, we have a girl Chatman named Lucy. There is even a story that Chatman tells and even thanks your child for getting him out of his box. The story is also readable in the installation box. It will even continue to show you a couple tutorials of what your child can do with Chatman. After everything is set up, you will see what I call the “Chatman Dashboard” on your desktop.
Here is where your child can do all kinds of fun stuff safely. There are games, there is homework help, a cinema, they can search the web or search images directly from there without opening an internet browser and they can chat with their Chatman himself (or herself in our case). I think chatting with Chatman is a great tool for kids that still aren’t into the whole chatting online thing yet. Our daughter is just turning 11 in about a week and she has just started showing a little interest in it. I find that chatting with Chatman is a great way to learn how to do that and learn how in a safe way. For instance, you want your child to know that they should only be talking to people that they know. It also teaches them what kind of questions are risky. Our daughter asked “Lucy” how old she was and Chatman gave his warning sound when she asked. So she knows that if someone she doesn’t know asks her age, it’s not safe. Chatman warns of a lot of things even with chatting with friends that your child DOES know and takes care of stranger danger. It’s like he monitors the online conversation and even joins in the conversation making it more fun. Supported chat software includes Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Gmail Chat, and you can even connect with Facebook Chat.
Chatman recognizes over 15,000 words, 2,000 movements, 30 moods (I didn’t even know there were that many), he’s smart and funny, and of course he moves and talks. He’s more than just a safety gadget. Your child can play with him, teach him new words and “chitchats” and build his personality. Your child will have his/her own profile that they can fill out with things they like or don’t like and Chatman becomes more personalized with them. The more your child plays with him, the smarter he gets! You can even give Chatman reminders to help you remember dates and events too.
By default, Chatman blocks many, many different things – a lot actually. I have messed around with everything myself and I haven’t seen anything come up that shouldn’t come up when Chatman is online. There is a parent area though and you set your own passward that’s different from your child’s so you can add other things for Chatman to block as well. There are a lot of different games your child to play and both our 11 year old and 6 year old have played some of them.
I love that our kids can search the internet right from the Chatman software and works just as well as using an internet browser. So far we have never seen any searches come back with websites that are unsafe or harmful. Our daughter likes dogs so she searched just using the word “dogs”. I did the same thing with Internet Explorer and even though we have safety barriers, I still found things I would rather my kids not see especially when it came to images. With the Chatman software – everything was simply just pictures of dogs or information about different breeds.
The cinema area shows videos from YouTube but they are ALL child friendly. There are all kinds of stuff they can see and watch. Homework help is really great. I don’t know how many times our daughter has needed help with math and there is a lot of things I don’t remember and really can’t help with. She can choose the grade level and choose from a lot of different kinds of math problems and it will bring up videos (from YouTube) that show your child how to do the particular kinds of math problems. I really like this idea because there is a video actually showing her how to do these things. Now without the Chatman software, she would have to got to YouTube and search for that kind of stuff and there’s no telling what she would come across.
After we have been using Chatman, I feel I can let her do what she is doing without fear of her coming across things she shouldn’t. I can breathe a little easier while she is on the computer either looking up things for school or just or fun, or playing games or checking out fun videos for kids. When you exit out of the software, it will ask you if you would like to shutdown Chatman. We usually do but you don’t have to. Chatman still does his job with a regular Internet browser such as IE, Chrome, or Firefox (you can enable the Chatman add-on). We just have our kids use the Chatman software only just so that we don’t have to worry whether or not it’s going to interfere with anything if my husband or I were online.
We love Chatman and I am happy to give him a permanant home on our desk. At the bottom of your Chatman’s foot, there is a scratch off code to register him at www.mychatman.com. He does not have to be registered nor does the site have to be accessed for him to work properly. He does great keeping our kids safe while online and be a great friend at the same time!
Buy It: Chatman recommended retail price is $69.95-$74.95 and is available at target.com, bestbuy.com, HSN.com and toysrus.com. Through mid-April, toysrus.com is offering Chatman for only $49.99 for a limited time only! (That sale price is still available as of today’s date)
For more information, please visit www.mychatman.com!
Win It! Thanks to the company, one of my very lucky DustinNikki Mommy of Three readers will win a Chatman of their own! Would you like to give a Chatman a home on your computer desk?
Here’s how to enter:
Use the Rafflecopter form below. It’s as simple as just clicking! You must complete the mandatory entry before extra entries are unlocked. See each instruction for each entry. You must follow DustinNikki Mommy of Three in some way (does not have to be every single way) like Google+, Facebook, NetworkedBlogs, Twitter, etc. (
Google Friend Connect will no longer be available for non blogger blogs soon. My GFC still works and I think it’s because my old blogger blog is redirected here. Feel free to still follow via GFC but make sure you follow in some other way too in case I still lose GFC). Of course all the ways that you can follow us, are also extra entries too. See all ways of entries in the Rafflecopter form. Mandatory entry will require a comment on this post. If you have any problems with the Rafflecopter form, please let me know by either leaving a comment on this post or by sending me an email and I will take a look at it.
It is no longer necessary to leave your email in your comment since you have to leave your email when submitting your comment for approval. That way the only person that will see your email will be me. All entries will be checked and if there are any comments that do not count or qualify as an entry, they will not be counted.
For more in depth Giveaway Rules, please see my Giveaway Rules page!
The product(s) was sent to me for free by the company for my use and review. I was not paid to write my review and my opinions are honest and 100% my own although they may differ from others.