Monday, October 27, 2008

Bella Sara Trading Cards

I don't know about you, but my daughters are infatuated with horses! Despite being deathly afraid the time we took the girls to ride, they love watching them in the fields near our house, an playing with various horse-themed toys. My girls also love playing on the computer, and we carefully monitor the activities they do online. Even my three year old tells me she wants to play "dot com."

So I was very interested to receive Bella Sara horse-themed trading cards from BellaSara.com and Team Mom. I first logged on myself to check it out before showing it to the girls. The trading cards come in sets of seven, each with a code you enter on Bellasara.com. When you enter the code, the horse comes alive in the online world of North of North. Similar to other online games, each horse has it's own stable where you can care for him/her. There are also games and activities while you're there, and you can use your points (horseshoes) to buy items for your horses.

On November 6, Baby Bella foals arrive, and will kick off a 10-day celebration. Kids can qualify for daily prizes, print babies' birth certificates, read stories and find special codes.

My girls had an incredible time on this site with their trading cards- turned virtual horses. HipChick (7) and her 8 year-old cousin played together and loved it, as did my 5 year old and three year old.

Here's what I like about the game:

  • Each horse comes with a positive message, like "Do something that makes you proud, others will be proud of you."
  • The games are fun for older kids and easy enough for the younger ones.
  • Parents can set controls, such as how long they can play each day and whether they can connect with friends.
  • They feel like they are exploring a vast world, within the confines of BellaSara. They don't need to get out onto the wide (sometimes scary) world of the web.
  • The cards are relatively inexpensive, retailing at $2.99 a pack. Compare to $15 for other online toys, such as stuffed animals.
I had just a few notes of concern, which aren't really a big deal, but I wanted to share them, in case you think along the same lines.

The theme of the site has a "new age" feel, which made me really want to monitor what messages are being sent. There are references to magic, Native American beliefs, and Norse Mythology, so I would recommend parents going onto the site before you show it to your kids. So far, I don't feel that it is any different than fairies, mermaids, and various other children's fantasies, but you will have to decide for your family.

Overall, I think Bella Sara is a brilliant concept, fun for kids, and reasonably priced. My niece had so much fun, that I will probably purchase some for her for Christmas!


Available at Amazon



Bella Sara Trading Cards earn Real Life's 4-gift rating for Christmas! I'm also entering this in Rocks In My Dryer's WFMW: Toys Worth Buying Edition

2 comments:

katie said...

hmm, your niece will get these huh? She really had fun with them, she has been telling me about them. She told Gran when asked what would be good for Hip Chick for Christmas that Hip Chick really loved them and maybe she should look into getting her some more!

David said...

How neat! I'm thinking I may show these to my daughter as well, she can't get enough of horses - she makes me watch The Black Stallion with her at least once a week!