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Every day, your child is exposed to advertising – not just on TV and online, but on buses, buildings, and even inside their classrooms. Many ads target kids ages 8 to 12. Given what kids see and hear around them, it's important for them to know how to decode and understand ads.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has created the Admongo campaign to help teach kids about advertising. The campaign has four parts:

Together, these tools can help teach kids basic ad literacy skills.

As a parent, you can be a valuable partner in this campaign to help equip your kids with the critical thinking skills they need to be smarter consumers. With your help, kids can learn to ask three key "critical thinking" questions when they encounter advertising:

  • Who's responsible for the ad?
  • What is the ad actually saying?
  • What does it want you to buy, do, or think?

By applying the information they learn through this campaign, your kids will be able to recognize ads, understand them, and make smarter decisions as they navigate the commercial world.

What You Can Do

Here's how you can help your child become ad-savvy:

  • Explore with them – This site uses games and activities to help kids understand advertising from the inside out. Play the games with your kids, talk about the lessons they've learned, and celebrate with them when they make it to the top. Add to the fun by grabbing buddy icons, computer wall papers, printable bookmarks and other items at the Admongo downloads center. Want to check out what's there before you play with your child? Visit the text version of the site to view the content of the entire site.
  • Incorporate ad literacy concepts into your family conversation - Encourage the concepts of ad literacy in your daily discussions. The free tools, worksheets, and games at the Scholastic parents and kids site will tell you how.
  • Support Admongo in the classroom – Is your child in 5th or 6th grade? If their teacher is using the Admongo lesson plans from Scholastic in the classroom, use the family handouts to continue the conversation at home. If they aren't using the lesson plans, let them know about them – and why they're important. Even if your child is older or younger, they may still be interested - we've heard that students in grades ranging from 3-9 have enjoyed the lesson plans. In addition to the electronic files, teachers can obtain hard copies of the lesson plans by visiting