Saying that there are a ton of sites for kids on the Internet is like saying there’s a lot of sand on the beach. Sifting through all the sites out there to find the good and avoid the bad can be quite the daunting task especially with all the new sites popping up. Should my kids play games online? Is there a safe place for them to explore the web? How secure are the sites that my kids are visiting? There are so many questions and so many sites.
We decided to take stab are looking at some of the many sites out there to help you out. Below are some of the sites we found that cater to kids between the ages of 4 and 13 or so and are worth taking a look at for a variety of reasons.
Togetherville.com: A social networking site for children that is monitored by parents.
- Parents set up an account and “monitor” their children’s activities, including being in charge of who gets approved for a child’s neighborhood.
- Lots of interactive games for kids of all skill levels, fun music.
- Educational videos that are also entertaining.
ePals.com: Educational community bringing together learners from all over the planet.
- Special areas for parents, families, students and teacher allow for dedicated and well-directed information.
- Site has projects for classrooms and families, generating learning and a sense of global community.
ClubPenguin.com: Virtual world site that promotes global consciousness, charitable living and sharing.
- Membership is limited and monitored, allowing for children to roam safely within the penguin world.
- Interactions between members are promoted, especially in a socially conscious way that encourages children to share, learn to give, and be responsible.
- Specialized content ensures that kids get material that will work for them.
- Videos, reading, pictures in an easy to navigate space.
- Collection of fun activities to foster a child’s creativity and enhance their understanding of science.
Askkids.com: Search engine for children.
- Provides a safe and entertaining way for children to surf the net.
- All sites being searched by Ask Kids are acceptable for children of most ages.
PBSkids.org: Online version of PBS station for children.
- Variety of interactive games and interesting videos for kids of various ages.
- No external ads for kids to click on.
Nickjr.com: Online destination for fans of Nick Jr.
- Colorful, bright and imaginative content from kids’ favorite characters.
- Games and interactive areas for music, dance, parties and more.
- Interactive “craft” area for kids allows them to create online works for art.
Girlscouts.org/forgirls: Branch of the Girl Scouts’ main site that provide age appropriate interactive material.
- Girls only content increases self-esteem and community involvement
- Interactive area that allows for girls to create their own works of art or color on pages already provided.
Kidscom.com: Site for kids that offers safe chatting, safe networking, games, videos and more.
- Parent monitored area for children to engage in chat rooms and social networking.
- Exclusive interactive games with various themes and methods.
Thekidzpage.com: Free website with hundreds of resources for children
- Online and printable coloring pages
- Information about and activities for holidays and vacations
Disney.go.com: Games site from Disney
- Kids get to play games based on their favorite Disney characters.
- Trusted Disney name ensures safety and security for children browsing the site
Seussville.com: Site based on the venerated children’s books by Dr Seuss.
- Creative and fun content.
- Videos, books, story telling, game…all tested and kid safe.
Jumpstart.com: Online world with games and interactive action.
- Children must login, thereby maintaining a safer environment
- Parental controls and names given by the games make sure that personal information for kids isn’t getting out on the web.
Zoeysroom.com: Interactive website helping girls to learn about technology
- Content developed especially for girls aged 10-14, helping them to learn math, science and technology.
- Variety of videos and activities.
Of course, every child is different and not every site will work for every situation. Take the time to visit these sites with your kids using this list as an easy starting point.
For more information on safety, security, and privacy in the online world, check back here weekly or visit my blog.