There are some sites we know are fun and safe. Disney.com, PBSkids.org, Nick.com,Webkinz.com,
ClubPenguin.com, Bearville.com, SesameWorkshop.com, CartoonNetwork.com, Lego.com, Candystand.com and Kids.Yahoo.com.
We know that because our teachers, school librarians and friends tell us about them.We may read about them inWeekly Reader or Scholastic Magazine. Sometimes we find them on the packages of our favorite toys.
But what about finding new sites? How can we find the good ones and avoid the bad ones? If you type
something into Google, the sites that come up might not all be good sites that are appropriate for kids
and tweens. If you are looking for funny videos and search YouTube, not all of them will be right for kids
and tweens. So, what can you do to find more good and fun sites? Here are a few tips:
1. Ask for suggestions. Ask your teachers and your school librarian. If you have a library media
specialist in your school, ask them too. Visit sites like Tweenangels.org for recommendations
from other kids and tweens. Ask your friends and family (but make sure you only ask the
trustworthy friends and family members).
2. Trust the companies you trust offline. Most of the sites we mentioned are built by companies
we trust offline too. Build-a-Bear Workshop is a fun place to visit in the malls, just as it is fun to
visit online. Everyone loves Disney and Nickelodeon, almost as much as they love Disney.com
and Nick.com. NationalGeographic.com, Scholastic.com and Discovery.com have great videos
online too. You love your WebKinz and Webkinz.com. See, it’s easy!
3. Use Kid and Tween-Sized Search Engines. kids.yahoo.com (used to be called "Yahooligans") was the first kid and tween-sized search engine in the world. It was designed to find all the fun sites for kids and tweens out there. The experts at Yahoo review every single site to make sure it’s safe and appropriate.
Other search engines have filters to try and block out the bad sites, but they don’t always block
every bad site.
You can search your favorite kids and tween sites for additional sites they host too, like searching Disney.com for information about bears, or NationalGeographic.com or Discovery.com for penguins or magic.
If you are looking for pics for a school report, make sure you only use a safe search engine, like
kids.yahoo.com. Gross pics can come up on lots of innocent searches, otherwise.
4. Have your parents or older brother or sister check the new sites out first. If you have heard
about a site from someone or can’t find one on your own, get your parents or siblings to help.
Have them search for some sites that are just right for kids and tweens.
5. Make sure your parents use filtering or parental controls. Sometimes kids and tweens type so
fast that they misspell the website address. Or, they guess at the right spelling or enter in a
name they think will give them the website of a toy, place or game they like offline. Sometimes
the sites that come up are pretty creepy. If your parents use the right filters or parental controls,
it will block the bad sites when that happens before you have to see them and won't block the good sites.