May 22nd, 2008

Safe Surfing

Do your kids go online? I like to have bookmarked pages of “approved” sites for my older kids to visit when they have computer time and I thought we could share some good ones today. Where do your kids like to click?

Also, I don’t dare let my kids Google, even with a filtered search. Can anyone recommend a “clean” and kid-focused search engine or collection of links?

UPDATE: shutting down comments while I’m away

[tags]kids online, filtered internet, safe surfing[/tags]

22 comments to Safe Surfing

  • teresa

    My daughter loves to visit They have lots of Catholic stories and they challenge the kids to pray.

  • Sorry, I can’t help. My son, for the most part, only uses the computer for school projects – and I’m the one who does the searching. When he was young, he liked visiting the PBS kids site.
    Danielle – Something I’m truly sorrowful about is the desecration of your spiritual home. I pray that Our Lady will ease your pain and that of the rest of your parish community. Peace. ~~~mary

  • Ellen

    Praised be Jesus Christ!
    now and forever!

    Dear Danielle,
    et all…

    I do not have a search engine,
    I mean,
    If there is any searching to be done, I do it..
    I have some pages that I let the kids check out …

    I sometimes let the kids go on this site..
    It is a link connected with the
    Fransiscan Friars of the Renewal
    (Father Benedict Greoscel’s Order in the south Bronx)

    I also like Highlights magazine for kids web page,
    ( can’t resist those hidden pictures)

    I like Big Ideas web site (Veggie tales)

    I always make them work for computer time..
    It is not free.
    They need to take out the trash, or walk the dog, or
    as a homeschool mom, I say,
    “do another Saxon Math lesson.. ”
    then we will talk about the computer time..
    I also stricly enforce time limits.

    When we realize the Communion of Saints, and the power of their intercession,

    We should remember to invoke the help of Saint Isidore of Seville,(remembered April 4)
    who is the patron Saint of the internet..
    Not to be confused with Saint Isidore of Seville,
    the patron of farmers, who we remembered on May 15..
    That is my two cents,
    or my “dollar five eighty”
    as they say at the Broadway Market
    over there on the East Side of Buffalo!
    God bless,
    and Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us!

    Ellen from Buffalo,NY

  • Ellen

    I have to beg forgiveness for mixing up Isidore the Farmer with Isidore of Seville. I thank you for your kind understanding..
    Ellen from Buffalo,NY

  • SQ


    Could you PLEASE, PLEASE write something up on why you don’t dare let your kids google search. My kids’ school (Catholic) keeps telling the kids to “google it” and I am pulling my hair out! This is so important – they aren’t even teaching them how to be safe! You are such a persuasive writer so this is why I ask. 🙂

    God Bless,

  • Last week my daughter played a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire style game about adverbs. She clicked away for at least 20-30 minutes and loved every minute of it. Here’s the link

    Today at By Sun and Candlelight she has a great link to bird songs that my kids had a blast with. They turned up the speakers, clicked on different birds and then quizzed each other. The answerers were in a different room so they couldn’t see the picture.

  • ck

    My kids have recently been enjoying
    Very fun and educational website.

  • beachlover

    I’ve heard really good things about NetNanny ( My oldest is in first grade so searching the internet hasn’t been much of an issue yet.

  • Michelle

    I would love to know about one I can really trust. Haven’t even let my 13 year old search because I haven’t looked into it much myself. I am so lookinf forward to what others say. And, those other sites listed – I’m going to bookmark them for the kids!

    I found I tried typing in a few unacceptable words and nothing would come up. Other supposedly family/kid friendly search engines gave me some pretty disgusting links.

  • I don’t share my computer with the younger kids much! But a friend set up a site and gave the homeschoolers a private page and the Challenge Club a private page and put up a huge arcade. He monitors it very well. If the kids are not just a visitor but part of the local group they can use the Chat room and post pictures and such.
    I actually post the homework for co-op and such. Our biggest problem is teaching the moms how to master the computer. Kids get away with less if they know you’ll be able to check on them.

  • Hi Danielle, my oldest is four so this isn’t an issue yet, but I just wanted to say I was sorry to hear about your church. How awful!

    And, your house is beautiful!

  • Sara

    My kids love Starfall–a great reading skills site. It starts with letter sounds and works up from there.

  • Danielle,

    I’m a Children’s Librarian, and the one search engine that we have bookmarked in the Children’s Department is Yahooligans. ( I know someone else mentioned this already, but I wanted to second it. It does try to block inappropriate content, but it’s not perfect. It’s my best suggestion, though!

    Ellen P.

  • Amy

    Thanks for doing this. My kids are all little now, but my husband is very concerned about computer use in the future. I’m going to show him some of these sites and search engines.

    BTW: Your house is GINORMUS! How do clean all that?

  • Thanks everyone, for some great suggestions. I’ll update later with some of my kids’ favorites too.

    The house is not as big as it looks. It’s about 2500 square feet total, I think. We used to live in just that first part — the tiny cape that’s about 1000 square feet — while Dan was building the rest. We moved in there with 4 kids and got up to 6 before the addition (and the addition to the addition) were move-in-able. It gives you perspective on what is “enough” room for a family to live in. Anyway, as for cleaning — the kids help and, like most families, it’s never done!

  • My kids love Noggin on TV and they have a website that is kid friendly as is

  • Annie M

    This subject was on my mind…then I got too busy. Thanks for bringing it up. I just now did a search for “internet parental control filters” It showed several. I ended up purchasing . I went ahead and bought it thinking if I waited I would get busy and forget (I have an 8 week old, he is our 7th, and our 1st colicky one. My brain is fried)

  • Annie M

    I let you know if it’s good or not. It boasts and image filter.

  • Paula

    My kids have been using the 30 day free trial at Kidzui. com and they really like it! The sites have been approved before putting them on the service so it is supposedly safer that way. You get reports each week on your child’s searches, visited websites, etc. It is marketed for ages 3-12. My children have all enjoyed it…even my 12 year old daughter since they can choose their own password, earn points, customize their screens and make their own characters. They can send favorite sites to each other and other Kidzui users. The parent has total control of the settings and the kids can’t change them without the password.

  • I SWORE that my son would never play video games.
    This morning he spent about 20 minutes on playing Elmo and Grover games while I was in the shower
    I can’t wait to go back to the US so i can just turn on Noggin or Sprout 🙂