The internet revolutionized every aspect of our lives — how we communicate, buy things, interact with people, and the way our children are growing up. Children are spending more time online than ever, and at a much younger age, with kids all over the world having access to a tablet before the age of three.
You can’t deny that many opportunities come with growing up online. Using different devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers, children have access to a world of information, get entertainment, develop their social network, learn, and imagine — when they use the internet the right way.
However, with these opportunities come far-reaching dangers, especially for kids who lack the knowledge and experience to decide what is harmful to them.
Inappropriate content such as violence, pornography, and people who prey on unsuspecting children online are just some things that cause genuine concern with parents.
Luckily some sites give young people a safe venue to explore the internet without you worrying about its content.
Below is a list of sites that you may want to try. Although the list is not exhaustive, it presents some good places to start:
1. Sesame Street
The 50-plus-year-old children’s show that has been a part of your childhood, or as far back as your parent’s childhood, is online. Younger children can look to Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, and the cast of adorable characters to teach them about letters, numbers, colors, rhymes, and more.
The Sesame Street site combines learning with entertainment, your children are safe while doing so.
2. National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids gives children of all ages an educational platform to learn about the world around them interactively and excitingly. There are many activities for your children to choose from.
They can watch live feeds of animals through webcams, learn interesting animal facts, try science experiments, and so much more. For younger explorers at home, the site has plenty of activities for them as well.
3. Disney Junior
Children who are fans of Princess Sofia, Descendants, Chip and Dale, and other Disney characters will fall in love with the Disney Junior site. It has educational games for kids and TV shows specially created for young ones and the young at heart.
4. ZillaDog Email
Email is a necessity in today’s world, and there will come a time when your child will want to get their own email address.
Zillamail is an excellent option to introduce your children to email, as it’s spam-free, and its algorithm filters emails from questionable sources.
5. Kinzoo Messaging
Video messaging is the new telephone and a necessity in our lives to communicate with friends and family. But traditional messaging may not be safe for children, as unscrupulous people can compromise their privacy.
Kinzoo messaging offers an alternative way for you to introduce children to online messaging in a secure environment.
6. Khan Academy/Khan Academy for Kids
Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization that produces educational content for children from kindergarten to early college. These lessons include science, math, computing, and the arts and humanities.
As a plus, a full-time staff moderates the online community for Khan Academy, so no online bullying occurs.
For younger learners, Khan Academy for Kids is an app that offers lessons for math, language, and games to improve their social and emotional skills.
The app does not contain any means for users to contact each other, tightening internet security so you can breathe easily knowing that your children are safe while using the app.
7. The Kid Should See This
YouTube and Vimeo are great places to get information and entertainment, but sometimes they fall short on the security aspect, giving video suggestions that are not age-appropriate.
The Kid Should See This website offers content from YouTube and Vimeo curated by Rion Nakaya, the website’s founder.
The videos include content that deals with science, space, animals, and art from content creators who focus on positivity, information, and kindness.
8. TIME for Kids
Children are inherently curious, and although, understandably, you want to shield them from the harsh realities of the world, they will, in one form or another, gain access to images and articles about what’s going on in the world.
TIME for Kids presents the not-so-palatable news worldwide in a child-friendly way that kids can easily digest.
TIME organizes the news articles according to age, and there’s content for parents as well.
Unfortunately, the reality is no matter how much you try, you can’t always protect your children from the potential perils of the internet.
But with these kid-friendly sites, you can relax as your kids explore the exciting things that the internet offers in a secure environment.