The internet is full of information that is great for kids to learn from and interact with. However, not everything online is kid-appropriate. There’s violent and inappropriate content and images that children can easily view by doing a simple Google search. According to this source,1 in 10 children ages 8-11 have seen inappropriate content online. But how can parents protect their children from viewing this content? What other kid online search tools are there to use? Below, we list the best kid-friendly search engines that parents and educators should be aware of.
Safe Search Engines For Kids
Kiddle is a safe search engine that allows kids to search for information, images, videos, and news that’s appropriate for them. It utilizes its own Google Customer Search bar to only have kid-friendly search results. This site categorizes the information that appears into three categories:
- Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically results 1-3. (Green)
- Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically results 4-7. (Light Green)
- Safe, famous sites that are written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. Filtered by Google safe search. Typically results 8 onwards. (Yellow)
Safe Search Kids
Safe Search Kids is very similar to Kiddle, with its own search engine for kids powered by Google Custom Search. Kids can search terms for information, images, videos, and wiki pages. They also provide many useful articles for parents related to technology; such as data privacy, social media, and cell phone safety.
Wacky Safe uses Google SafeSearch and Google Custom Search to let kids look for information, videos, news, wiki, maps, and games. The ability to do a filtered search for games is crucial today especially with kids constantly gaming on their cell phones. According to their website, over 2 million children perform searches using their service each year.
When you first enter the KidRex site, you can immediately tell it’s a search engine for kids with its crayon markings and the big dinosaur. It’s not specific with no displays for image, video, and other search options. However, they do provide plenty of information for parents who want to learn more about the site and other safety tips. This site is run by Alarms.org.
Kidtopia is more than just a site for kids to perform searches on. Kids can browse through their various categories such as Social Studies, Math, and Sci/Tech for information relating to subjects they learn about in school. Don’t be fooled by the site’s outdated look. It was created by school librarians for elementary school students and teachers to use.
Similar to Kidtopia, KidzSearch does more than just host a search engine. They have pages listing kid-friendly games, videos, pictures, facts, wiki pages, educational news, music, and apps. This site was named a top rated learning site for kids by Common Sense Media.
Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Using Google Directly
Even though Google does have some safety tools available like Google Safe Search, children can still get access to inappropriate content. This includes explicit, violent, gambling, criminal, and sexist websites, images, and videos. Some of this content slips through the cracks and kids can access them instantly. That doesn’t even include the possibility of them clicking and viewing inappropriate YouTube videos from Google’s video tab.
It’s better to be safe and use a kid-friendly search site and engine. As your child gets older, you can wean them off from using these sites and onto Google safely.
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