Colouring books and pencils are not enough to keep kids busy during school holidays. Today, the internet is their new playground and as we are aware, is a playground littered with adult related material.
We’ve put together a ‘Top 10’ list of sites parents can encourage their kids to use. These sites are safe and well managed.
1. www.minimonos.com – A New Zealand site where kids take the form of a monkey avatar and learn about the environment in a positive way in a cartoon environment. The site is monitored in real-time. Age 6+
2. www.hectorsworld.com – A New Zealand site where kids learn about cyber safety in a cartoon underwater world. The site is actively monitored. Age 5+
3. www.clubpenguin.com – A US site run by Disney, containing all sorts of fun activities. 5+
4. www.superclubsplus.co.nz – The NZ arm of an Australian / English site, also marketed through schools, where kids learn about all sorts of activities on the subject of cyber safety. Age 6+
5. www.togetherville.com – A US site designed to be an introduction to social networking. 7+
6. www.yoursphere.com – US site with various sections on the site different activities. Age 7+
7. www.gianthello.com – US site operating similar to Facebook but in a safer environment. 10+
8. www.whatswhat.me – US site that requires a mug shot of the user for the site records and is very secure. 8+
9. www.scuttlepad.com – US site closely monitored by staff and requires parental signup. 6+
10. www.skidekids.com – US site closely monitored and moderated. 6+
When a parent investigates which site to recommend to their children, it is important to know the level of moderating and monitoring on each site. Most do this well. Also, we recommend choosing a site that requires the parent to sign up the child. Why not start with the two kiwi sites?
Remember, it doesn’t matter how old your children are, if they are using the internet, installing monitoring software that also filters adult material is essential. Too many beginners using the internet stumble across objectionable material accidentally.
Anyone mistyping or misspelling a word in a search engine will often land a page containing material they did not want to see. Such material can deeply affect children emotionally.
Parents are often surprised at how easy such software is to use, and how cost affective is really is.
See www.websafety.co.nz/residential.php for more details on their installation services.