The Internet is a way of life for many people now. Kids learn how to use computers in schools in the early years and they also like to use the computer at home. Kids especially like to use the computer when they see Mommy and/or Daddy using them. But not all websites are safe for children of all ages. Some are appropriate for older children and many are not appropriate at all.
Our biggest concern in our house when it comes to Internet safety for the children is adult content and also chatting. I don't mind them chatting in a very (and I mean very) safe environment, but of course it can still be a bit scary. There are websites that are completely safe for kids and we are going to talk about a couple here. I am sure there are more and if you know of one, please let me know so I can check it out and add it.
We do not go crazy with the parental controls on the computers here, the one they use is rather old and runs off of Windows XP. But parental controls are a great idea to use! We have the computer in a spot where we can see the monitor from the couch or anywhere else in the room. Tho my girls are good with the sites they go on, we like to make sure.
Kid friendly websites my kids on and they are safe for various ages (even 5 and 6 year olds):
Mattel.com/games has some great games and Mattel is a leader in the toy industry. Their site is completely safe for kids to play any of the games they have.
Monsterhigh.com (brought to you by Mattel) - this is a site more for girls then boys. Monster High is a movie/TV movie that are sons and daughters of Monsters like Frankenstein and Dracula. They are not mean monsters, I promise! Dracula's daughter is a vampire that is a vegetarian. They promote being yourself and being awesome for who you are. There are various activities and no foul language at all allowed. It is so strict that one of my email addresses (nothing rude at all just part of my name and avon) comes up with an error that says "We don't use that kind of language here." My daughter's like to make me monster cards and email them to me and we can't use that address - still not sure what it finds wrong with it! At Monsterhigh.com, they can add a message to their favorite monster but they are not actually talking with others. All sorts of games here and it is a very safe site for kids.
AnimalJam.com is a favorite here. It is a cute and fun website for kids of various ages. Animal Jam is brought to you by National Geographic Kids and is a very safe site for your kids. They can create an animal, learn about various animals and they can also draw pictures to submit to Animal Jam. There is a chat where they can talk with others, but you control what settings for the chat in a separate login for parents. The chat is also continuously moderated so nothing funky can happen there. When your child signs up, you get an email from Animal Jam confirming them joining and also it contains a link for you to sign up for the parents account. In the parents account, you can see the last time they logged in and set their chat settings. You can choose from a very limited selection of words they can use, preset messages or a little more advanced. Most of this site is free, tho they do offer a membership. We have the free accounts.
Moviestarplanet.com is another fun one and safe for kids. You do have to be a little more careful with the chat there. Tho users will report you if out of line (there is a report tab above every person's chat) , I have not seen it to be as heavily moderated. It may just be because I have not seen anything out of line happen tho. You don't have to chat either, it is not an actual chat room. It is for kids of all ages. You design your own movie star and can create your own short movie (for fun) with your character. There is a lot to this one and I would recommend sitting with your child until they get used to this one to see how they will use it.
Lego.com/games is another safe site for kids. Legos can also be a lot of fun so many younger kids will enjoy this site!
Hasbro.com/play is another great site for kids. There are many options to play various games including My Little Pony games and drawing. This is another completely safe site for your child to play no matter what their age.
These are the main sites that my kids go on. They have a lot of fun with them and I am sure that your child will like at least one of them :)
If you know of any completely safe websites for kids that are not listed here, please do let us know so we can check it out!