The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 7, 2013

Sarah Coyne: Kid-friendly websites are secure, fun

By Sarah Coyne
Globe Columnist

JOPLIN, Mo. — There was no such thing as the Internet when I was a kid, at least not as we know it today. We didn't have social media, online gaming or YouTube. Research happened with encyclopedias in libraries.

Part of this makes me feel old, but the other part makes me feel very modern. Here we are with the world at our fingertips and in our smartphones. But do we really want our kids to have the entire world at their fingertips just yet? With so many questionable places to visit online, it can be tricky to know where to begin when our littlest kids start showing an interest in the Internet.

Websites need to be both age-appropriate and trustworthy for preschoolers and early grade-schoolers. They need to be easily navigable and entertaining enough to hold attention.

To remove some of the guesswork from finding appropriately kid-friendly sites, here are some of our family's favorite websites for kids. Give them a try. They just might become the building blocks of your children's Internet savvy.

Sarah Coyne lives in Joplin. She writes about life and motherhood at her personal blog, http://thisheavenlylife.