While visiting Tucson this week we went to a fantastic used bookstore called Bookman’s.  (If you’re from the area you’ll definitely know the place)
Anyway… we found some books we liked and on the way to the checkout I spotted a small book entitled “500 of the COOLEST SITES for CYBERKIDS“.
Our son is fairly young but definitely interested in computers and the internet.  (I don’t know where he gets that from 😉  So I am always wanting “good” sites for him to be able to learn and play on.

So far this book is very good.
Here are a few of the sites listed inside.

http://www.Crayola.com/kids

http://www.LearningPlanet.com/stu/kids0.asp Excellent fun learning games for kids

http://www.cbyc.com Cooking by Computer – Great tasting easy to prepare recipes for kids

They have sites about:

Entertainment

Gadgets and Gizmos

Sport

Games to Play

Things to do on rainy day &

Homework helper

Tons of stuff that I’m excited to check out with our kids.  If you want it yourself check it out at your local bookstore or library.  Or you can get it new or used at Amazon.com

by Phyllis Wheeler

Here’s the issue: how to be sure your kids are safe from viewing objectionable sites when they are searching the Internet. After all, you don’t want them to stumble across something they should not see.

I bet you would like to find a program you could buy that you could install on your computer to block objectionable content, but permit research.

Here’s the bad news: filtering programs can’t do the job by themselves. NentNanny and other applications like it search for certain words in the Web site your child is clicking on. Simple words like “belly” can be targets for blocking, causing frustration, while research on “breast cancer” may be impossible.

But programs that look for words fail completely if the site has no objectionable words–only objectionable photos. My teenage son figured this out. He used Google Images to look for objectionable sites. He found them despite the fact that our filter, NetNanny, was turned on.

In fact, the filter program could never block these sites because it searches for words. It can’t evaluate pictures.

The next question is, “What’s a parent to do?”

*Put the computers the kids use where YOU are in your home. Then monitor what they are doing.

*Only the adults should know the login password. The kids will have to have permission to get on.

*Require the child to log off when he is done. Now the password is required for the next session.

*Use NetNanny or a similar filter. It can only help.

*Kids should be told what you expect from them, and the consequences of disobedience.

*If a child is just using a word processor or some other local program, disconnect the Internet cable.

*Require younger children to use your email address. This will allow you to protect them from vicious spam. As they get older, give teens their own email address, but make sure they give it out only to friends.

Your watchfulness will pay off. Your children will be protected from what they should not see, and they will also learn good habits for using the Internet as adults.

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