Kiddle – the kid friendly search engine made it’s way around the Facebook mommy groups this past week. I love the idea of a kid-friendly search engine. Lord knows that the Google has all kinds of trash from the internet wasteland just waiting for our kids to find. I started looking into this and learned a few things about the website that you may want to know.
About Kiddle Kid Search Engine
A few things to note about this new search engine for kids.
Not Owned By Google
One of the main posts about this over on Scary Mommy stated that Kiddle was a search engine launched by Google. While the colors maybe Googley Unfortunately, this is wrong. Kiddle USES a custom Google search, but no – sorry folks this isn’t a new product from Google (though GOOGLE should so get on this! YouTube Kids is huge – What about a Google Kids?) The domain was registered at GoDaddy.
Visual Search Engine
To make this website kid-friendly, Kiddle has made it’s search visual. Each search brings back images from the search results. This makes “Kiddling” easy for kids to identify what they want to click on after they search.
How Kiddle’s Search Works
Here is a little bit about the results returned when searchng:
Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors.
Typically, results 1-3.
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.
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.
The search results are either handpicked by their editors or filtered by Google safe search to deliver kid-oriented search results without explicit content.
Don’t be fooled – while this is a great resource, this search engine is still a business! You can expect to see Google ads in the right side bar. Gotta love flat belly ads being advertised to kids.
If Your Kid Searches Something Questionable
I searched “chicken breast” – BREAST is something a 7th grade boy would search for – and this is what they would get back. “Oops, looks like your query contained some bad words. Please try again!”
Not Fool Proof
Of course, in an ideal world I could let me kids search to their hearts content without worry – but not in the world we live in today. Nothing is full-proof. I’ve read comments where some parents have found results quickly.
I did have a jolly fun typing all kinds of graphic things that I am sure I will now get lewd ads for all.
LGBT Off Limits
If you try searching for a term that is LGBT related, you will be prompted with a graphic stating: “You have entered an LGBT related search query. Please realize that while Kiddle has nothing against the LGBT community, it’s hard to guarantee the safety of all the search results for such queries. We recommend that you talk to your parent or guardian about such topics.”
I had read in some comments so people upset that some LGBT search terms were excluded, not sure if this graphic was put up after the uproar or before.
Find Bad Words or a Inappropriate Site? Report It
Since catching everything is near impossible, at the bottom footer of Kiddle’s site – you can request keyword blocking and site blocking.
Overall, we need more kid friendly websites and less toxic on the internet and this is an honest (but not perfect) effort. Will I be directing my kids here to search for things? Maybe the younger ones when they get to that point. I can already see my older kids rolling their eyes at this.
Internet safety rules are something this mom drills into my kids’ heads regularly. Here’s the deal. I am a digital mom to 4 digital kids, internet safety and teaching our children the rules of going online is huge. We have devices everywhere. My husband and I want our kids to learn, interact and grow in their tech knowledge – and let’s face it, the rate technology is going the internet of things means the internet is everywhere. Our kids are constantly online, and while we set up boundaries – they still need to know why we don’t let them do certain things and what they should and shouldn’t do online.
What better way to relate to children then through their language. In my case, my kids love Phineas and Ferb. In this short video, Phineas and Ferb talk to kids about internet safety.
Phineas and Ferb Internet Safety Rules
Here are the internet safety rules that Phineas and Ferb tell kids about in regards to online safety:
Be careful hat you put online never goes away.
You never know who is going to see what you post!
Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s true. (Gosh, some adults need to know this!)
Not everyone online is who they say they are.
If you wouldn’t do it in person, you shouldn’t do it online.
Get off the computer, put down the phone, because nothing beats spending time with real friends.
Thanks Phineas and Ferb! I love this video, it’s easy to watch (not too long and dragged out) and definitely speaks to kids. I’d add another internet safety rule of “your parents can see everything you do” to the video, but overall it’s a good simple PSA that my kids will listen to. Phineas and Ferb obviously know more than their mother – hey whatever works, as long as my kids get it that they have to be safe online.
Internet safety rules are a fundamental thing we have to teach our kids. There are just way too many internet creepers out there to not be on top of this. Just like we teach our children to walk, potty training – pee only in the toilet, to read, to write (not on the wall, kid!), to ride a bicycle (look both ways before crossing the street) — we MUST teach our kids that the internet is awesome, but MUST be used properly.
How Do You Teach Your Digital Kids About Internet Safety?
Let’s talk about raising kids and the internet. Now a days we are all Google this. Google that.Growing up pre-Google, if I wanted to find out something – there were only a handful of ways to get the information. I had my parents, family and friends that I could ask. Then there was the library, but the library of 1996looked nothing like the library of 2016. Getting information required effort and required me most likely talking to someone else in order to learn whatever information I wanted or needed to know.
Raising Kids in the Age of Google
Now a days, we can research anything in a matter of seconds. While this is fabulous and all, it does create some interesting scenarios in the way of parenting because if we can find it, so can your kids. If you are a parent raising kids in the age of Google, here are 5 tips that will help when thinking about your kids and Google.
1. Don’t Tell Your Kids to Go Google It
I am so guilty of this. Someone asks me a question and I tell them to go “Google it.”
Have you seen: lmgtfy.com – LMGTFY = Let Me Google That For You — it’s a sarcastic way to say, JUST GOOGLE IT! Why yes, this works fabulous for co-workers or tech-challenged family members, please don’t do this to your kids.
(Who would do such a thing to your kid? Mom confession in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…)
I caught myself doing this to my daughter today. She asked about France, 500 years ago – I was busy doing something and I uttered the words “Go Google it.” I did tell her “Wait, let’s find out,” after catching my mistake. whoops.
2. Research Things Together
Google is not going anywhere and even kids at a young age need to know the proper uses for Google. When your kid has that question that you want to say “Go Google,” why not research it together. Use Google has quality time.
3. Talk to Your Kid About Sex
Google is great for answers – and it’s also great for lies. Before your kids type in “sex” or “whats sex” or “s e x” – do this. TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. I am not here to blog about how to talk to your kids about sex, or when to talk to your kids about sex or what to say to your kids about sex. I’ll let you research that (Google it.) What I AM saying is that you want to be the first person to talk to your kids about sex or else it will be a matter of time before they do a search and find out absolutely too much distorted information. Be the sex resource for your kids. Yes, it’s awkward but do this, Google all the sex terms you can imagine your kids searching and you will see AWKWARD that you don’t want your kids to see.
4. Teach Your Kids How To Use Google
Simple little search functions will make your kids’ searching and your’s much more effective. Here are a few things that I make sure my kids know how to do and use.
Google Images – Make sure smart search is turned on. Google Images is a fabulous tool for especially for us visuals. Teach your kids uses for Google Images and how to search for them.
images.google.com or type in a search and click images
More Than a Search Engine – Teach your kids how to pull up a calculator, use Google Drive to store files, Google Docs as a replacement for Microsoft Word, Google Sheets as a replacement for Microsoft Excel, Gmail as a mail service, Google + as a social media platform, YouTube as a video hub…. must I go on?
I’ve mentioned this before and to drill it in your brain, I’ll mention it again – make sure your network has a filter. Filter your internet people! Read: Monitor Your Kids Internet
We live in exciting times. I often wonder if curious 12-year-old me had access to Google, what my life would have been like. The world is at our fingertips – but remember that means it’s at your child’s fingertips as well – isn’t raising kids FUN???
While online safety for my kids has always been a priority, I never felt like I needed to babysit everything they do on the computer, tablets, etc. That’s until as of late. The 10 and 8 year old have discovered the world of Google and to say the least, Google ain’t always pretty.
Gone are the days that I could simply ground them. My daughter uses a school issued Chrome book. Telling her no computer means no homework. *sigh* The joys of technology in the classroom. Now it’s just my job as her mom to make sure she understands the internet, how to act on it, what it can give you – both good and bad and how to be safe online.
Kaspersky recently sent over some information about kids online which is good information for anyone who has a child on the internet (which let’s face it, is most of us parents with kids over 3.)
Almost 1 in 5 parents have lost either money or important personal data due to their childrens unmonitored computer use, according to a recent survey carried out by Kaspersky Lab.
The survey also found:
27% of parents feared their children had been at risk on the Internet at least once over the last 12 months
11% of parents reported that their children had faced inappropriate content
7% of parents reported that their children had contact with strangers
How to Keep Kids Safe Online
So what can us parents do to keep our kids safe online?
Click Carefully. Dont click links from unknown senders. If you dont recognize the sender, it may have been sent by a cybercriminal.
Take Care to Not Share. Do not make any private information publicly available or send it to strangers, especially your contacts, addresses, your school, etc. Strangers could mean any people of any age you dont know in real life.
Too Good to Be True? Dont trust tempting messages of any sort free stuff, discounts, increasing your reputation/likes/stars on some site, etc. Just delete such messages and dont click any links.
Protect Your Passwords: Use a different password for each different online resource. Make sure your passwords are complex with at least 23 characters in a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and special characters.
These results show that children and their parents face serious risks on the Internet. Luckily, Kaspersky Labs Parental Control function, available in Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac provides the measures parents need to protect their children from these risks. Here are some Parental Control features:
Block websites with inappropriate content and delete them from search results as well as to implement restrictions on the information which can be posted on social networks and other sites.
Control the amount of time your children spend in front of the screen, whether its on social networks or playing games.
What Else Can Kasperskys Parental Controls Do To Protect Your Kids?
Parental Controls can be set at different levels for different children. Its not an on or off switch think if it more like a dimmer switch. You can set tighter controls for your younger kids, and allow your older children to have more freedom.
Monitor as much (or as little) as you want. If youre concerned your child is having inappropriate conversations, or perhaps becoming a victim of cyber-bullying, parents can easily monitor email and Instant Message conversations. Either have full transcripts of each chat saved for your review, or have certain keywords automatically flagged to your attention.
The ROBLOX game was introduced to our kids a few years ago when our nephew, at the time 6-years-old discovered it. Like all good cousins, when they find something cool on the internet they share. After constant badgering from our kids, we downloaded the Roblox game out and agreed they could play it – but that we would setup their ROBLOX login, account preferences and settings as to what they could do and access.
Internet Safety Tip: Keep a list of your kid’s logins. It’s a rule on our home – anything that requires a login – we need to know what it is.
How popular is ROBLOX? Players spend over 20 million hours playing games and building in their own personal virtual worlds. Roblox is ranked #1 in the US for total engagement time within the 8-14 year old segment, and is rapidly growing in popularity amongst players aged 15+.
Our 2 older kids, now 10 and 8 years old have been playing ROBLOX for the last few years. While Minecraft was their favorite – and still would be – we’ve restricted access to that – which is a blog post for another time.
With all of the popularity with this game, I thought the best way to start this series is a good all about ROBLOX post. As a digital mom of tech kids, I want to know exactly what they are doing online – while I still can. Here is information on what exactly this game is. Soon we will be talking about if ROBLOX is safe for kids, also the explosion of popularity with this game. Let’s learn more about what exactly this game is before diving any further.
What is ROBLOX
ROBLOX is a massively multiplayer online game – or an MMO. The game is created and marketing towards children and teenagers. Each player creates their own virtual world in which other online members can enter, play an socialize.
ROBLOX can be be scripted using a sandbox edition of Lua 5.1. With scripts you can change the events that happen in the game and create different scenarios and situations. This game has can encourage children to learn computer programming, currency (read more below about currency and money) as well as using their creativity to create their online world.
ROBLOX is more than game play and socialization. My kids love the building, creating and learning aspect.
Is ROBLOX Educational?
I love how the company describes education within this game:
We believe in the theory that kids learn best by making things; by engaging in the creative and complex process of imagining, designing, and constructing. Provide them with a safe place to build, give them the requisite tools, and let them play. Were particularly inspired by the educational theory pioneered by Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab. This theory labeled Constructionism holds not only that kids learn best when they are in the active roles of designer and builder, but that their learning is optimized when theyre assuming these roles in a public forum. This makes good sense to us particularly after observing some of our members who know that the fruits of their labor may be seen, critiqued, and used by others. These are motivated kids who become deeply engaged with building complex structures and solving difficult problems. Their level of creativity, the amount of time and care spent building, and the extent and high quality of their discourse never fails to astonish us.
Is Roblox Free?
ROBLOX is free, but there is a “Builder’s Club” which is one of the ways they make money. There also is lots of advertising and by the popularity of the game, I am sure they make a pretty penny off of that as well.
ROBLOX has since introduced Robux – which is the game currency.
ROBLOX tickets and ROBUX are the currency used in the game. They can be converted from one to the other. According to my 10-year-old: You get 10 tickets a day everyday that you login. ROBUX are more valuable and you have to click money to trade currency. Previously, points were used but have been replaced.
ROBLOX tickets are earned everyday you login – 10 tickets a day. You can earn tickets by people playing your game or selling virtual assets.
Is ROBLOX Safe?
Just like ALL things in regards to your kids online – you MUST be an active part of whatever they are doing, including playing ROBLOX. There are inappropriate things that happen on this game – the game does try to make an effort to make this a safe place for kids to play, but with as many players as this game has, it’s obviously not that easy.
Read more about our thoughts on this game and online safety here -> Is Roblox Safe
The best thing to keep you children safe online is to teach them what is right and what is wrong. Also, report any activity that you see that is inappropriate for children.
We let our kids play, but it is semi-supervised experience. We check in often, remind them what is okay and what is not. There is no total safe space for our kids on the internet.
You can access ROBLOX on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Devices, and Xbox One. ROBLOX adventures are accessible from any device, so players can imagine with their friends regardless of where they are.
Players play each other, add people they meet to their friends list. From the friends list, a player can select 20 friends to be their best friends – or BFOR (best friends on Roblox – okay, I made the BFOR up – but my tween would totally love that.) There is a news feed where the players can see profile statuses. There are community groups.
Chatting – Players over the age of 13 can free chat and type whatever they want. While ROBLOX is testing a safe chat where younger uses can select from words to chat.
Here are a few things you need to know about ROBLOX games – from the suggestions of other parents:
Front Page Games Only:
Keep your child away from any Builders Club Only games, and the “Group Recruiting Plaza” to be safe. The front page games tend to be the most monitored, allow your child to just play those games.
Can You Block Certain Games?
Unfortunately, you cannot block certain games from your child. This is a popular request. Blocking games is something many parents hope to see the company implement to allow parents greater control over what games their children play.
Refund on Games
If you spend Robux on a game and it gets taken down, chances are you will not get a refund on the game.
Parent Notifications on Games
Parents want to be involved with their children when they play online games. Unfortunately, at the current time there is not a way to be notified to know what games your children are playing. An ideal situation would have a parent control panel that gave reporting of what each child was playing and how long. Currently there is no way for a parent to be notified of what games their child is playing.
Players build and construct their worlds using building bricks and blocks in ROBLOX studio. These blocks vary is size, shape and color using ROBLOX studio. Using the programming language Lua – a player can dynamically change the environment of the game.
The Roblox Studio was built to be your all-inclusive Place editing program. Using the Studio you can script, build and test your Places all before you show off your Place to the rest of the community. If you want to make any kind of changes to your Places, then you should use the Studio to make those changes. –
This ROBLOX video is a great way to learn how to get building in ROBLOX studio.
What questions do you have about Roblox? Ask below- we want to make this the ultimate parent’s guide to Roblox!
My daughter Z asked me sign her up for Facebook. In which I quickly replied, NO. I didn’t even think about it.
To her unfair disadvantage, it could easily be that I had just been on Facebook dismayed by a friend’s sad taste in displaying tacky images of herself. But regardless, my then 7-year old wasn’t going to get her own profile.
Since that initial ask (my daughter is VERY persistent), several family members and a few friends with kids her age, have asked “Is Z on Facebook?”. This has had me thinking.
I love Facebook. Sure I complain – mostly about it’s ability to suck time right out from under me – but it has it’s purpose. And that purpose is connecting. Should I keep my 8-year old from that? What if I moderate and set her privacy settings up? I’m personally still not sold on it. Probably because I know my daughter’s smartness and her ability to potentially lock me out from her account.
But something I did think about – what if I had Facebook when I was 8. And what if through the years (minus the good friends and bad friends and the thought of cyber bullying!) – I had been able to keep in touch with them.
Now a days, sure I hate it when a friend moves away, but honestly sometimes with Facebook it’s like they didn’t even move. What if my daughter was able to experience that?
Mark Zuckerburg recently announced he thinks that children under the age of 13 SHOULD be able to use Facebook. As it stands now with COPPA, children under 13 are not permitted on the site (though there are several, with a few simple hacks such as not putting in your child’s REAL birthdate). Mark sees Facebook as an educational opportunity for children.
Zuckerberg said he wants younger kids to be allowed on social networking sites like Facebook. Currently, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (like Facebook does) aren’t allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13. But Zuckerberg is determined to change this.
“That will be a fight we take on at some point,” he said. “My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age.”
But just how would Facebook’s social features be used by younger children?
“Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process,” Zuckerberg said. “If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”