Browsing safe content is the single most reason for calling up search engines made specifically for kids. A search page that appeals with its looks could be the second. Letting a kid having the run of the web using a search engine for kids helps to lessen the worry load on a parent’s mind.
Of course, there is no guarantee that every search will be kid-safe, but there is a higher probability with the content indexed by these niche search engines for kids. You can tweak the search engine settings which every search tool worth its name has. On the other hand you can use these ten ready-made search resources.
Kids are not supposed to understand the use of Boolean operators in search. Boolify makes it easier by providing the operators as colorful jigsaw pieces. All they need to do is drag them to center board and construct the search.
For instance, drag the “˜Word’ piece for entering the keyword, and then modify it by dragging the other pieces like “˜And’, “˜Or’, “˜Not’ etc to combine it with other keywords.
Quintura for Kids is powered by Yahoo. It gives a more visual way of searching using a keyword cloud. You start off your search with a keyword in the text box and then modify it with any of the keywords in the cloud. Quintura displays five results per page. You may miss it, but clicking on the surrounding icons takes you to the five preset search categories – Music, History, Animals, Sports and recreation, and Games.
KidRex is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing (the dinosaur stands guard). It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible.
KidRex also has its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords which further help to keep the results clean.
Ask Kids is a search engine for kids from Ask.com’s pool of web resources. The search page resembles a school note book. Apart from the search box, five preset search categories – Schoolhouse, Movies, Games, Videos and Images, help out the kiddies research all kinds of stuff.
Kids can jump from the search results to images, narrow or expand the search, find related names and other information. It borrows the features from Ask.com and its regular search, but keeps it simple for kids.
KidsClick makes it clear in its About page that it is not an internet filter. It is a directory of good resources (a 600+ strong subject list) which kids can use for information or schoolwork. KidsClick is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. As the web resource links to a comprehensive collection of good, clean sites, the KidsClick interface is without any ads.
Yahoo Kids is the doorway to Yahoo’s directory of websites and URLs exclusively for kids. The homepage is colorful, engaging, and full of cool stuff to keep your child engaged. So much so, that it’s quite easy to miss out the search box at the top corner. Search results are collated under three sections – Results in Yahoo! Kids, Results in the Yahoo! Kids Directory, and Results on the Web.
Study Search is a customized Google search engine (with Google SafeSearch) for Australian schools. That shouldn’t stop the rest of the world using it. The search taps into the database of relevant sites created for primary and secondary Australian schools. The database of worldwide links has been built up by Australian teachers, librarians and site volunteers.
SquirrelNet is a kids only search engine that has Google SafeSearch activated. From the homepage itself, you can also access the Google directory of websites relevant for children.
Aga-Kids is a visual search engine for kids and one of the more colorful ones you will see. You can choose between a visual search and a text search. The search results come up as interactive and animated thumbnails.
The search results may be limited because the search engine searches only websites that are made for children.
If any name shouts out that it’s a search engine for kids, then this is it. The search engine is again based on Google Custom Search and it tries to keep the content as children friendly as possible.
Custom search helps to keep out a lot of unsavory links, but it is definitely not foolproof. Most of the search engines for kids also display ads with some undesirable ones sneaking in. Parental control software in combination with these search engines can help to keep children shielded from the bad side of the web. It is a tough battle but parents can worry a little less. These ten search engines for kids are just the search tools for some unattended browsing around an unsafe web.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons