What are some good websites that are safe for my kid to explore?

Sites featuring characters that kids already like are good places to start. But be careful: Many of these (Nick Jr., Cartoon Network, Disney) can be really commercial. For 5- to 7-year-olds, we like Poptropica, FunBrain, and PBS's wide selection of offerings. You also can follow up on kid's interests -- from trains and dinosaurs to princesses -- to keep them connected to what they enjoy offline.

The key is to look for age-appropriate content that really engages your child. For preschoolers, interactive activities with an educational bent should offer practice with letters and numbers, drawing, story-making, shape recognition, silly songs, and rhymes. If your kids aren't reading yet, look for sites that feature audio prompts. For kids practicing fine motor skills, sites with big buttons are good.

Age 7 is about when kids might start exploring virtual worlds. These are closed environments that offer a wide variety of games and activities, as well as social features such as chatting and making a friends list. Virtual worlds typically can be played in for free but offer more features when you buy a subscription.

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Kid, 11 years old

1. Scratch.mit.edu This is a fun coding safe coding website where you can connect with other users in a much much safer way than social media. Also, if your kid is under 6, go to scratch JR. Scratch is a good website for people 7-14 2. NationalGeographicKids This website has plenty of fun quizzes, games, and videos that mostly have to do with animals.