A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn new vocabulary words and find out whether a word is a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb; how it's used; how you say it out loud; and its synonyms and antonyms. It's also possible to search for words in English and five other languages. Kids may need some help figuring out what each part of the word map represents, but, generally, the site isn't difficult to use. Visual Thesaurus offers an approachable, eye-opening take on language use, and its interesting extras make it worth the small price for word lovers.
The site encourages learning and exploring language usage's more intricate details.
Violence & Scariness
Aside from word searches for terms such as "murder" that turn up gory synonyms, there isn't anything graphic or inappropriate on the site.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kids can find definitions for words such as "sex" and "porn" but have to leave the site to find anything more inappropriate.
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Users can choose from four filter levels to remove profanity; profanity, slang drug terms, obscenity-related terms, slurs, and blasphemous words; or all words that "may be considered offensive or inappropriate for children," or they can opt for an anything-goes filter that removes nothing.
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Products & Purchases
The site requires a subscription, which costs $2.95 a month or $19.95 a year.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Without language filters enabled, kids can search for and find terms such as "stoned" and "cocaine" and get clinical definitions.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Visual Thesaurus is a language-learning aid that does require a paid subscription. Users can choose to share their word lists with other users or make them private, and they can comment on each other's lists. But you can't friend or directly contact other users through the site, so, generally, kids' experience should be safe. The definitions kids find during searches will be enriching. However, be aware that kids also can instantly search for additional information on any term by clicking the mouse and the Control key, and the links that come up may or may not be for kid-friendly websites.
Is It Any Good?
Visual Thesaurus illustrates word definitions in a more vibrant way than many books can. Searches provide mapped-out versions of a word, showing links to synonyms, antonyms, and other information. Kids get a visual look at how words relate, including helpful information on word type and how it's used in a sentence. Grammar junkies should love the site; other kids may not be drawn to it on a daily basis. However, the Visual Thesaurus definitely can serve as a classroom resource or tool to help kids hunt down individual word definitions while, as a bonus, subtly reinforcing other grammar and language concepts.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.