So how do you choose quality websites for children and what criteria do I use in selecting websites for my Website of the Week?
When evaluating websites, I look for sites that are easy to navigate. This means that the initial page has a user friendly layout. The first page fits on the computer screen and no scrolling is needed to view the entire content. The page is designed so that links to other pages are easy to find. The site doesn’t need to be complicated with moving images, lots of graphics or tons of text. Simple is better.
A site must have age appropriate content. For a preschooler who is just beginning to read, there shouldn’t be an overwhelming amount of text that they will need to read in order to navigate the site. Activities and games should be just right for the child and not too difficult.
There should be few or no ads on sites for children. With an abundance of ads, children are often enticed by the images such as fast food restaurants logos, favorite television characters, and toys. Children click on the familiar out of curiosity that will lead them away from their game and on to another site. When this occurs, it is nearly impossible for a young child to navigate back to the original website. Not only is the child lost in cyberspace but often ad content can be questionable for young children. In a frenzy of clicking to try to return to the original website, it only takes a few more clicks for a child to accidentally get to inappropriate web content.
I receive many recommendations of websites to review. Friends, fellow bloggers, and moms love to share sites and I’m happy to look at them. But just like I would never buy a car without taking it for a test drive, I would never recommend a site without looking at it first. Always review websites before letting your children use them. Make sure the content is appropriate and the site is age appropriate. Also, make sure the site actually exists. Sometimes URLs can be taken over by other sites of questionable content.
These are just some of my guidelines when evaluating websites for my children and those I recommend through Tech Savvy Mama.
What criteria do you use when selecting websites for your children? Feel free to leave a comment!
And be sure to check back in with Tech Savvy Mama this week when I announce one of our family favorites that meets all the criteria above as the Website of the Week!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama