My son, who’s six, often asks me while I’m on the computer if he can see what I’m doing and go to his sites. It’s important to get your children started early on safe computing practices. There are plenty of places on the web you can visit with your children—here are a few of my recommendations to stay safe and have a little bit of family time online.
If you have a pre-school aged child in the house, PBS Kids and Nogginare good places to start. They have plenty of activities to do with your kids and even link to videos appropriate for your children.
If your child is a bit older and in kindergarten through fifth, Webkinz,ABC ya!, or their favorite cartoon character’s Web sites are also great places to go. There are many other education sites out there with fun and interactive games for your child to play.
If your child is a bit older and in grades 6-8, you will want to feed their curiosity and help them continue to learn. Sites like Instructables or even YouTube are great resources to research how-to-guides for projects that you can do with your child. There are sometimes even contests on Instructables that you can help your child participate in, like a science project. The main thing is getting and staying involved in what your child likes to do on the Web.
Once your child hits High School, it’s time to start thinking about where they want to go for college. Researching that college they want to go to together and finding careers or degrees that your child will be interested in pursuing is also a great way to spend some time online together. You’ll also find that study guides for the ACT and SAT classes are available online and you can use Google to find one that’s affordable and useful for your child. A few sites to try in your search for colleges include College Board and Colleges.com.
Those are just some initial ideas on how to use the computer and the Internet to spend some good quality time with your kids. But remember, nothing is a substitute for just talking to your child, or going outside with them—especially when the weather is nice!