It drove me crazy asking myself, why they don’t “invent” safer social networks alternatives for kids instead of getting freaked out about how to keep them safe while using adults social networks?! Pardon my ignorance, it seems I have been mistaken! As Dr. Seuss said ” Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Believe It Or Not, there are many safe social networks for kids that are built with safety in mind and age-appropriate fun. Finally I realized that Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only cool social networking sites on the Web that kids may use.
The good thing about those Social networks for kids that they are built on the balance of entertainment, expression, experience, education and engagement without endangering exposure. 13+ social networks aren’t for kids, but social networking can be. The best social networks for kids have all the features of traditional social communities (friending, chat, photos, profiles, comments, etc.) but also have more kid-friendly features like games, contests, art projects and more. Most importantly, kid-friendly social networks are monitored and include parental oversight to make sure everyone is safe.
But before you register for any of these sites, be sure to read the below tips and share them with your kid, so the whole family is on the same page about safe and responsible social networking behavior.
Kids Club: With a whopping 28 million users, Disney’s ClubPenguin, is more of a virtual world and multiplayer game does have some social-network inspired features, allows children to create their own colourful penguin ‘avatar’ (character), make friends with other ‘penguins’, chat, play games and take part in lots of other activities.
Penguin Parents: Parents can sign up for a parent account to manage their kids’ activity, and everything is monitored by adult moderators and “secret agent” veteran players.
Facebook alternative? Club Penguin isn’t a replacement for social networking, but it’s a friendly social community for younger kids to learn safe online interactions.
Cost: It’s free of charge. Age: designed for children between the ages of 6 and 14.
Tween network: Touting itself as a tween celebrity social network, kids can engage in all types of games, quizzes, and content related to celebrities, television, movies, and music.
Parents: Fanlala requires a credit card authorized-parent account before kids under age 13 can sign up. Afterward, they can join fan clubs or create groups with their friends.
Cost: free. Age: tweens.
For Girls: iTwixie is a safe, empowering place for tween girls to express their real selves, share their dreams, From creating her own blog, to voting for favorite books and movies to playing imaginative role play games. Girls can even chat with girls from all around the world via iTwixie’s Twixing, a live chat moderated by our very own, iTwixieAdmin. Girls can win achievements, awards and prizes.
Parents: You need to know that this safe, friendly social site encourages tweens to feel good about themselves — not for being pretty, but for being smart, dedicated, and kind. There are lots of opportunities for girls to learn new things and express themselves creatively. All user-generated content is screened before it’s published.
Cost: Free. Age: designed for tweens.
Cool stuff for kids: Yoursphere is a social network for kids that has games, contests and prizes, personalized avatars and access to the private social gaming community ourWorld. The kid-oriented social network lets you ask and answer questions with friends and chat about what you’re interested in. It lets kids create “spheres” and personal blogs based on interests such as sports, TV shows, music, gaming, fashion, art, animals, travel and more.
Parentsphere: Kids under the age of 13 can’t sign up with Yoursphere without parent approval, which also grants you access to a special parent portal where you can monitor everything your child posts (but only what your child posts).
Yoursphere is a pretty cool place for kids to interact, combining social networking features with a virtual world.
Cost: free. Age: 17 and under.
Kids: It involves playing games to earn virtual money (in this case, “clams”) for use in building an avatar. Rather than being represented as a cartoon animal, Whyville members create avatars that represent their physical selves. That’s one step closer to the vibe of more grown-up sites, but it’s still more a virtual world/gaming space than a true social networking site.
Parents: Chat among new members is restricted to prewritten phrases, but those who pass a “chat license test” (to show they understand online safety) have more freedom to type personal messages to friends. Some words are blacklisted. This site doesn’t hawk toys and is more educational than most.
Cost: Free. Age: designed for kids 8-15.
Your world: kids can create a profile, chat, post messages to other members, send emails or e-cards, post articles or personal writings, upload photos or videos, play games, and enter contests. They can also read news and reviews, blogs, an advice column (to which they can also post a question), and short articles about health, personal style, and project ideas.
Parents: Kidzworld lets tweens and teens to communicate with people they don’t know but uses humans and software to protect kids’ privacy and safety. A live staff member moderates the chat room during the hours it’s open. Staff moderators approve photos, videos, and articles kids post and write. Filtration software monitors comments, forums, and blogs and passes flagged content onto staff members for approval, but parents should bear in mind that no filtration software is perfect. Kids can send e-cards to each other if they know the recipient’s email address or username and the sender’s email address is disguised.
Cost: Free. Age: 9-17.
For tweens: Tweens who love music will love this charming, crowd-pleasing site. While some videos are choppy and games could be more challenging, the trendy music selection is the big draw here.
Parents: This highly regarded site creates a safe spot for kids to listen to hip music — all pre-screened by parents. With games, videos, and a virtual world to explore, and an emphasis on music appreciation, it’s a sweet-sounding mix of what kids want in music and what parents want online — safety and education.
Cost: You can play on Franktown Rocks as a guest, or to join paid membership. Age: Tweens
Parents: This networking site has made some serious efforts to ensure kids have a safe experience. Users can’t friend strangers through the site; they need to get a randomly generated code for each friend they invite to join, and send it via text or print it out and bring the code to school.
Cost: free. Age: For kids under 13
Grom Kids: When one 11-year-old got kicked off Facebook recently, he decided to start his own social network — no joke. The result is a space for kids to chat, share videos, get homework help, and more, with 24/7 live monitoring.
For parents: Only adults who are parent-approved can join the site, and mom and dad receive regular e-mails updating them on their kid’s online activity.
Cost: free. Age: 15 and under.
More than just a digital babysitter, social networks for kids can be a useful teaching tool, helping kids learn about appropriate social network etiquette, safe sharing practices and online citizenship. You may opt an age-appropriate social network that your kids will love and you can approve of. Your kids will like them, and you’ll rest easy knowing they’re protected.
Share with us your experience on Social Networks for kids under 13!Read more:
Social Networking Sites for Kidshttp://www.parenting.com/article/social-networking-sites-for-kids
6 Great Social Networking Sites Just For Kidshttp://www.popsugar.com/moms/Best-Social-Networks-Kids-15191030