6 Safe Search Engines for Kids

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by: Lindsay Hutton
With school back in session, the Internet can be a great resource for homework help, but you might be worried about your child accessing inappropriate sites and information while he surfs the Web. These safe search engines for kids offer prescreened sites and age-appropriate filters and content, so your child can have the freedom to browse the Internet while you have peace of mind that he is staying safe online.
Kiddle
Kiddle
Ages: 4+

Kiddle is a safe, visual search engine for kids powered by Google. The first three results to each query are kid-safe sites and pages written specifically for children and hand-picked by the editors at Kiddle. Results 4-7 are also hand-picked by the editors, and include safe, trusted sites that are not specifically written for kids, but have simple, easy-to-understand content. Finally, all the following results are written for adults, but filtered by Google safe search.

Parental controls on Kiddle in include keyword and site blocking for further search safety.

Kidoz screenshot
Kido'z
Ages: 4+

Kido'z is a password-protected, self-contained browser that can be downloaded and installed for free. When opened, Kido'z takes over the entire screen, blocking your child from accessing any inappropriate content while offering a variety of kid-safe sites, games, videos, and other entertainment options. The parental controls allow you to select, add, and delete content from your child's browser and keep track of her Internet usage, and the password protection keeps your kids from closing or navigating away from the browser without your permission.

KidInfo screenshot
Kid Info
Ages: 6+

Kid Info was started by a teacher as a resource to help kids with homework. The site is organized by specific subjects for different grades, so your child can find age-appropriate tutorials and skill-builders. In addition to subject help, Kid Info also links to reference resources, including online atlases, calendars, and current events, as well as "fun sites" that link to kid-safe entertainment like magic tricks, puzzles and games, sports, and more.

The grid format makes it easy for kids to navigate through the sections and subsections, and the links are checked weekly to remove any broken or inappropriate content.

KidsClick screenshot
KidsClick!
Ages: 8+

KidsClick! was created by librarians and is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. This site is not an Internet filter — it doesn't block inappropriate sites or prevent any user from typing in inappropriate search terms or urls. KidsClick! focuses on a catalog of resources that provide age-appropriate information on a range of topics, so kids can browse by topic or use a search engine to access.

Site features range from homework helpers to classic arcade games. There are also helpful resources for kids facing tough issues like bullying or the death of a family member. KidsClick! will not list sites that collect private information (such as full names and phone numbers), charge a fee, are product-driven, or any sites that promote violence, hatred, or illegal activities.

KidzSearch screenshot
KidzSearch
Ages: 10+

KidzSearch uses Google SafeSearch™ to provide safe, adult-content-free search results for kids. Profanity, curse words, and sexually explicit search terms are blocked and a search is discontinued if an inappropriate term is entered in the search box. KidzSearch also maintains an updated list of banned keywords and adult sites, and has filtering algorithms that detect secret cloaking methods such as "leet." "Leet" uses numbers and symbols to approximate the shapes of certain letters, and can be used to try to override filtering. For example, the number "1" can be used for the letter "i," and "5" can be used for "s."

In addition to its search capabilities, KidzSearch posts education-related news and links to educational games. Kids can also post homework questions on a message board and access an online encyclopedia with over 20,000 articles.

Google Scholar screenshot
Google Scholar
Ages: 15+

Google Scholar is a search engine limited to scholarly works, and can help your child find credible information and citable material. The "Metrics" tab at the top of the page shows the most popular publication for a variety of topics based on the number of citations, and the "Scholar Library" allows your child to save a search to reference or cite at a later date.

Google Scholar contains no inappropriate content, but most of the materials available might be too complex for younger kids to understand.