Kid-Friendly Search Engines

Most of us automatically go to Google (or maybe Bing) when we want to search for something on the web. However, sometimes the sites generated as a result of the search are not the best for elementary school-aged children, either because of the content, or the readability. Here are a few options you might want to try. Regardless of the search engine you use, be aware that many will have links that are identified as "sponsored by" or "sponsored links". These are generally just ads - not part of the valid search.

KidsClick! – Search engine designed for children by librarians. You can also see this page with the dewey decimal notations by clicking on “What does this page look like through a librarian’s eyes?”

Sweet Search 4 Me – Designed by teachers, librarians and other research experts. Sweet search includes sites that have been evaluated and approved as appropriate for elementary school aged students.

Ask Kids – Used to be Ask Jeeves for Kids. Gives you a list of links that match the word you searched, but also gives you options in the left hand column to narrow your search. Note that "Search Results" are announced in a large chartreuse bar at the top of the results, and "Sponsored Results" which are identified by barely visible, greyed-out text to the right of those results and shown before and after the Search Results. You want to stay (and want your students to stay) within the Search Results.

Gogooligans – An educational/academic search engine designed for advanced safe searching for kids and teens. This site has a "pop up word processor" you can access at the bottom of the page which will let you organize your notes while you're on the site, and cut and paste them into a Word document (I think it would be just as easy to use the Word document, but this is kind of a novel feature.)

Quintura for Kids - A good search engine for younger children.

Internet Public Library KidSpace - A great resource - like going to the library without leaving home!

KidsConnect – Billed as a safe internet gateway for kids, this is better for younger students, and more specific searches – “George Washington” as opposed to “Presidents”, and actually the best way to find things on this search engine is by using the alphabetized list.

Yahoo Kids – Part of the Yahoo group, and the page also gives students access to games, entertainment news, etc. on the home page, so students could get easily side-tracked.

AOL Homework Help Jr. – Designed for students in K-2. Like Yahoo, one click can give students access to the whole junior AOL website.

Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist in Needham, Massachusetts, has put together a page with Kid Safe Search Engines and Directories.