My cousins have these two little boys (4 and 7), and anytime they turn around, these kids manage to just find game websites to play! It's pretty crazy how smart these kids are.
Anyway what websites do your kids use and what are you comfortable with them using? My cousins actually won't let these kids on the computer to play games unless it's a weekend :)
I'm not sure if it is a matter of "letting" for us. We view the computer as a research tool as well as a past-time. DD has a couple of dress-up game sites that she frequents and also the Starfall website, but we also let her go on You Tube and assist her with things on there. She's not at the stage right now where she can do key word searches, but when she is, of course we'll give her instructions on how to properly get where you want to go. Sometimes when clicking on the games sites that she visits, other games sites will come up, but I haven't seen anything 'harmful.' Generally we're not in the business of censoring around here. If I see something objectionable we'll discuss. But I don't see us saying 'you can only visit this site or these sites and that is it.'
If we do censor, it is much more in the realm of television, where I feel that commercials (not necessarily programming) have the most negative impact.
My 8 yr. old doesn't use the computer at home. He can, but isn't interested.
My 5 yr. old googles things, goes on youtube, PBS Kids, freerice.com, e-learning.com and a variety of game sites I couldn't name. I have gotten used to the fact that he can use the internet as well as I can. He gets on my facebook and chats with his aunts. We only let him use the computer on weekends and not for very long, but he used it more before he started full-day kindergarten.
My dd (almost 9) doesn't have unsupervised access to the internet, so she can't just go out and "find" websites. She doesn't spend much time on the computer unless it's homework related. She might spend 2 - 4 hours per month on PBSkids.org to watch some videos (weekends only - we have a no screen-time rule during the week). We haven't had to "censor" anything because she's not interested in "surfing" the net, but I absolutely would if I needed to. She doesn't play video games and never has.
We have an educational kids site as the homepage/search--the NASA kids site and some math learning sites on the tool bar which ds (6) has used but he mainly wants to play his Ben10 video game or watch Ben10 shows. We let them (dd is 4 and likes to dress Barbie) play for a half hour in the afternoon; dd plays Starfall and Math Missions a bit during the day. It is a great motivator for ds to get his homework done--his grades are great, his behavior at school has improved a lot, and he just won the school spelling bee, so this is working for us. Dh and I are both in school so we let them play more on the weekend than we might otherwise.
Dh has "disneyfied" their access to the net and is techy enough to see if they are accessing sites that we would not approve of, though the computer is in the livingroom where we can see what they are doing.
The only site that dd ever uses independently is Starfall. Occasionally we'll look for videos or pictures of something together. She Skypes often with her grandmother and I show her pictures of family and friends on Facebook. She has no concept yet of having any independent control over how the computer is used or even what the internet is. She knows that she can use it to talk to people, play games, and watch movies (we don't have a tv, so all movies are on the computer).
Some good sites we like:
That's all I can think of at the moment. Our computer is in the kitchen so we can always see what's going on. My 10 year old finds some good sites sometimes in the course of school research but I vett them if I see she's on something new.
"Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)
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