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August 3, 2005 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Websites for toddlers?

My three-year-old son likes "clicking around" on the internet. Are there websites for non-readers, or at least ones that have a lot of picture icons? He likes animals doing silly stuff, cartoons about robots, you know, the good stuff. I've seen Yahoo for kids, but it requires a lot of reading to navigate.
posted by slimslowslider to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure about websites, but I'm sure there are computer games for young kids...which might be "safer" for them.
posted by BradNelson at 8:59 PM on August 3, 2005

He wouldn't be online alone-I'm just looking for something that would be fun for him to play with and feel like he can navigate.
posted by slimslowslider at 10:01 PM on August 3, 2005

My 3 yo loves Nick Jr., Noggin and PBS Kids. (Specifically their games pages.)
posted by jrossi4r at 10:14 PM on August 3, 2005

I should add that the PBS site actually requires the most help from Mom, but the other two are easy to navigate as long as you remember to turn the speakers on.
posted by jrossi4r at 10:23 PM on August 3, 2005

It's incredibly trippy, but the Boobah Zone sounds right up his alley.
posted by schroedinger at 10:43 PM on August 3, 2005

Boobah Zone still does the trick, as previously discussed here.
posted by fullysic at 11:03 PM on August 3, 2005

http://www.superbad.com may well fit the bill. It's more of a post modern weird site, but unintentionally it could work for a todddler. I think I'll try it out on my son (19 months) tonight.
posted by singingfish at 11:06 PM on August 3, 2005

Pilkey (better in a few years but not bad now)
Fly guy
perhaps even, paper toss.

For real brain stimulation get some nice educational games on CD-rom.
posted by caddis at 11:23 PM on August 3, 2005

CBeebies has a lot of stuff that doesn't require reading. My 3-yo loves the story circle and can pretty much handle it herself. You may have to do some navigating periodically to get him back to a suitable starting point.
posted by sagwalla at 1:24 AM on August 4, 2005

Someone asked about this last week.

The star of that thread for me was a beautiful collection of flash games and animations called "Wumpa's World." It's a Canadian project that derives from a cartoon about an Arctic (Inuit) community and a jolly walrus. The animation is beautiful, the content thoughtful, and the games are perfect for the almost-5-year-old in my life, who is web-obsessed (she learned to read because she wanted to navigate more independently online!). It might be a little complex for a younger child, but the game where the child helps a polar bear chip away at stones to make beautiful Inuit sculptures is simple and would teach basic mousing skills to even a 3 year old.

Another awesome site for even a 3 year old surfer is Bzzzpeek, (also previously discussed on MeFi), which presents different iconic/onomatopeoic sounds submitted for hundreds of different animals (and other things) by children from all over the world. The concept is simple, but endlessly fascinating, and the execution is gorgeous.

I am a little down on the big commercial TV sites -- even PBS, but certainly Nickleodeon and Disney, for the amount of noise, the generally crappy animations, and the subtle embedding of advertising.

The good old Singing Horses flash also held my charge's attention for a long time.

Finally, we've lately been into the Exploratorium site from the San Francisco Museum of Science. Again, it targets a slightly older age than "toddlers," but some of the games (especially on the music page (see the "Kitchen-Sink-O-Pation" and "Dot Mixer" games) would work for a 3 year old (and entertain a parent for a stretch as well).

And be prepared for the kind of question I got a few weeks ago: "Daddy, what's the difference between an application and an operating system?" Yikes.
posted by realcountrymusic at 5:44 AM on August 4, 2005 [1 favorite]

Thank you, fellow computer parents! These will provide my son with a bunch of stuff to explore.
posted by slimslowslider at 7:22 AM on August 4, 2005

This is Daniel Cook is a click-happy site with lots of games for kids that require zero reading.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:06 AM on August 4, 2005

ButterFlight - Windows PC Game Downloads by Absolutist.com
posted by LadyBonita at 3:44 PM on August 4, 2005

The KidRocket browser looks like a good idea--haven't tried it. Looks legit, but could be a spyware source. My guess is not, though.

It's a browser that only lets you go to a handpicked list of preapproved sites.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:48 AM on August 5, 2005

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