Girls on the internet
February 22, 2006 6:45 PM   Subscribe

Help me find websites suitable for a family with girls aged 3 to 9 years.

I am helping a friend set up a new PC with internet access. This will be the first time that they have had internet access on broadband since the girls were born.
I will be setting up the PC along the lines of flabdalet's excellent suggestions (http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/31069#488004), with the girls having user access accounts.

The parents are not tech-savy, but they are capable people.

I was going to set up gmail accounts for the girls, install gtalk and google earth. I want to avoid messenger if possible.

I intend to add bookmarks to orisinal, flickr, wikipedia and (that image description game with 'boom' in the title whose name is currently evading me).

I also intend to install the cloud game (http://intihuatani.usc.edu/cloud/) as they have a 256MB Graphics card and I think it will handle it just fine.

I am looking for things that would be interesting to young girls and any further advice on making the system as easy to use and 'bulletproof' as possible.
posted by asok to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
How about some animal cams?
Panda Cam
Shark Cam
Watering Hole Cam
posted by jrossi4r at 7:03 PM on February 22, 2006


Also, some sites just for little people:
Nick Jr.
Noggin
PBS Kids
Playhouse Disney
Discovery Kids
posted by jrossi4r at 7:08 PM on February 22, 2006


Hi Monkey. Homestarrunner.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:24 PM on February 22, 2006


Everybody needs some Cute Overload.
posted by fuzzbean at 7:25 PM on February 22, 2006


Also, my daughter has developed an addiction to Neopets, not that anyone who reads as much MeFi as I is in a position to be judgemental.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:27 PM on February 22, 2006


My daughter (11) loves paper doll websites like TheDollmakers.org and Cartoon Doll Emporium, which our fellow Mefites assure me are not pervy. And she's a Neopets fanatic too.
posted by SashaPT at 7:40 PM on February 22, 2006


Yahooligans - Yahoo for Kids.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:45 PM on February 22, 2006


things that would be interesting to young girls

You might get better results by finding out what interests these specific girls, then sit down and help them start looking for the things you know they're excited about.
posted by mediareport at 8:43 PM on February 22, 2006


May I suggest you drop gtalk for Gaim? Gaim will support GTalk but also MSM, ICQ, Jabber and many other things. Either that or go MSM directly.

I say that because you will need MSM. With a broadband connection, in no time at all the girls, specially the older one, will want to talk to her friends over the Internet and almost everyone will be using MSM. A well-configured Messenger (no IP leaking, no messages from people outside the list etc) will keep everyone safe and happy, so you'd better do it for them right away.
posted by nkyad at 8:54 PM on February 22, 2006


Fair point mediareport, but I will not be in the house at the same time as them.

nykad, what about trillian? Is gaim superior? Are you suggesting that I set up messenger anyway, if so do you have a link to some instructions on fixing the security on Messenger? Thanks.

Also, does anyone know the name of the picture guessing thing I was thinking of? It was something to do with image tag definitions.
posted by asok at 9:37 PM on February 22, 2006


Oh, and thanks everyone for the link suggestions.
posted by asok at 10:50 PM on February 22, 2006


Orisinal!
posted by ceri richard at 1:32 AM on February 23, 2006


Do kids need e-mail addresses?
posted by k8t at 1:54 AM on February 23, 2006


May I suggest you drop gtalk for Gaim? Gaim will support GTalk but also MSM, ICQ, Jabber and many other things. Either that or go MSM directly.

This is probably not a good thing for 3-9 year-old girls. I've received plenty of IM spam as both an AIM and Yahoo user, and you probably don't want to be getting them hooked on IM anyway. Panda cam is a great idea, though, if they have decent bandwidth.
posted by gsteff at 2:57 AM on February 23, 2006


The bbc's site for the younger ones (3 to 6): cbeebies

For the not so young ones (6 to 9): cbbc
posted by hmca at 3:08 AM on February 23, 2006


My 10-year-old daughter's current faves:

ToonTown (a Disney thing) - let's you play games as a cartoon - there are free temporary accounts, but requires a fee for an ongoing account (requires IE)

Runescape - another multiplayer game where you have to perform tasks and can interact with other players - paying accounts get more powers and options, but free accounts get fun stuff too (this may not be suitable for the younger ones)

I second Cute Overload and the panda cam.

Also, National Geographic Kids.

Not a web site, but a software suggestion: If they like horses, the Let's Ride series of games has provided hours and hours of entertainment for the young 'un. I've found older copies for cheap in the discount bins at major electronics stores.

Sudoku?

Kids need email addresses so doting aunties and grandmas can send them fun pictures and check in with a "howdy" now and then.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 7:10 AM on February 23, 2006


gsteff : "you probably don't want to be getting them hooked on IM anyway"

IM is a communication device, much like a phone, so I think the same policy should be applied - a 9+ years old today will prefer IM (so will their parents as the phone will be much more available) to talk to friends.

As for securing it, it is pretty much a matter of configuring the client to always require authorization for inclusion in the buddy list, to only accept messages from people on your list and teaching the kid not to allow the inclusion of any strangers (pretty much like teaching them not to speak with strangers over the phone). I have been using IM for ages and Gaim for a while (under these restrictive rules) and I never receive spam through IM.
posted by nkyad at 8:30 AM on February 23, 2006


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