Social Networking sites today have become such a huge part of our culture that no surprise kids too would want to connect with their friends through social networks. But as you know these sites are not appropriate (or even safe) for your child, whether he is 5 years old or 12 as they contain content not supposed to be suitable for children. So today’s biggies in social networking have set the minimum eligibility age to 13, 14, 16 and in some cases, even 18 years. But when you see the world today, everything is connected, so why deprive your child from getting a feel of the connected world; why deprive him/her from being introduced to the online world. So over the years, a lot of sites claiming to be kids social network have fortunately come up but who would you trust (or should you trust) so that your child can enjoy social networking in an interactive way beneficial to his/her academic upbringing and moreover groom him/her in a safe environment far from any explicit activity on the Internet. Considering this aspect, in this post, I have listed 20 of the most genuine and safer Kids Social Networks you would love to introduce your child to.
- Recommended Reading: 11 Kids Search Engines you must check out
List of Kids Social Network
Probably the best kids social network, Everloop was created for kids under 13 years of age. But children as old as 15 are welcome to join. Here kids can add friends and engage with other kids online. They can also join groups. Once your child creates an account you will be sent an email to verify the account. After you click the link, you will be redirected to a page where you can create a “Parents Account” and check what your child does on the site. Everloop was created by three business women who were concerned that their kids had to lie and create accounts on social networking sites for adults.
Scuttlepad is a kids social network mainly for the ones between 6 and 11 but all kids are free to join. Once your child creates an account using your email address, you have to verify it to let him/her in. Then your child can start personalizing his profile with photos and by adding friends. All basic social networking features are available for your child to start instantly.
Yoursphere is also a kids social network for children under 18. Kids with similar interests can join groups (called spheres). Founder Mary Kay Hoal, a mother of 5 cares about online child safety the most, so you can say, in Yousphere your child is in absolute safe hands. Apart from all basic social features, kids get a blog to express themselves better. Children under 12 have to get parental approval to join the site.
Kidzvuz is actually a kids social network that is focused on videos. You can call it the “YouTube for kids”. First your child creates an account; then you will be notified via email. After you confirm through the link, you will be provided with the information containing personal details which your child submitted to Kidzvuz and you can edit it if necessary. Kids can upload, watch and comment on videos from varied topics covering technology, games, movies, television, books, sports, pets and travel.
Foozkids is not just another kids social network, it is a paid social application with tons of features. The pay is a bit hefty, 69.99 U.S dollars a year but it is worth trying. Here parents create the account (as they are the ones who have to pay). It is a parent-controlled application where kids can do just about anything in a well monitored environment. Parents, through their dashboard can change anything in the application. It is available in 36 different languages across 56 countries and is compatible for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems as well as Android tablets.
Ohanarama is a social networking site which anyone can join. First, create an account, then you can invite anyone in your family or even a distant relative to join. There are three age groups in Ohanarama, you can invite someone below 13, 13 to 18 or 18+. The safety levels will be set accordingly. When you invite your kid, his/her email address (if any) can also be provided. Ohanarama’s focus is on educating kids through attractive games.
Kids Social Network (www.kidssocialnetwork.com)
Whatswhat (www.whatswhat.me)Whatswhat is a U.S only kids social network which, in order to verify parental consent charges a one-time nominal fee of 0.01 U.S dollars to your credit card. I think this is the best way to provide social networking service to kids as this process will diminish all chances of anyone creating a fake account.
Franktownrocks is for kids who love music. It is a social networking site where they can make friends and learn music. Moreover it has many games and a virtual world to explore. As a user you can enjoy Franktownrocks for sure, but to get access to the varied features it has to offer you have to buy a membership starting from a monthly pass for 5.99 U.S dollars upto 129 U.S dollars for a lifetime membership.
Gianthello is a social gaming site built for kids under 13 and it has set extremely high standards for itself when it comes to a child’s online safety. Parents, if they do not want their kids on Facebook or Myspace, Gianthello is a true solution. To connect with friends on Gianthello, a coded message is sent via email or is hand delivered. Very strict indeed; but enjoyable for your kid as well.
Sweetyhigh is a social networking site only for girls. Your child can join Sweetyhigh free but to get access to “Be a Star” they need to get a membership. Membership plans start at 5.95 U.S dollars for one month upto 49.95 U.S dollars a year. It is very strong on privacy. Girls’ profile are only visible to their friends and parents can easily control what their kids do on the site.
Poptropica (www.poptropica.com)Poptropica is a virtual online kids social network where they can create and customize their character. Even people as old as 25 years love playing on Poptropica. Here, you get to travel the world, play games and befriend other kids. Even playing alone is fun. Poptropica is awesome and it kept me hooked for more than an hour yesterday. It has 76 million registered users worldwide.
Stardoll (www.stardoll.com)Stardoll is the largest fashion-oriented online community for girls, where kids under 13 years automatically receive a “Kid Safe’ membership. Still they need to be extra careful in befriending girls older than them. Here kids can create a doll, customize its look, chat with friends and can also play games. Your child need to get written permission from you if she wants to chat with friends on Stardoll. Also, Stardoll notifies parents if kids stay on the site for an extended period.
Kidzworld (www.kidzworld.com)Kidzworld is a place where children can play games, chat with friends and discuss on forums. Along with all these basic fatures, Kidzworld has blogs and discussion boards to connect with friends. This kids social network lets them communicate with people they do not know but you do not need to worry as it uses many high functional softwares for protecting the privacy of kids as well as providing them with a better environment to interact. A live moderator always moderates the chat rooms and every photo and video posted on Kidzworld has to pass through the scanner. Even filtration softwares are abundantly used.
Clubpenguin is owned by Disney. It allows kids to create their own colorful penguins representing themselves, make friends with other penguins, play games, chat and do a lot of other interesting things. For unlimited chat, kids need their parents clearance. Playing games, kids can earn virtual money to dress up their penguins and create igloos. Kids can visit other penguine’s ogloo and can befriend them. It has a userbase of 28 million. Playing is free, but you need to buy a membership plan to access all the special features of Clubpenguin.
Whyville (www.whyville.net)Whyville is a social network where kids play games to earn virtual money which they in turn use in creating an avatar. More than just a kids social network, it is a virtual world. To access this site children need to receive parental permission and take a “chat license test”.
Fantage is well designed and is densely populated compared to other sites. Here kids get to explore the world in a rocket. The simple games found here are good enough to hold anyone’s imagination. There are no ads to pose threat to a child’s online activities. Also, in spite of the great deal of interaction among members of the site, there are strong safety features installed that prevent users from sharing personal information on the site.
Moshimonsters is a kids social network where they take care of their cute little monsters. This site primarily focuses on creating pets and caring about them. The virtual world is an added feature to explore. Moreover, kids can also engage in playing games. But always do keep a watchful eye on your child and divert them from befriending unwanted people. Kids earn virtual money called Rox by playing games and solving puzzles, which they, in turn spend in keeping their monster hale and happy.
Edmodo is a secure social networking platform for teachers, students and schools. It provides a great way for kids to connect, share content and collaborate. Almost 11 million teachers and students are part of this network. To register as a student, a child should know a unique 6-digit group code from their teacher and once they have it, they can easily create an account by clicking the “I’m a student” button and filling in the necessary details. Students are not required to enter an email address to create an Edmodo account.
There is what your child would love. There is a virtual social network with many features. It primarily focuses on creating realistically looking avatars, customizing them and exploring the world. Avatars can talk to each other in a comic book styled bubble and can even perform various actions. It can be fun to chat and play in the 3D virtual world. Premium membership costs around 10 U.S dollars and with it, your kids can get access to a lot of other features. Although safety features are put in place, parents need to monitor their child when they are on the site.
The above 20 sites have been selected from a list of 70+ Kids Social Networks. I checked, explored and read many online reviews about all the sites and selected the best and the safest of them for the final list. Though parental surveillance is required in some of them, most of the sites are safer than you can expect and your kids can be left on their own. Among the above sites, Stardoll gets the highest traffic followed by Clubpenguin and Moshimonsters. Some high ranked kid social networks which did not make it to this list because of several issues such as privacy & safety concerns, content type and technical glitches are gaiaonline.com, neopets.com, habbo.com, imvu.com and webkinz.com. You can still check them out. Also do check out The best Kids Search Engines for a comprehensive list of the safest Search Engines for your kids.