All the news that’s fit for kids

As parents, we want our kids to understand the world around them. A slew of sites present the world in terms children can understand.

By Heather Camlot

As parents, we want our kids to understand the world around them. We want them to know that life is more than the four-block radius around home and that it is more than school, work, chores  and lessons.

But the world can be a scary place. And that’s why Golnar Khosrowshahi founded GoGoNews, a news site for children. “GoGoNews.com was started because I wanted to create a place where kids could have access to current events without the danger of seeing news about suicide bombers and devastating pictures of natural disasters,” the mother of two explains. “As adults, we are almost desensitized to much of the imagery we see on the news, but in the company of children we realize how devastating many of these images can be.”

A newspaper or iPad lying around, the television news on in the background – we may not think children are taking them in, but by the age of five, Khosrowshahi says, kids are equipped to digest and learn from current events. “Children are sponges, they are constantly absorbing information from media sources as well as their peers.”

The news is a great opportunity to start a conversation about the world with kids, but it should be done at their level. Here, our 5 top news sites that aim to engage children’s curiosity.

GoGoNews

Updated everyday, GoGoNews offers a wide-range of subject matters, such as zoology, geology, space technology and sports, as well as country spotlights. In general, the site stays away from news related to drugs, sex and alcohol abuse. Natural disasters are reported on regularly but with a focus on relief efforts, while political and business news is covered when relevant.

Time For Kids

The curriculum-based sister site to Time magazine, TFK publishes the most fascinating and quirky stories making headlines, from a python attack in the Everglades to solar storms visible on Earth. Along the way, there are reports from the worlds of entertainment, health, sports and the world in general. Kid reporters also add their two cents, on the latest books, movies and grown-up decisions affecting their lives (hello new school lunch rules).

Scholastic News Online

From mathematical equations to predict a ponytail’s shape to a zebra’s stripes acting as an insect repellent, the delightfully strange are highlighted here. More traditional news is also featured, including an in-depth spotlight on the US election, and comes in a mix of media, from print and videos to polls and games.

Teaching Kids News

Started by two elementary school teachers and a freelance journalist, TKN distills top news stories into digestible bytes with simplified language that students can understand and add curriculum connections to prompt discussion in the classroom. Recent stories included Scotland’s possible referendum, the world’s smallest chameleon and Facebook’s IPO.

CBBC Newsround

The British site tackles some hard topics, such as the Egypt protests, the Holocaust, and the Iraq war, so you may want to read along with your child or save it for an older age. That said, the sleek site is easy to navigate and features video clips, quizzes, and special features, as well as the  requisite lighter kid-curious news, like Barbie’s big comeback, Venus’s slow spin and of course the 2012 Olympics.

First published March 19, 2012, on WorkLivePlayCafe.com.

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