Using Ask for Kids

Amy Finley
Ask Kids is a fun and educational search site.

From homework research to online games, more kids are using the Internet than ever before - and Ask for Kids is a popular search engine to help children find what they're looking for online.

About Ask

Ask.com, formerly known as Ask Jeeves, is one of the leading search engines. Founded in 1996, the 'Jeeves' butler icon originally associated with the search engine gives a suggestion of what Ask.com attempts to provide - quick, efficient service whenever you need to find something on the Internet. The revolutionary aspect was that you could search in natural question form. Although the Jeeves icon has been dropped, Ask search engine is becoming global and has expanded to provide other services such as Ask for Kids.

About the Ask for Kids Search Engine

Like the original Ask.com, Ask for Kids -- formerly Ask Jeeves for Kids, is designed to conduct quick and efficient Internet searches. This search engine, however, is specially designed for youth searching online.

Special features of the site that make it a great choice for kid searches include:

Natural Language Technology

Rather than relying only on unnatural phrases, natural language can be used to conduct searches. Kids are notorious for asking questions, and this engine makes it easy for them to find answers to their questions and great resources just by typing in questions phrased like their natural speech.

Filtering

The Kids version of Ask.com provides filtering for their search results. This means that any site that is selected as a result for a search on Ask Kids has been monitored by a human editor and determined to have a 'G' rating appropriate for children. Parents should be aware, however, that the filtering only extends to level 2 links - this means the filter is applied to the initial result pages (level 1), and links on those pages (level 2). Links on the level 2 pages are not verified for 'G' content ratings.

Edu-Tainment

The Internet is a great way to learn and have fun, and Ask Kids has adopted an 'edu-tainment' policy that focuses on providing quality sites that are great resources to enhance children's learning. The central aim is to provide a great place for kids to find answers to homework, research, and questions; however, fun activity and children's online game sites are also included in search results.

Tools and Links

The central feature of Ask for Kids is a simple search engine bar that allows children to type in their questions and simply hit search to find results. Other tools and helpful links include:

  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary
  • Almanacs
  • Atlas Resources
  • Clip Art Section
  • News Resource Page

Educational help is divided into academic categories, including:

  • Math Help
  • Science
  • Biography
  • Astronomy
  • History

These include common questions kids can choose form and click 'go' to get results for the specific topic or questions.

The site also includes a Game page filled with links to popular fun online games.

Results Appropriate for Kids

When one of our LoveToKnow editors tested out Ask Kids with several specific searches, the results were age-appropriate and provided good information. Plain word searches are re-phrased into simple question format; kids can click 'go' to choose that question, or try another phrase to get a different question. Some phrases provide multiple question searches to choose from.

Another feature that appeared in actually doing the searches was that search results are limited, and links go directly to pages offering information on the topic. This is great for kids, because lists of links and a large number of choices can quickly become overwhelming.

Overall, Ask for Kids is a free, fresh, fun, and relatively simple search engine for children to use. Visit askkids.com to use this site.

Other Kids Search Engines and Web Guides

In addition to the children's version of Ask.com, there are many other search engines and Web guides for kids. Search engines for kids are more focused on finding results for specific queries, while Web guides typically have subject icons and popular kids topics grouped together for easily accessible resources.

  • Yahoo Kids Web Guide: This kid-friendly site offers lots of interesting topics for youth - from educational to plain fun. To get answers to specific questions, click on the 'Ask Questions' link at the bottom of the screen and 'Earl,' the Yahoo Kids cool cartoon web guide, will help kids find the answers.
  • Kids Click is an online resource page developed by children's librarians. Browse by subject or search by word or phrase within subject groupings.
  • AOL Kids: AOL for Kids, also known as KOL, offers a simple search engine and many popular subject and topic icons for kids.
  • Fact Monster: A fun and educational source for kids, there is a search bar to find focused topics, or kids can browse the map and click on resources for homework help, games, and more.
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Using Ask for Kids