Monitored Chat Rooms

Ask any kid what they like most on the Internet and the resounding answer (and one that sends waves of anxiety through parents and teachers) is “Chat!” But don’t throw out the computer with the bath water. Although our grown up concerns about stranger danger are real, they are not insurmountable. First, we must teach our kids the rules of the road (see Larry Magid’s Family Contract for Online Safety) and then guide them to safe situations. Each of these chat rooms is monitored by an adult (not just an automated swearword filter) and has posted chat rules. So play by the rules, stay safe — and have fun! Creative Writing for Kids Chat4 stars

"The rules for playing a chat room story game are simple. The idea is to prolong the game for as long as possible, adding a gazillion twists and turns. Anyone in the chat room can add to the story at any time," explains sixteen-year-old Victoria Dobbs. Victoria's mom, Diane Dobbs, runs the forum focusing on Creative Writing for Kids, and her daily chats often include story games to fuel the imagination of young chatters.

Disney Chat Studio4 stars

Disney's celebrity chats cover lots of territory with guests such as Disney Chairman Michael Eisner, award-winning authors, famous pop musicians and animated characters such as Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit. Special activities include video-based drawing lessons given by Disney animators, and an announced but-not-yet available chat-based quiz show. Transcripts are available for many previous chats.

NASA Quest Chat4 stars

This is not your run-of-the-mill chat, but rather something quite out of this world , an opportunity to chat with NASA experts. The schedule varies from week to week, but here's a sampling of what's happening this summer: a weekly course on Robotics led by the JPL Mars Rover team; Sustainable Seas Expedition from the Florida Keys; Mars geology and photography; a chat with crew members from the Shuttle Columbia. Wow! If you're new to chatting, you can get your fingers wet at the weekly Practice Chats.

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Monitored Chat Rooms." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 28 Jul. 1999. Web. 5 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published July 28, 1999. Last modified July 28, 1999.

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