What Was Yahooligans?

Kids could find games, jokes, educational sites, and more

Yahooligans website home page

Yahooligans was a website from Yahoo dubbed "the web guide for kids." It was a collection of hand-selected news, games, jokes, chat rooms, cool sites, and more that were considered safe for kids.

This kids web portal was the oldest search engine for finding safe content for children. In late 1999, its Alexa ranking put it at one of the top 1,000 websites on the web.

The Yahooligans website was launched in 1996, changed its name to Yahoo Kids in 2006, and (the English version) was officially discontinued in 2013.

Yahoo Kids is still available in Japanese via Yahoo Japan.

What Did Yahooligans Provide?

There were all kinds of kid-friendly content on Yahooligans. Along the top of the website were the primary categories that you could browse:

  • Sports: Daily sports trivia, news from a variety of sports, top sports stories
  • News: Today's Photo, top stories, Star Spotlight, pop news, categories (weather, TV news sites, newspapers, science news, technology news)
  • Jokes: A different joke every day
  • Games: Play board games, word games, card games, and more
  • Ask Earl: Submit questions to have Earl answer them for you. Like Dear Abby, but for kids, Earl would answer a question every day of the week
  • Shout Out!: A weekly survey Yahooligans could fill out and check the results for
  • Messenger: A downloadable program, Yahooligans Messenger let you send instant texts to friends, voice chat, share files, and more
  • Club: Links to various Yahooligan services as well as daily trivia, This Day in History, the celebrity of the month, random links, fun pictures and sounds, etc.

Below the primary menu on Yahooligans was a search engine to quickly find things on the site, and below that even more resources for kids.

Visiting Yahooligans provided dozens of categories of web content that were organized into helpful sections to make finding websites really easy. You could ultimately find kid-appropriate pictures, music, screensavers, homework help, school subjects, references, career information, software, video games, and lots more.

There was even a whole page on Yahooligans that was dedicated to the week's top five coolest websites. Again, hand-selected by the staff, these were completely relevant for kids. One example page included Cookalotamus and NASA Visible Earth.

You can see what Yahooligans was like with this 2001 archive, or this 2013 version of Yahoo Kids, both provided by Wayback Machine.

Are There Yahooligans Alternatives?

Yahoo has never released an official alternative for Yahooligans or Yahoo Kids. However, there are lots of websites that can get you the same type of content, you just have to poke around at several to satisfy all that Yahooligans once provided.

Most kid-friendly resources available today can be served through mobile apps. If you're a parent, consider using a parental control app for your kids' smartphones.

Messaging Services for Kids

There are lots of ways for kids to communicate with their friends and family in a safe way. Here's a chat room for kids and alternative chat apps to Yahooligans Messenger:

Videos and Movies for Kids

Kid-friendly videos are important to be aware of because of all the adult content on the web. With Yahooligans no longer running, kids still have plenty of clean, safe video-watching alternatives:

Online Games for Kids

Yahooligans used to have a games arcade, selections like Scooby-Doo, and others. There are lots of other places to get free games for kids:

News for Kids

Yahooligans News included interviews and popular news, but there are plenty of other resources for news for kids:

  • Newsela: Kid-appropriate news in English and Spanish that can be filtered by low elementary school, upper elementary school, middle school, and high school.
  • DOGO News: Current events, world news, news about sports and the environment, and more.
  • Scholastic News: Magazine subscriptions for grades 1–6 that you can order to stay up to date on all kinds of news.