This is a suggestion from your librarian who searches the Internet in Japanese every single day. Google is like a friend that needs special handling. Just using google.co.jp is still going to pull up Chinese entries. You can use the advanced feature in google.com to limit to Japanese language or change your settings for general searches.
But - you can also use Japanese search engines and eliminate all that hassle. There are 2 that I use frequently.
Yahoo! Japan offers many features like searching within domestic news, or 知恵袋 (chiebukuro) where people ask and answer questions. You can see what topics are trending in Japan and read fairly brief conversational Japanese text related to topics of your interest. There is even a kids page (look at the top line for きっず版 if you are specifically looking for websites aimed at kids.
I do think that I like Goo best of all though. It is a play on words - Goo (for good) and also short for Google:) Offers pretty much the same features as Yahoo! Japan, but I will say that I love the dictionary options the most. The equivalent to 知恵袋 is 教えて！goo You can check and see if anyone has asked similar questions to the ones you are forming in Japanese. It will help you with grammar and there may well be good links there for you to read. Also, take a look at the rankings to see what manga or entertainers are popular in Japan.