Okay, so I was totally the mom who was NEVER going to allow her kid on YouTube. I mean, you’ve read about the people who think it’s entertaining to sneak in violent and inappropriate images into YouTube videos for children, right?! And what is up with all of those videos where kids just watch other kids play games and unbox little tiny toys?
However, despite all of my best efforts, I am now a mom who allows her kid on YouTube.
How does this even happen?
Well, I have to make dinner. I have to get work done. Things happen and we find ourselves stuck in terrible traffic or doing extra boring errands. I have several excellent apps on my phone, but somehow, we sometimes end up on YouTube.
As much as I dislike YouTube (and there is a lot to dislike), there is actually some quality programming available.
Here are some of our favorite YouTube programs.
First, technical stuff you should know about.
- On YouTube, you can change the setting of what you see to “Restricted Mode.” However, it is not really that easy to find and it is not a default setting. If your child is ever left unsupervised with a device, make sure this setting is on. You need to change it on each device your child uses.
- YouTube Kids is a great option. You can control just about everything on there, but you still have to be very careful. Please realize that your child is much, much smarter than you are when it comes to technology. They will figure out a way to get to what they want to see.
Children’s YouTube Channels
Cocomelon is an endless collection of nursery rhymes and other classic kid songs. My little person is transfixed by Cocomelon and watches it just about every evening while I am cleaning up from dinner. Nursery rhymes are excellent for children to learn rhyming words, fluency, voice – and they are silly.
This channel is a collection of educational videos created by Mr. DeMaio. In each video, Mr. DeMaio teaches an assortment of things ranging from multiplication to the planets in our solar system. Good for preschoolers and older kids too.
Educational videos for preschool kids, featuring a super cute dog. There are videos about colors, shapes, and other concepts.
As I understand it, CBeebies is the UK’s version of PBS. This YouTube channel is aimed at adults watching with children and offers a safe environment. The CBeebies content is readily accessible with no inappropriate links or advertisements.
Some folks cannot stand Blippi, but we enjoy his videos and love the field trip aspect of the series.
There are many YouTube channels for things your kids already love. For example, my little person loves Peppa Pig and there is an official YouTube channel FULL of Peppa videos.
When searching for favorite characters, make sure you are showing your child OFFICIAL channels. Sometimes, you will know it is “official” because of the checkmark next to the channel name. Other times, you just have to read the descriptions and take a look at the page itself. It’s usually pretty obvious if what you are watching is official or not.
Kids Learning Videos is dedicated to making fun and educational videos for children and toddlers. You’ll find videos about animals, and concepts like shapes, opposites, etc.
This channel features easy to follow crafts and ideas for all age groups from the Red Ted Art website. The crafts are designed to be made from everyday items, so they are easier to make.
Want to be active and have fun? Check out GoNoodle. Chances are your kid is already aware of GoNoodle (if they are school-age). Many teachers use this YouTube channel for movement breaks and rainy day recess activities. It’s great for home too.
OK Go! is a band that creates innovative music videos. The music and videos are fun to watch and your kid is sure to enjoy them (and you will enjoy the music too – much better than listening to nursery rhymes over and over and over…even thought that’s important too!)
Want more suggestions? Check out Common Sense Media. This site has a whole guide about YouTube channels available to you.
While it’s fun to let our kids enjoy YouTube, we should also monitor how much screen time they are getting. We don’t want them staring at a screen for long periods of time, right? Make them go outside. Get off of your screen and grab a book or bake some cookies together.