Everyone loves YouTube! From makeup-tutorials, to reruns of your favourite sitcoms, to videos on how to fix your doorknob, you can find almost everything on the medium with just a single click. Realising that YouTube is also the home for multitude of educational contents suitable for children, today, many parents are turning to it to keep their little ones occupied. Surely there have been some criticisms against the action of exposing children to digital media at a young age, but with adult supervision and with the exposure in moderation, our little ones can learn so many things from YouTube.
Not quite sure what YouTube channels might be good for your children, though? Fret not! Here we have compiled 8 educational channels that will surely benefit your kids!
This classic just had to be the first one on the list. Can you believe that it has actually been around since 1969? That is even older than some of us! Generally, the show is very versatile – it is a combination of live action, sketch comedy, animation, puppetry and they even invite actors and musicians like Mark Ruffalo and Jason Derulo as their cameos. The contents covered vary from learning the alphabets, understanding the concept of empathy to discussing disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
The fact that the show includes real life scenarios and produce contents catering to the viewers’ behavior, showing how much effort is being put into developing the curriculum for the show. The muppet gang – Bird Bird, Elmo, Cookie, Bert & Ernie and Oscar, will surely entertain your children with their antics.
2) Pink Fong!
‘Baby Shark, do do do do do.. Baby Shark, do do do do do..’ Such a catchy song! This song was created even before before 2010 but the popular version that we have been listening to is popularised by the Pink Fong channel. In fact, as of August 2018 Pink Fong’s version of the song has been played for more than 1.6 billion times on YouTube. Interestingly, the channel also present its songs in multiple languages like Japanese, Korean, English and Spanish. Just imagine your little ones singing their favourite song in a language that is not of their mother tongue, how cool is that? It is said that they will be producing some live action puppets and long-form CGI animation series based on the character, Pink Fong, so that is something to look forward to.
There are some good reasons as to why this channel is subscribed by 4.9 million people and won numerous accolades for ‘Nursery Rhymes Videos for Early Literacy’ – they give traditional nursery rhymes a breath of fresh air, their lessons are interactive and the actions used by the characters really reinforce the concepts that they are teaching their viewers. You can also see that the actors enunciate their words properly, and such emphasis are often said to aid children’s early language development. That’s definitely a plus point for your little ones. Through this channel, be prepared to be introduced to six recurring colourful characters namely Jack B.Nimble, Eep the Mouse, Little Bo Peep, Teddy Bear, Mary Quite Contrary, and Baa Baa Sheep. Funny names they had, but don’t be be surprised when your children begs to see Eep and Baa Baa, because they really are cute.
So you were thinking of spending some time on the weekends to do some arts and craft with your child. But here’s the problem : Firstly, you are nowhere near creative. Secondly, you don’t really want to spend that much on a craft that your child might demolish or forget in the next two weeks. If you are facing those problems, then this channel should be your saviour. Most of the arts presented on this channel doesn’t take long to complete, they are relatively easy (as the name of the channel suggests) and they don’t require that much material. The views are relatively lower to the rest of the suggested channels but the quality certainly deserves a thumbs up.
Art for Kids Hub is different from the previous one because it focuses on teaching kids (and adults) on how to draw. In this art channel, you will be joining Rob and his wife, Teryn, with their four kids as they do their fun drawing lessons together. If you once had a nightmare because your son requested that you draw him a Black Panther from Wakanda when you are only an expert on drawing stick figures, through this channel now you can draw it together with him. It would be fun to see who is better at drawing.
WordWorld channel is perfect for children from 3-5 years old who are just learning on how to read because it focuses on the relationships between letters, sounds, words and meaning that are necessary for reading. Throughout the series, you and your little ones will embark on a mission that can only be solved if you can find the right word. And to get to the word, you will need to bring the letters together by singing the ‘Build a Word’ song. It’s fun, it’s different and it is surely something that you can customise to cater to a new word that you are teaching your children.
One of the viewing tip for this channel is to watch the series with together your child. By asking them questions on what might happen next you are testing their comprehension skill. By being with them, you can also correct them if they got anything wrong. Correction is how the little ones learn.
Okay, these two YouTube channels are put together because they are very similar in nature : they mostly review toys, they do some experiments and challenges, and ultimately, these two are very popular. In one sense, this type of channel is educational because it teaches kids to express their opinions about something – their likes and dislikes and what are the reasons behind it. And as subtle as it may seem, the ability to do this in real life typically help to boost a child’s confidence and hone their linguistic skills.
There are also some fun challenges that you can emulate with your little ones like Evan’s Pizza Challenge or Ryan’s Pancake Art Challenge. Despite these, there are some parents who are not very fond of this sort of channels as it feels like they are exposing their children to the world of consumerism too early. And as a parent, it is totally fine to feel that way. Give it a go, and if you feel that this is not what you want your children, then there are more of other options to explore.
To be on the safe side…
Kids being kids, exploring is their second nature. And.. sometimes they can accidentally venture into the world of the ‘18+’ as they would usually just click on whatever that looks visually appealing or interesting to them. As a precaution, do activate parental control feature that filters the video content your on child’s device so you can save yourself from explaining the intricacy of adulthood before the time is due. In case you are not sure of how to do so, follow these steps to change into Safety Mode :
- Launch YouTube on your browser window.
- Click the blue ‘Sign In’ button on the top right corner of the screen and follow the prompts to sign in. Once YouTube loads, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the Safety button.
- Click ‘On’ and then click the ‘Save’ button. To lock these changes so no one can change them without your password, click “Lock safety mode on this browser.” You’ll be prompted to enter your password. Once that information is entered, the feature is locked and can only be unlocked by entering your password again.
- You can try checking if the parental control has been activated by doing a search. If you see the phrase “Some results have been removed because Safety mode is enabled”, it means that you have successfully done your part as a good adult.
Editor’s note : Other than on YouTube, you can also activate SafeSearch in Google – again, it helps to filter inappropriate content by blocking the search result. Just go to Google’s Search filters and under the ‘SafeSearch filter’, you can check the box next to ‘Turn on SafeSearch’. And don’t forget to save the changes made!
Parenting in the Digital Age
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