Who says YouTube can't be fun and informative at the same time? We've got your YouTube edutainment covered right here.
Alright, ‘fess up, parents: even though you might’ve told yourself before the kids came that you were never going to let them spend most of their time on an iPad or in front of the telly, sometimes it just can’t be helped. Especially times like now when the world is battling an ongoing pandemic…
With the current need for social distancing, we’re spending a lot of time at home right now. And, thankfully, we’ve got a great list of indoor activities to keep everyone busy and some fun exercises to do with the kiddos at home. But what if you’re working from home and you need to keep the kids entertained while you work away? Well, sometimes it’s much easier to parent by letting the kiddos watch YouTube videos instead. Well, if they’re watching YouTube, better to let them watch something educational too, right? You’re in the right place, ’cause we’ve got just the recommendations for you – check out these cool YouTube channels just for kids.
25 OF THE BEST EDUCATIONAL YOUTUBE CHANNELS FOR KIDS
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
1. Sesame Street
A few things withstand the test of time, and, thankfully, Sesame Street is one of them. Not only is it educational, but it transcends cultures, too – we’re clearly massive fans! Who wouldn’t have fun counting with The Count, learning the alphabet with Elmo and his friends, and being silly about cookies with Cookie Monster? Sesame Street also has catchy songs to boot, too! The best part – there are countless short educational videos and full episodes on its channel, so you’ll never run out of them.
Oh, and if you’re looking to improve the kid’s skills in Mandarin, be sure to check out Fun Fun Elmo, too! Kids will get to learn simple phrases and words in Mandarin with the guidance of Elmo and his friends. It’s cute, educational and teaches the kids Mandarin… perfect!
2. The Wiggles
Let popular Aussie act, The Wiggles, teach your kids important life skills about handwashing, the importance of wearing your seat belts in the car and plenty more through song and dance on their YouTube channel. Plus, they’ve got a great selection of the classic nursery rhymes to sing along to and some new ones for the little munchkins to learn. Plus, your little tots can listen to whimsical wiggly tales and stories, learn the differences between each musical instrument, and aspiring ballerinas can pick up the basics of ballet with the Wiggly instructor, Emma, too!
3. Super Simple
Super Simple is just that – super simple for the littlies to access and super engaging! There’s loads of nursery rhyme classics and seriously catchy new songs to enjoy (warning: you will be singing them long after the TV is switched off). Super Simple also gets tots moving with dance-along songs – perfect for mastering coordination and burning energy! Also, don’t miss out on their fab turn and learn letter videos for Phonics!
4. Yo Gabba Gabba
Get ready for tons of cute butt wigglin’ from the kiddos as they dance to tunes by DJ Lance Rock and his quirky friends Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee in Yo Gabba Gabba! What’s so great? Yo Gabba Gabba advocates healthy eating – we certainly hope it teaches the kids to eat healthier during meal times. It also has daily episodes that teach kids about space, the weather, dinosaurs and plenty of other exciting that will engage your kids in some educational learning.
Dogs go ‘woof’, cats go ‘meow’, and pigs go ‘oink’, but what do owls sound like? Get your little one practising their phonics with fun videos from KidsTV123. The little ones can also learn the days of the week and months of the year through song and even the planets in the Solar System (RIP, Pluto!). And sure, the videos might seem rudimentary compared to other YouTube channels, but these informational videos are super easy to understand.
6. Toddler Fun Learning
If your little ones are obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, trucks, tractors and all things four-wheeled, you’ll want to get them to watch Toddler Fun Learning. This YouTube channel uses automobiles to teach kids about shapes, numbers and the alphabets that will help them reach their developmental milestones. Plus, it’ll make big words like ‘chimney’ and ‘carriage’ easy to grasp through its simple, colourful videos!
7. Little Baby Bum
An all-around baby and toddler pleaser, Little Baby Bum has all the classic nursery rhymes and more! Learn colours, shapes, numbers and the alphabet with the help of these colourful cartoons. Better still, Little Baby Bum is also available in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Polish, German, French, Chinese and Japanese – so plenty of options for helping your tot turn into a skilful multi-linguist!
FOR THE PRESCHOOLERS
8. Bounce Patrol
Another Australian import that’s great for Phonics is Bounce Patrol. Join Jacinta, Will, Jackson, Alyssa and Rachel as they dance their way through the alphabet. They’ve got catchy tunes for all the letters, and sound them out in a fun and engaging way, which kids are sure to catch onto quickly. Psst. There are also plenty of nursery rhymes and other songs to check out on this channel too!
9. Little Fox Chinese
If you’re looking for ways to make learning Chinese fun, then check out Little Fox’s l Chinese language channel. It’s full of educational animated stories and songs for kids that will help build vocabulary and fluency without them even knowing they are learning – winner!
10. Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel
Yes, he might remind you of your Dad with the outfits and Dad dancing, but for some reason, that’s part of the charm. And with over two million subscribers, we’re pretty sure Jack Hartmann is doing something right. He goes down a storm with kids who are looking to tackle phonics. And has loads of dances and easy games for kids to follow that are super fun AND really educational. Good luck not tapping your feet in the background.
11. The Singing Walrus
If you’re looking for a focus on letter formation, then these easy to follow tutorials from The Singing Walrus are the perfect place to start. Grab yourself a whiteboard and markers, and then the kids can copy the step by step guide to each letter. Also, be sure to check out their find the letter videos, which are a great (and fun) way to get kids familiar with their letters.
If your kids haven’t met Blippi yet, then it’s only a matter of time. You wouldn’t miss him if you passed him on the street, put it that way. With luminous orange glasses and matching braces, it’s no wonder he’s a hit with the kids. Blippi is all about exploring the world and asking questions from how does a recycling truck work to what does a baker do? So there’s loads of learning fun to be had (if you can see past the outfit!).
FOR THE PRIMARY SCHOOLERS
13. SciShow Kids
Sometimes, kids ask the toughest questions… And if you don’t know how to answer them, not to worry – just get them to watch SciShow Kids! Explore the ‘why’ to curious topics like ‘why do we sweat’, ‘why rollercoasters are awesome’ and plenty of other inquisitive questions your young ‘uns might ask. Plus, these videos do a fantastic job of explaining complicated scientific concepts into bite-sized, understandable information for young, curious minds. Definitely a great watch!
14. Cosmic Kids Yoga
After a workout to burn off energy? Then Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great one to have on your list! Teaching kids the basics of yoga through easy exercises, kids can embark on imaginative adventures that feature Frozen-themed backdrops, safari treks, and more! You might even want to join in too! Psst. Check out our other fave family workouts here!
15. 5-Minute Crafts Kids
More crafts? Yup, that’s right. These crafts are really easy to make and follow because they only take five minutes to assemble and complete. 5-Minute Crafts PLAY has plenty of easy-to-follow instructional craft videos that are great for kids. Plus, it’s a great way to learn new craft ideas and bond with your kid through a fun, hands-on activity! Psst. There’s also plenty of parenting hacks to check out too!
16. Nat Geo Kids
You know you’re getting quality content with Nat Geo Kids! There are ‘weird but true’ shorts about animals, hour-long videos of safari animals caught on camera each week, and other weird, wacky and wild vids that make it fun for kids to explore the world and the inhabitants that live in it – including us! Our favourite? Its easy-to-follow instructional videos teach kids the various ways to reuse plastic waste.
17. Crash Course Kids
Crash Course Kids is presented by Sabrina Cruz, who makes all things Science seem accessible and fun (even for us parents!). The videos cover everything from the solar system to chemical reactions, so you’re sure to find something that aligns with your kid’s syllabus or just something that they find interesting!
FOR THE TWEENS AND ABOVE
18. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
As the name suggests, Smart Girls is the brainchild of Amy Poehler and pal Meredith Walker and features a whole host of topics. There’s everything from crafting tutorials to interviews with inspiring women across a range of careers. Heck, there’s even manner tutorials! We think this is sure to be a hit with any Amy fans!
An extension of the organisation that broadcasts talks from expert speakers around the world, TED-Ed is a great YouTube channel for getting your kids inspired and learning lessons through engaging animated clips that cover a wide variety of topics. These short, five-minute videos break down complex science topics like Hawking’s black hole paradox and editing DNA with CRISPR to explain long, complicated histories from the Mongol Empire and why you should read certain books. It’s edutainment at its best!
If you’re looking for quirky content, this is it. Vsauce answers tough questions on philosophy, mathematics and science, to gaming, technology and pop culture, and everything else in between. Each video is presented by its creator, Michael Stevens, in a logical and straightforward approach. The topics that the channel delves into are pretty interesting – enough to draw you in, too.
21. All Time 10s
Does your tween love fun facts? If so, they’ll want to watch All Time 10s – it provides the coolest, most fascinating and engaging videos for your kids to gain street cred and impress their teachers, one awesome fact at a time. From “10 disasters waiting to happen” to “10 kids who saved their parents’ lives”, your kid will be the most informative tween there is.
22. Nautilus Live
We’re just going to come out and say this: this channel has the most fascinating videos of sea creatures on the Internet. And, you might’ve heard of it before – remember the video of scientists adorably freaking out in excitement over a googly-eyed stubby squid off the coast of California in 2016? Well, now the tweens can follow along with these scientists on Nautilus Live as they explore the ocean on the exploration vessel (E/V) Nautilus, as they seek out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics and chemistry. The kiddos can expect to see cute dumbo octopuses, sixgill sharks and other pelagic marine animals in their natural habitats. Cool!
Calling all astronauts! Follow along with the National Aeronautics and Space Exploration (NASA) and its astronauts as they explore space and cover all things space-related. Delve into its series on #AskNASA, where scientists answer questions on what the moon is made out of (no, unfortunately, it’s not made of cheese), and EZScience, where kids can learn how state-of-the-art equipment can help humankind search for habitable planets in and beyond our universe.
24. BBC Earth Unplugged
If the tweens can’t get enough of the BBC documentaries of animals in the wild, or the different cultures and traditions of people around the world, then pop on BBC Earth Unplugged and watch short films on the incredible world we live in. It’s also truly fascinating to explore and learn the behaviours of animals in their natural habitats up close and personal. This is the YouTube educational content we’re looking for!
25. It’s Okay to be Smart
Another great one for answering questions! Joe Hanson is your man for tackling all of the weird and wonderful questions out there. With a PhD to his name, it is fair to say he’s pretty clued up too. From how an igloo keeps you warm, to are we all related?! Everything is covered!
If you need more recommendations on YouTube channels for kids…
(No) thanks to the worldwide pandemic, many parents have to homeschool their kids and are hard-pressed to find ideas. But, Google and YouTube have partnered up to create Teach from Home, an online resource for teachers and parents with information and tools to help educate their kids at home. In particular, YouTube’s Learn@Home platform has tons of learning channels for all kids regardless of age – from preschoolers and kindergarteners to tweens and teens, too. For example, the little ones can learn a new language thanks to Duolingo, improve their understanding of maths and science or even learn about world history. Learn@Home even has fun DIY and indoor activities for the kiddos to pick out and a wealth of other suggestions if you need more recommendations. Definitely handy for the days to come!