Who says YouTube can't be fun and educational 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 you could possibly do 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.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
There are a few things that 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!
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!
Look, if you’re serious about making full use of your kid’s time by teaching them about the alphabet, counting to 10, the four seasons and other skills (think logical thinking and mathematics), then you’ll want to make sure Appu Series is your go-to YouTube channel. It’s even got a great collection of short stories for kids and songs just for the festivities – from Diwali and Dia De Los Muertos, to Rosh Hashanah and Eid Mubarak.
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 its informational videos are easy to understand.
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!
Turn your tot into a skilful multi-linguist with Little Pim! The kiddos will enjoy its clear, instructional videos to help them pick up Spanish, Mandarin and French. They’re also great for adults to learn too, so you can converse with your kid and learn a language together. A win-win for both parents and child.
FOR THE PRIMARY SCHOOLERS
There’s no better way to get your young ones exposed to the wonderful world of science than with Science Channel’s Mythbusters Jr.! A lot has changed since it first aired on the Discovery Channel, but it’s still totally worth a watch. Not to mention, the episodes are hosted by kids who run their science experiments and tackle questions that would make your child think. Definitely edutainment at its best! Plus, the videos are short, sweet and get straight to the point.
5-Minute Crafts Kids
More crafts? Yup, that’s right. Plus, these crafts are really easy to make and follow because they only take five minutes to assemble and complete. 5-Minute Crafts Kids 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!
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!
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 that teach kids the various ways to reuse plastic waste.
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 explanations of long, complicated histories from the Mongol Empire and why you should read certain books. It’s edutainment at its best!
FOR THE TWEENS
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you need more recommendations…
(No) thanks to the worldwide pandemic, many parents are having to homeschool their kids and are hard-pressed for finding 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 [email protected] 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. [email protected] 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!