Category Archives: YouTube

The Problem with Letting Your Children Watch YouTube

There is no doubt that technology has changed the way we look after our children. Many parents use tablets, iPads, and mobile phones to keep their children occupied. It’s convenient, easy and it works. 

For many parents, gone are the days of humiliation and frustration caused from ‘those looks’ from others in the waiting room when their child talks too loud, runs around, makes high pitched noises, crying, screaming, and tantrums. It’s now quite common to see kids in waiting rooms sitting quietly with eyes transfixed on a hand held screen. 

YouTube is one of the most engaging places for children with an extremely large array of videos that are great for kids including pre school & early education videos, nursery rhymes, songs, cartoons, movies, even cooking tutorials for kids.

All this truly is wonderful but we can’t ignore that fact that there is a huge problem with kids using YouTube. Parents often forget that YouTube is an video sharing platform open to all with a tremendous number of videos that are most definitely not suitable for children. Some videos are even disguised as kids videos with ‘kid friendly’ titles and images.

Quick… Stop it! Close down, cover it up!

Imagine your child, while watching a video they notice a thumbnail image of that looks like fun. They tap to view and less than a minute of Peppa Pig dancing and singing it cuts to Peppa Pig being stabbed or cuts to an edit of inappropriate sexual behavior right before your child’s eyes. I’m sure that would horrify you sending shivers down your spine.

Allowing your child to use YouTube is risky even when you are looking over their shoulder at every moment. Unfortunately some parents have come across inappropriate content during direct supervision only to find it took too many seconds to prevent their child from seeing more. Sadly their child has already viewed enough to either become shocked, scared, or intrigued. As a responsible parent we just can’t take the risk.

Thankfully there are some great solutions.

There are apps that can be used specifically for kids that filter videos to ensure that inappropriate content doesn’t get in front of children. YouTube kids has been developed specifically for this purpose. If you let your child watch YouTube videos you should, at the very least use YouTube Kids which is available from the App Store and Google Play. The only issue with YouTube Kids is the videos are filtered by robots so some videos that we shouldn’t let our children view can get through.

Safe Vision is Safe!

Safe Vision is, as the name suggests, is safe. All videos and video channels are screened by humans not robots. Parents can also add videos and channels they know are safe. It’s the perfect solution to entertain with total peace of mind. 

You can install Safe Vision here…

Is YouTube Safe for Kids?

No, YouTube is not safe for kids to watch without close parent supervision. YouTube terms of service prohibit using YouTube website to children under 13 years old.

YouTube

It’s seems like from birth my kiddos have had a technological device in their hands. Intuitively they’ve known how to swipe, click, and select their favorite things on their favorite devices. I do limit the time my children are exposed to devices, but I’m also not one to say that technology is nothing but evil. I think there are some real positives to kids using technology and services like YouTube. Even though I impose limits to screen time and place restrictions on their technology use, I still wonder about what they are accessing on these devices.

Lately, I’ve started to become more concerned that maybe I need to be exploring better options for my kids. Their love of YouTube (and my love of many of its offerings for children) is a tough habit to break. I have more recently begun to wonder: Is YouTube okay for my kids? Can it be used in a positive way? How safe is YouTube for children?

Child with phone

The good side of YouTube

Occasionally, I’ll hear my toddler state a fact about a dinosaur that I’m pretty sure we’ve never taught him. Or even mention a dinosaur that I have never heard of before. When I follow up with him, he explains that he learned about it on YouTube. I search for that dinosaur, and there it is! He really did learn about it in a video.

When we have a rainy day and want to do something fun, YouTube will teach us many fun activities to try. For our first attempt at making slime, we watched a video together, and then we gave it a try. It was a huge success.

Sometimes I’m at the doctor’s office with my children, and they need to get shots. And they’re miserable. I’ll try distracting them with funny faces, hugs, and silly songs. Finally, I offer them the chance to watch Elmo on my phone. I search YouTube for Elmo, and there he is. My child hears his voice, sees his fuzzy red face, and relaxes a bit. The distraction is good. The calming effect is helpful, and all is right with the world.

YouTube obviously is a tool that has a positive side to it. But what are its downfalls?

The negatives of YouTube

When my kids click on YouTube videos, they might see animals in the wild or see their favorite characters singing a catchy tune. They might hear a character teaching a foreign language or introducing numbers and shapes. Wouldn’t it be great if these informative and appropriate videos were a guaranteed result?

Unfortunately, this isn’t always going to happen. I have overheard curse words coming out of YouTube videos when I have stepped away and a new video has loaded. I have seen scary and inappropriate pop-up ads for horror movies and other products geared toward adults. Additionally, I know there are a lot of crazy videos out there that I definitely do not want my kids viewing. There are disturbing videos with foul language, sex, violence, rudeness, bullying, and more.

This bad side to YouTube makes me want to sit next to my child and watch every single video with him for the rest of his life. But I realize that this is not a realistic expectation.

What should we do as parents?

Because YouTube does have many positive aspects, and because I believe that everything is good in moderation — even technology, I am not at a place in life where I want to ban YouTube from my house. On its own, there are many risks and areas that are unsafe on YouTube for children of all ages. However, I would say that YouTube is a safe place for children if restrictions and safe viewing programs are in place. With a little research, parents can find a safe viewing tool that can create a safe YouTube experience for their kiddos.

(All photos from unsplash.com.)

Kid-friendly YouTube Channels

YouTube has a lot of kid-friendly shows. However I strongly recommend using a filter to prevent access to inappropriate videos. Try Safe Vision app – it’s free and all channels below are available there.

Big Block Singsong

Big Block Singsong is a hilarious and thoughtful series of musical animations by director and animator, Warren Brown and composer and recording artist, Adam Goddard.

Many full episodes are available where colourful characters sing and perform.

Big Block Singsong YouTube channel


Little Charley Bear

Little Charley Bear is an enchanting CGI infant series about an imaginative and playful bear. Under the watchful eye of his friend, the Narrator, this adorable little bear uses his imagination to play and go on adventures where he discovers new things about himself and the world around him through active role play.

Aimed at young children aged up to four years, Little Charley Bear is a gently paced show that inspires creativity, discovery and imagination. It has the feel of a classic children’s television show but with advanced modern animation. Although Little Charley Bear doesn’t talk, he can clearly convey what he is thinking and feeling. The Narrator provides Little Charley Bear with helpful advice and guidance throughout the show. He is his mentor and trusted carer figure, however it is Little Charley Bear and his imagination that drives the story.

Little Charley Bear YouTube channel


Raa Raa the Noisy Lion

Raa Raa and his friends solve noisy mysteries, go on adventures and have lots of fun while mastering language and communication skills. Based in the Jingly Jangly Jungle, each episode follows Raa Raa and his wonderful gang of friends; Topsy the giraffe, Huffty the elephant, Crocky the crocodile, Zebby the Zebra and Ooo Ooo the cheeky little monkey. Each of Raa Raa’s noisy friends has a special communication talent to help the gang convey information and meaning and help Raa Raa solve the problem of the day.

Raa Raa the Noisy Lion official YouTube channel


The Little Grey Fergie

The little grey tractor with a secret – he’s alive!

Little Grey Fergie YouTube channel


Lassie

“Lassie” is an animated series that updates the classic story of the noble dog. Lassie now belongs to Ranger Graham and Dr. Sarah Parker’s family. Their 10 year old daughter Zoe, her best friend Harvey, and the fearless, faithful Lassie fill their days with adventure. From facing down a backcountry brush fire to reaching out to some of the characters who live in the park’s countless canyons, for Lassie and Zoe each day brings new, exciting and sometimes dangerous challenges.

Lassie YouTube channel


The Jungle Book

Join Mowgli and his friends Bagheera, Baloo and Kaa the Python, as they take on the evil Shere Khan who is out to get Mowgli. Set in the lush jungle of Seeonee, Central India, The Jungle Book explores how Mowgli lives and survives in the wild. Filled with wonderful adventures and valuable life lessons.

The Jungle Book YouTube channel


Bumba – the Little Clown

Bumba is a little mischievous but always cheerful clown. He performs in a circus full of sounds and colors. To help him, he can always count on his best friend Bumbalu.

Bumba YouTube channel


Maya the Bee

A young bee named Maya has left her hive to discover the beauty and mysteries of nature. As she explores the meadow where she lives, she meets other insects living there, plays to her heart’s content and shares her joy with her friends. Constantly amazed by her discoveries, Maya’s enthusiasm is contagious.

Maya the Bee YouTube channel


Olivia the Pig

Olivia is a little pig with a big personality and even bigger dreams. Whether she is at home with her family or at school with her friends, Olivia sees every day as an adventure. This 6 3/4 year-old dynamo has an extraordinary imagination and believes anything is possible – if you can dream it, you can achieve it! Confident, spirited and lovable, this precocious pig is an expert at making her voice heard, inspiring girls everywhere to think boldly and dream BIG.

Olivia the Pig Official YouTube channel


Peppa Pig

Peppa lives with her mummy and daddy and her little brother, George. Her adventures are fun, sometimes involve a few tears, but always end happily.

Peppa Pig – official YouTube channel


Hey Duggee

Duggee is a big friendly dog who runs The Squirrel Club – a place where kids take part in all kinds of activities, have adventures & earn activity badges along the way.

Hey Duggee official YouTube channel


Postman Pat

Each story features Postman Pat and his black and white cat Jess and their adventures in the village of Greendale. Pat is more than just a friendly postman delivering the mail, he is always ready to lend a willing hand to all the people he meets on his rounds.

Postman Pat official YouTube channel


Booba

Booba is cute and inquisitive, like a five-year-old kid. He explores the world without anger or resentment, only joy and wonder. He doesn’t talk, although he does make sounds to express his emotions.

Nobody knows where he came from, but he has obviously missed the last 100 years of human progress and explores modern locations with boundless energy and enthusiasm. His awkward movements, combined with a strong desire to learn more about the world around him, often have hilarious results!

Booba YouTube channel


Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom

Young fairy princess Holly and her best friend, Ben Elf, live in Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass grow above the tallest towers. Being a princess, Holly has magical powers, but her attempts at magic often go awry — but that is to be expected because even her fairy teacher, Nanny Plum, sometimes has spells that don’t go as planned. Thankfully, Ben is there to help when things don’t go right for Holly; although he doesn’t possess special abilities, he is extremely handy. Together, Holly and Ben go on adventures with their friends, including Gaston the Ladybird, and work together to fix magical mistakes.

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom official YouTube channel


Fireman Sam

Fireman Sam is a British animated comedy children’s series about a fireman called Sam, his fellow firefighters, and other residents in the fictional Welsh rural village of Pontypandy.

Fireman Sam YouTube channel