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YouTube is packed with great educational content, but the deep parts of YouTube can also get pretty weird. As a parent, you may not want to let your kids browse too freely. Luckily, YouTube recently released YouTube Kids.

YouTube Kids is a free mobile app, available for iOS and Android, which curates educational and entertainment content for kids and teens, while keeping out the scary stuff. You can catch the channels in your browser too.

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As YouTube Kid’s product manager Shimrit Ben-Yair puts it,

“[YouTube Kids is] the first Google product built from the ground up with the little ones in mind […] The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore.”

If you’re looking to get started with YouTube Kids, we’ve checked out the initial offerings (which will grow over time), and picked out five great educational channels to get started with, both for younger kids and tweens.

Whiz Kid Science

Whiz Kid Science is a channel that does a great job of capturing the spirit of elementary school science fair projects. The young spokesman does a great job of making the projects seem approachable, and the videos clearly break down what’s needed (mostly household items). The experiments are safe, engaging, and help to build an understanding of the natural world at a young age.

These videos are a great resource for bonding with your kids over fun projects, 3 Cool Science Experiments You Can Do At Home 3 Cool Science Experiments You Can Do At Home Read More as well as being a great resource for learning

Reading Rainbow

Many of us have fond memories of growing up with Reading Rainbow ourselves, back in the 80’s and 90’s. Now, Levar Burton is back, in partnership with YouTube, with a whole new set of bite-sized videos. Reading is still part of it, but the new Reading Rainbow comes with an increased focus on STEM topics 10 Best Channels for STEM Education on YouTube 10 Best Channels for STEM Education on YouTube STEM is not just an acronym but an idea that could help transform how our children are taught. These ten YouTube channels not only teach but also inspire to study STEM subjects better. Read More .

For young children with an interest in science and technology, this channel is a great way to cultivate that interest.

TED Ed

TED Talks are a great resource for keeping up with cutting edge science 5 Amazing TED Talks That Will Change How You Think About Medicine 5 Amazing TED Talks That Will Change How You Think About Medicine These five TED talks give us hints about cutting edge scientific research, and the quality of life that we might one day experience Read More and finding inspiration fuel 5 Fascinating & Inspiring TED Talks That Explore The Edge Of Technology 5 Fascinating & Inspiring TED Talks That Explore The Edge Of Technology Throughout history, humans have been absorbed by mastering the challenges of their time. Over the past century, developments have been moving forward in an evermore breathtaking speed. We call it modern technology and it has... Read More . Now from the creators of those talks, TED Ed presents brief lessons on a variety of topics, from mathematics to biology. The lessons come from guest lecturers from all over the world, who break down complex topics into short videos. Bright, friendly animations help to make the content engaging for young viewers with short attention spans, and can also help to entertain younger children, even if they don’t absorb all of it.

If you are a parent or teacher, TED Ed is one of the best resources for flipped lessons that are engaging and fun.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a fantastic resource, for kids and adults alike. We regularly feature it on our list of best learning websites The Best Websites on the Internet The Best Websites on the Internet An enormous list of the best websites on the Internet, in fourteen handy categories. These are considered to be the top-of-the-line sites that will get you what you need. Read More . It’s less colorful and attention-grabbing than TED Ed, but it also goes a lot farther. Khan Academy probably isn’t appropriate for kids under ten. That said, if you do the lessons in order, there are a lot of great resources here to give your tween or teen a head start in math, biology, physics, and even history, and the patient explanations in the videos are great if your kids are confused about concepts from their homework.

Khan Academy has its own free app for the iPhone and iPad. Check out some of their other download resources too.

Numberphile

Numberphile is a great channel – although, again, probably a little boring for younger children. Numberphile does a great job of making advanced concepts in mathematics fun and accessible, and breaking the subject down into YouTube videos a few seconds long.

For older kids with an interest in math Banish Your Number Phobia With a Bit of Everyday Math Banish Your Number Phobia With a Bit of Everyday Math We are all mathematicians. Even then we ask: what is the role of math in everyday life? It's time to dispel some of our numerical fears. Read More , this channel could cultivate a lifelong love of mathematics. Less of an outright curriculum like Khan Academy, Numberphile focuses instead on picking out interesting and engaging mathematical topics or factoids, to help show off the things that are cool about math if you invest the time to understand it.

For kids wondering why they’re struggling through algebra, just knowing that there’s cool stuff waiting for them down the road can help a lot.

Getting the Most Out of YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids comes with a fairly extensive suite of parental controls, and you’re going to want to use them. For starters, Youtube Kids by default plays chipper music and sound effects. These get old after about four seconds, and you’re going to want to turn them off right away (tap the ‘lock’ icon in the lower right hand corner to access parental controls). The app also allows you to set time limits on use, and disable the search function.

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Given the curated nature of the platform, disabling the search function is probably overkill. That said, if you’re really concerned about what your kids run across, do remember that the protections only work on one app. If you want to really kid-proof a mobile device, you’re going to want a more robust set of parental controls Symantec Offers Free Parental Controls For Android [News] Symantec Offers Free Parental Controls For Android [News] Read More .

What’s your experience with Youtube Kids? Did we miss a great channel? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: playing a game Via Shutterstock

  1. Fate Klein
    August 24, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Well these sites are really good learning channels.

    If your toddler loves only ana elsa and frozen I created a youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpQ17LY77usUULkdfEg0vg with family friendly content.

    subscribe to support.

    examples:

    https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=AEuZlv5UGRQ

  2. Arpit Kharbanda
    April 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Hey, Andre you missed EduNetworking, which is really an awe-inspiring channel. It covers almost all the subject and provides stupendous learning. Thanks.
    Channel URL: https://www.youtube.com/user/resopccpdivision

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