As much as we would like to keep our children away from technology and screens for as long as possible, it is a feat that seems unreachable in today’s world. We can limit it to a certain amount of time a day or a week, but they are always going to be surrounded by it. Instead of worrying and fretting, parents are now learning to lean into the skid.
If parents learn safe practices when it comes to screen time and appropriate content, technology can be a parent’s best friend when it comes to raising a child, and for two reasons. The first reason is that while it may not be ideal, screens are amazing at occupying little ones for a period of time. This means that mom can go to the bathroom, make a quick meal or even do a load of laundry without having a clingy toddler on their leg.
If a mom knows where to look, she can find a world of educational content for her children to watch. TV shows and web series can really help expose a child to words, numbers and nursery rhymes. So, where should she start looking? YouTube is always the first place we go to when it comes to finding short videos that will occupy our little ones for just a few minutes.
While the internet can be a wonderful place, it is also full of danger. There are thousands of videos out there that have content that is not appropriate for children. Even worse, are the channels that are disguised as appropriate for children, but they really are not. How is a parent to know? Well, we have found the 20 best YouTube channels for kids that will take all the guess work out of which shows to put on for children.
20 Mother Goose Club
Mother Goose is iconic when it comes to children and nursery rhymes. It is a classic and parents always feel sae when Mother Goose is on the case. It would be safe to assume that one of the best YouTube channels for children would be the Mother Goose Club.
It is ranked as the official YouTube channel for any and everything Mother Goose.
It has been chosen by a lot of parents and even teachers as a wonderful channel that keeps children and toddlers engaged and happy.
The best YouTube channels are going to involve two main things; fun and learning. If children are watching any amount of screen time it should be something educational. Something that should either teach them the alphabet or an important life lesson. This channel features 6 colourful characters that sing and dance along to classic Mother Goose rhymes and it encourages kids to dance, sing and clap with the music. There is a lot of variety in the times of the videos. Parents can choose from either a 3-minute video to ones that are an hour long. The channel uploads new videos 1-2 times a week and has a total history of 345 videos to choose from already.
If we look at this logically, a lot of the younger viewers on YouTube are older children. Infants and toddlers do not spend much more than a few minutes a day watching TV, because they are too busy exploring the new world around them. The age range for watching a substantial amount of YouTube is more likely to start around 4 and 5 years of age. Their interests have changed, and they are starting to use the more creative side of their brain, so they are looking for creative programs.
Enter our next channel, SimpleKidsCraft.
This is a fun way for children to get creative at home using materials that they are easily found around the house.
Fun and ecologically friendly as there is less waste and less planning for mom. The projects are shown through their videos and are very simple to follow. It is also a great channel for parents and teachers because it really teaches them to think outside the box when it comes to being creative. The best part is that the are so very simple, but fun. There are more than 936 videos to choose from, and they continue to upload 2-3 videos a week.
18 Sesame Street
Nothing is more trusted in this world than good old Sesame Street. Sesame Street has been on the air for about 40 years and it continues to be one of the most kid-friendly TV shows for little kids. This would mean that their YouTube channel would be just as safe, and it is. Sesame Street has always been great because it teaches kids and toddlers very basic subjects. It is the perfect amount of learning and silliness.
The YouTube channel differs from the TV show in terms of its programming but is equally as special. The channel features videos that are known as “shorts” or “collections”.
All this means is that they are shorter shows. The videos are on a wide range of topics and there is bound to be something for everyone. There is a certain convenience in having our favourite programs available on YouTube, it means that we can tune into our favourite shows at all times and wherever we are as long as there is internet connection. The channel has over 2, 012 videos in its history to browse through and they upload 1 new video every 2 days. They are very short in length, running from about 1 – 12 minutes.
17 PBS Kids
If you thought Mother Goose and Sesame Street were safe, then anything to do with PBS is bound to be the safest of them all. PBS Kids is a popular YouTube channel that uploads many different types of videos so there is something for everyone! An example of their content would be episodes of “Curious George” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” If you are a 90’s mom like me, these shows will bring back memories for you as well. The content is always wholesome which means that it is always the favourite of moms and dads alike.
The channel has stated multiple times that it aims to make a big impression on the education and the lives of its viewers through the videos they post.
There are currently around 569 videos to choose from on the channel and they continue to upload 3-4 videos a week! The videos are always short, averaging at about 1-3 minutes. So, they are great for when you just need those few minutes of peace. If you need longer, you can always find a playlist on their YouTube page and your little one can enjoy episode after episode of wholesome, family content.
16 Yo Gabba Gabba!
Yo Gabba Gabba is one of those shows that seems odd when you first start watching it, but it quickly captures the attention and hearts of little ones everywhere. Yo Gabba Gabba is actually a well-known TV s how but it has made the move to YouTube has well because they understand how prevalent technology is in today’s world and want to be accessible to everyone at all times. The show features a handful of loveable furry mascots.
There is Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee and they all help kids get up and dance and sing to the beat of the songs they sing.
What makes it even better is that they are also appealing to an adult audience as they frequently have special guests that only a parent would recognize.
These cameos can either be a famous rock star or another celebrity that pop in to help spread some knowledge. They have a library of about 289 videos on YouTube, but they upload at a slower rate than the other channels. They only upload 3-4 videos every other month. Their videos are short and simple and focus on teaching children about music and helping them develop their motor skills through movement.
15 The Houston Zoo
There are so many new topics for children to learn about. When they are young parents focus on the alphabet and counting to five. As children get older, we want to introduce them to more complex themes and they are just as curious about them. An interest and love for animals comes very early in a child’s development. They want to learn all they can about our furry and feathery friends, so we need a YouTube channel for that.
The Houston Zoo is a wonderful kid-friendly channel that helps children discover the animals of our world from behind the safety of a glass screen. The kids will observe different creatures play, leap and eat. They will also learn about nature and how to take care of animals.
If you have a future zoologist in your family, this is the best show for them.
It is considered a science channel, and your little one is bound to be hooked the moment they watch, and it won’t be long until you are planning a family trip to your local zoo. They upload frequently, about 1 new video a week. While you are waiting there are 458 older videos to choose from.
14 The Muppets Studio
If you are the type of parent that tends to get annoyed at the normal children’s shows (and who isn't sometimes), then this is definitely the YouTube channel for you.
The Muppets have always been a crowd pleaser and it does not seem to matter how old you are, there is always something to love.
Just a fair warning that this channel is not as educational as some of the others, but it is a lot of fun and will grab your child’s attention and hold on.
It won’t take long until your little one falls in love with Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog and The Animal as they watch them get into all sorts of trouble as well as sing songs that will have your children up and moving. Anything that involves music is always educational because it gets children moving. In a time where we are increasingly concerned about the health and activity levels in children, anything that gets them to exercise is considered a good idea. The videos are very short, ranging from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. They upload 1-2 videos every week and they have a library of 179 videos to choose from.
13 The Brain Scoop
Anything with the word brain in the title must mean that it is wholesome and educational, right? You would think so, but the internet world is a dark and mysterious place, so you can’t be too sure. Thank goodness there are lists like these, because the YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop, is 100% appropriate and great for children. It is hosted by Emily Graslie, who is the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago.
She takes kids behind the scenes of the natural history museum and gives them an inside glimpse into the animal prep lab, demonstrations about earth sciences and a lot of other educational videos about animal behaviour.
This channel is more appropriate for older children and because of the nature of its content, there are some videos that have a “viewer’s discretion” so that they can be easily screened by parents. The channel has more than 135 videos in its vault to choose from, and they add to it with 2 new videos every month. If you have a budding zoologist or veterinarian in your family this is going to be the perfect channel for your little one, and you may enjoy it as well.
Sometimes it is OK if we want our children to watch something that is not exactly educational. They don’t always have to be learning. If they are not learning, though, we want them to watch something that makes them feel good and that is entertaining. SoulPancake is one of the best channels out there for this. They have videos that will make you laugh and cry (in a good way). This is considered a learning channel and some of the shows they feature are “Kid President” and “Art Attack.” You may remember Art Attack from when you were younger, and I would binge watch that at my age.
The whole aim of the channel is to bring some positivity and love into the world, and the world needs more of that now more than ever.
It also teaches children think independently and encourages them to want to learn more. This is one of the channels on YouTube that is not only popular with the kids, but the adults too as they also tune in to watch. There is also no shortage of videos to choose from, there are more than 723 videos currently on the channel, and they add 3-4 new videos every single week.
11 Word World PBS
Here we have another video with PBS in the title, and that tells us that it must be good. This channel is not active at the moment, but there are a ton of videos still there to choose from. One of the best moments as a parent is when we hear our baby’s first word. It isn’t long until we want them to start talking and saying as many words as they can. We are all busy parents, so we do not always have all the time to sit with them and encourage them to speak. There is no shame in that, and that is why it is such a great thing that these channels exist.
This channel is specifically geared to parents of young children who are just learning to talk, and it explores spelling and word familiarization.
According to the channel, children learn quicker when they are watching animated version of words instead of just a blank spelled out word on a screen. That is exactly how Word World PBS works. The words are colourful and engaging, making children more interested in what is going on. There are currently only 20 videos on their channel, and they have not uploaded anything new in the last 2 years but check them out!
10 National Geographic Kids
National Geographic has always been known for educating the world. It is a great source of knowledge and one can learn many things when they tune it to a television program or flip through one of their magazines collections. It was only a matter of time until they geared their programming to attract a younger audience as well. Children naturally love to learn, it's what makes them so captivating and leads to educated adults. They are soaking up the entire world around them. National Geographic has a Kids magazine, and they also have a YouTube Channel, National Geographic Kids.
The channel is all about nature, modern technology and so much more. It inspires children to learn, grow and ask questions when they want to learn how something works.
They cover a whole range of topics including wild animals, household pets, and even how things are made! Unlike other scientific channels, there are no videos that have a viewer discretion, so there are no need for parents to worry if their little one tunes in to this channel. Their channel history has about 208 videos, and they upload 4 videos every week, so no child will ever get bored because there is always something new to learn about.
9 Busy Beavers
One of the best skills we have as humans is the ability to speak and communicate with other people. It is one of the most important skills to teach our children. There are a lot of channels and videos out there that claim to assist your child learn the English language, but we have found the best! Busy Beavers is a great YouTube channel that can help your children learn English better and faster. It is always frustrating when a parent is trying to help their child, but they don’t know what they want. With this channel, this frustration may end a lot quicker.
Channels like this are also wonderful for children who live in a home where English is not the first language.
It is great in helping them develop a familiarization with the English language and can help them learn. The reason this channel works so well is because they teach using song and animation. Nursery rhymes and other sing-songs are wonderful ways to get your children speaking, that’s a fact. The better news is that this is one of the biggest YouTube channels available, with more than 562 videos already available to watch, and they add 2 more videos every week.
While we are on the topic of music, we should introduce HooplaKidz. Babies and children love music, it is a universal language, and everyone always has more fun when music is playing. What can make it even better is when it is paired with animated, singing food! A fun, engaging, and unique combination. HooplaKidz is a channel that features some great animated characters singing and dancing to original nursery rhymes. It has kept children occupied for hours, so it is perfect if you need to get some spring cleaning done.
The channel follows characters Annie, Ben and Mango as they go on adventures to meet all kinds of different people and animals. Of course, they are singing and dancing all the way there.
It encourages children to get more interactive, and it won’t be long before your little ones are dancing all around the living room trying to keep up with the colourful gang.
They have more than 382 videos in their history to choose from, and they add 2 new videos every week. Another great thing is that their videos range from 2 – 45 minutes, so there is something in there for every mom and every schedule.
I tend to get worried about anything that has physics in the title, but this is a great channel for the older, future scientist in your life. It is an educational YouTube channel that is meant for older children who are showing an interest in the way things of our world work. It is not too complicated, it stays pretty basic because it is geared to children after all. The channel adds videos frequently that are funny, smart and full of animated clips that are easy for young children to understand. Mom and dad should tune in as well because they may learn a thing or two.
Science can be pretty boring, so it is a great way to get children interested in a subject they may otherwise avoid.
It teaches them that science can be fun and there are wonderful things to learn. There are currently 165 videos in their history and they add 2 videos per month. It would be a great channel for a rainy day when you just want your child to learn something, and maybe take part in a science experiment or two. Your child may not grow up to be Sheldon Cooper, but they will definitely be on the right track.
6 Whiz Kid Science
MinutePhysics may be more on the theoretical side, but if you have a child that really wants to get their hands in there and get dirty, than this channel may be more for you. It is called Whiz Kid Science, and it is another science-based channel that is appropriate for young children to watch.
It takes you and your child through some easy, simple and education science experiments that they can do in their own home.
What sets this channel apart is that all the tutorials are lead by a child. Someone that young kids can relate too, and it shows that anyone can do these experiments.
If you have a child who is about to complete the science fair project, this is the best channel to go to for some inspiration and ideas. Most of the experiments that are done on this channel are completed using items you find around the house, making them affordable and convenient. They have 54 videos in their history right now, but that is growing slowly as they add 2-3 videos per month. The videos are all short and sweet averaging at about 2-10 minutes each.
5 Reading Rainbow
If Reading Rainbow is not a classic, I don’t know what is. They have now brought their content to YouTube and it continues to be quality and safe programming for children. The channel has removed a lot of their older content, but what is left is still amazing. Parents can relive their youth by tuning into this channel with their children. The main star of the channel is Levar Burton who reads classic books on short videos for your kids today.
We all love reading to our children, but when they ask for that 10th story our voice has started to go a little hoarse and scratchy, so why not let someone else do the reading for us?
This form of storytelling combines all the classic stories you love with colourful animation to really bring it to life.
It is a great way to inspire a love for reading in your child, and this is a trait a lot of parents want for their children. They currently have 51, 4-10-minute videos available to browse. They have not uploaded a new video in a little while, but we are hoping that will change soon!
4 TED ED
TED ED is a great and parent approved channel for little kids and it delivers many special messages. TED Talks are known worldwide for hosting speakers who are motivational, and they inspire millions. They decided to roll with that and create a YouTube channel that was just for children. It is a channel that was designed as a learning tool for kids from all over the world. They cover a range of topics, so there is something on there for everyone.
They cover mathematics, biology and a bunch of heartwarming messages.
One of the hopes is that by reaching the younger generation, they can build a future that will be more compassionate and inspiring. This is a wonderful thing as we are raising the future leaders of our world and what we instill in them could have lasting effects. Their videos are more geared to older children, even venturing into pre-teen because they do cover a lot of ‘heavy’ topics. They go over things such as depression and body image. Things we would like to think don’t affect our children, but we know they do. They have the biggest collection we’ve seen so far, at about 1, 144 videos and they add 3 videos per week.
3 Khan Academy
Khan Academy sounds like it is a channel that is primarily for education, and it is. It is geared to children who are 10 or older, and while it may not be as engaging and colourful as some of our other selections, it remains a favourite among parents and teachers. Khan Academy is a wonderful resource that is much more than just a YouTube channel.
Not only does it upload educational videos on a range of topics, it also has a published list of the best education websites for parents to access.
It is kind of a 2-for-1 special for parents.
If you want to give your child a head start on education, then this is the channel for you. They cover a wide range of topics such as biology, physics, math and even history. All the basic topics they will be covering in school up until they graduate. They have an impressive number of videos on their channel, topping out at about 5,397. It is easy to see how they got to this number because they are uploading a whopping 6-9 new videos every other day. It is the perfect playlist for a rainy day! So many videos, so many lessons.
2 Activity Village
We always say that it is about quality and not quantity, and that is exactly the attitude we need to have about this YouTube channel. Activity Village is not the biggest nor most active channel on our list, but the little content that they do have is worth every second. It is a great resource for parents and children when it comes to simple activities. The channel contains a lot of easy origami and craft videos that can be done at home.
The intent is to help sharpen and hone in on a child’s creativity and it does with simple instructions using items you can find all around the house.
Some of their videos also feature classic video rhymes that are very entertaining and engaging. Younger children can enjoy videos about colours while they learn to recognize different colours. The channel blends together creativity and education in a perfect blend. As we said, they are a small channel. They only have 25 videos on their list and they have not uploaded anything new in a number of years. The videos are short and sweet, running about 1-4 minutes in length.
1 The Wiggles
It kind of feels like cheating with this one, because we all know the Wiggles. We also know that they are 100% kid-friendly and our little ones watch them on TV all the time. Did you know that they have a YouTube channel? YouTube is a great resource because it is available anywhere you have an internet connection, so it is always a great idea to see the selection on YouTube of the children’s shows you already know and love.
The Wiggles are considered one of the best children’s group, and even though they have been through changes, the group has been together since 1991.
Not only do you have your standard Wiggles, but your also have their furry friends. They have an insane ability to capture the attention of their viewers through their colourful sets and their catchy songs. I have even caught myself singing along a few times. They really help get your little one up and moving and dancing to the beat. The channel has 164 videos, and they upload 2 new videos every month. They videos are quite short, so it is best to set up a playlist so that your little one is entertained for longer.