YouTube is like the wild west. If you aren't careful you can walk straight into the middle of a gunfight or in a pile of horse manure. Since YouTube is now more watched by children than regular TV programming, it's a good idea to set some boundaries on what they can and cannot watch and do within YouTube.
First, we'll run through our favorite channels, and then a few rules to set for your kids when they do watch.
Dan TDM - Definitely a favorite for many kids. One of the original gaming video channels that was more focused on Minecraft (the TDM stands for the Diamond Minecart) but since he has ventured into other areas he changed the name. Also, who doesn't love a British accent?
Smart Girls - Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves. They are funny first, and informative second, hosting the party you want to attend. This channel has a lot of cool DIY projects and inspirational videos.
Vat19 - This is actually an online store, but they have some awesome videos featuring their products. It's basically a bunch of commercials, but they are the types of commercials you would watch the entire Superbowl to see.
Minute Physics - Really just like it sounds. Cool and quick descriptions of physics concepts.
Nerdy Nummies - For the foodies in your house, this girl is really entertaining and the food she helps you make is very tasty!
Game Theory - Do you love overanalyzing video games? They cover it all from diving into the lore of FNAF, researching the tech of Halo, or picking apart the dark secrets of the Mario universe. If you love taking your gaming to the next level, then welcome to the community of Loyal Theorists!
Family Fun Pack - Daily videos include challenges, parks, epic road trips, vlogs, toys, games, food, clothes and lots of other fun things! They have 6 kids: Alyssa, David, Zac & Chris, all born within 39 months of each other, cute little brother Michael, and the new baby, Owen! Their motto is "fun with the family, every day".
TedEd - Within TED-Ed’s growing library of TED-Ed animations, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed website (ed.ted.com).
ReadingRainbow - The show we all know and loved as children is back, and completely revamped for today's kids. It can definitely still create a wonderful love of reading in your children!
Little Lizard Gaming - Super kid-friendly Minecraft videos that will get your kids wanting to create in Minecraft.
Now that we have your subscription list all filled up here's some great ground rules to set for YouTube viewing.
1. Use YouTube Kids. It's a great app that has curated content specifically for kids. You can rest a bit easier knowing that there is less of a chance for them to come across something that will be inappropriate for them.
2. Use Subscriptions. If you inform your children that they are only allowed to watch videos from channels they are subscribed to (and you have approved), this can help them from browsing around and stumbling on something they shouldn't see.
3. Use Restricted Mode. The bottom of YouTube on a webpage has a toggle for the Restricted Mode. Yes it's easy to turn it on and off, but communication with your child can help prevent them from messing with the setting. On a mobile device it can be found in the settings and then general.
4. No clicking related videos. Where kids can really get in trouble is when they start clicking on videos that are suggested. They could be from a channel you have not previously approved, and therefore could be trouble.
5. No commenting. Unless your child is older than 13, and is ready for social aspects of online use, they should not be allowed to comment. There can just be too much inappropriate content in the comment section.