The Parents' Guide to Family-Friendly YouTube Channels

The digital universe within YouTube has everything. Rather than be frightened by the potentially bad, embrace the good. Parents' editors and experts agree: You can find educational and entertaining videos for kids of every age. 

Mother and Son On Laptop Fancy Photography/ Veer

Baby & Toddler Picks

Andrew Holdsworth

A London musician, Holdsworth juxtaposes his piano renditions of lullabies over blinking lights on a dark background. The results are soothing, says Parents' beauty director Kate Sandoval Box. Her toddler isn’t the only fan: The “Two hours of gentle lullabies for babies—Baby Sleep Music” video has 87 million+ views. Naptime sound track?! Ages birth to 4

LittleBabyBum

You can play nearly an hour of nursery songs, set to colorful animation, on this channel. “Bennett, my 2-year-old, has made it through some cranky evenings thanks to the video that starts with ‘Wheels on the Bus,’ ” says Sandoval Box. Ages 1 to 5

Baby Einstein

Looking at real objects—toys, puppets, a metronome—while classical music plays never gets old, says Jamie Baumgardt, a mom and former music teacher in Buffalo. The 26-minute episode of “Baby Einstein Baby Mozart Music Festival” has more than 23 million views. It’s the one with the green-dragon puppet that sticks its tongue out about three minutes and 20 seconds in—a riot if you’re a 1-year-old! Ages birth to 4

Pinkfong! Kids’ Songs & Stories

It’s kiddie K-pop set to animation, and it’s caught on like wildfire with the preschool set. Julia Edelstein, Parents' senior health editor, says her 3-year-old son, Joey, and his friends love to sing “Baby Shark Dance.” They’re not alone. The original has 875 million+ views. Spin-offs include “Police Sharks” and “Cube Baby Sharks.” Ages 2 to 6 

Teacher Faves

Harry Kindergarten Music

Kindergarten teacher Pete Harry writes songs that stick in a 5-year-old’s head and are sneakily educational, says Megan Holmstrom, a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Particularly clever ones include “One More,” about how to identify the next number, and “Make Believe With the Alphabet,” which encourages kids to act out words based on letters they see. Ages 4+

Khan Academy

This decade-old channel started out as a resource for high-school math, but it has expanded to lower grades and more subjects. “The videos are concise and engaging, and use interactive tools,” says Emily Ashby, of Common Sense Media. Zero in on the “Early Math” playlist; that’s where you’ll find videos on skip counting, counting coins, place values, and other elementary school math concepts. Ages 5+

The Brain Scoop

Chicago’s Field Museum makes fact-filled eight- to ten-minute videos on topics ranging from baby dinosaurs to shark fossils. “I love that this show has a female host who’s the ‘Chief Curiosity Correspondent’ for the museum,” says elementary school teacher Kristin Ziemke, author of Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom. “We know kids need to see women in STEAM-related fields, and her passion for learning is contagious.” Ages 7+

TED-Ed

“Videos on ‘Why are sloths so slow?’ and ‘What are those floaty things in your eye?’ offer fun ways to explore your kids’ questions together,” says Keith Ostfeld, director of educational technology and exhibit development at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Ages 8+

Nurture Their Hobbies

Babble Dabble Do

Mom of three and architect Ana Dziengel founded this channel that focuses on creative projects—from making stars out of paper lunch bags to whipping up a batch of rainbow slime. “She has a way of picking projects that turn very simple raw materials into something so magical,” says Amanda Kingloff, of ProjectKid.com. Ages 5+

EvanEraTV

For budding magicians, this channel specializes in kids’ magic tricks. “My 11-year-old son, Kenya, has been doing tons of card tricks based on what he watched on this channel,” says Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious.com. Ages 6+ 

RCSparks Studio

Toddlers obsessed with construction vehicles have a channel all their own thanks to a dad who films remote control toys outdoors. We asked Bill Walters, of TOMY International, which makes John Deere toys, to review the channel. His response: Putting faux construction machines to “work” outside and adding sound and music is genius. “The toy vehicles catch kids’ attention and remind them of the heavy-duty equipment they see in real life,” he explains. All ages.

All Things Animal TV

“My 2-year-old daughter, Eloise, loves its animal videos,” says Marisa LaScala, Parents' news editor. You’ll find every kind of creature discussed here, from the bees in your backyard to the penguins in Antarctica and all the fish, jungle creatures, and farm animals in between. Ages 1 to 6

Kids Have Their Say

A Kid Explains History

Ten-year-old “Mr. Q” brings boundless enthusiasm to topics (like the Iron Age) that otherwise could be a total drag for your kids, and he even has developed some history based gaming videos. Ages 5+

Kid President

Part of the “SoulPancake” channel, this series of 100+ videos from Robby Novak, who was 9 when he started filming them in 2012, covers topics like “What Makes an Awesome Leader” and “How to Disagree.” Says teacher Kristin Ziemke, “I love to use Kid President as a mentor model for smart kids who share their thinking with the world.” Ages 7+

Iain Loves Theatre

Nine-year-old Iain Armitage (who portrays Young Shelton in The Big Bang Theory spin-off) has been reviewing musicals since he saw Hairspray on Broadway three years ago. Your #HamilKids will want to check out Iain’s review of the blockbuster musical as well as his performance with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Ages 6+