Kids love watching videos as much as adults, if not more. This is precisely why YouTube created YouTube Kids, which offers an easy-to-navigate platform full of high-quality videos and other fun features for kids.
This version of YouTube is very different from what we know because it caters specifically to children. They have a curation process that’s meant to make sure all the content available on YouTube Kids is kid-friendly and appropriate.
However, some things slip through the cracks sometimes and inappropriate videos can still make their way into the platform. YouTube Kids makes it easier for parents to be in control of what type of content their children have access to, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still keep an eye on the things your kids are watching.
YouTube Kids is great for what it is and it offers a safer alternative for children. The navigation is picture-based, so it’s easier for kids to find content, and the platform is full of whimsical visuals and sound effects. It’s definitely not a site for adults, but is it right for kids? That’s what we’ll be discussing today!
- This is a guest post by Michael Reynolds from CodeWithMike: A fully independent website that was first established in 2019, the site started out as a personal blog but it has since grown into a tech and gaming blog that publishes news, reviews and a whole host of other related content from around the world.
An Introduction To YouTube Kids
YouTube Kids is YouTube’s kid-friendly, age-appropriate version. It’s ad-supported and it features curated educational videos, music, shows, and content created by users.
The app is available for Android and iOS, and children can also watch from a browser, just like regular YouTube. You’ll be able to set up a profile for each of your kids and also use a timer so you can put a time limit on your children’s time on the app.
What Can I Watch On YouTube Kids?
YouTube Kids has a ton of music clips for classic and contemporary children’s songs, as well as clips and sometimes complete episodes of popular shows for children.
There are also educational videos available from sources such as TED-Ed, Khan Academy, and more. User-created content is also available for children, including toy unboxing videos, DIY projects, and more.
An alternative to YouTube Kids is to run your very own Plex Media Server – here’s everything you need to know about Plex.
Is YouTube Kids Safe For Children?
Yes, YouTube Kids is safe, for the most part. As mentioned before, the content goes through a curation process.
However, the process is not perfect and adult content can fall through the cracks. There’s a small risk your children could see content that contains violence, nudity, or is outright weird. Ads are also curated, but sometimes your children can see ads for junk food, for example.
In other words, inappropriate content can sometimes bypass the algorithm, but Google is aware of this and they’re constantly working on updating the algorithm and improving it these things happen less and less.
They do warn parents of the possibility, though, so they’re fully transparent and they encourage you to block and report any content that’s not kid-friendly. This is why it’s so important for parents to still keep an eye on their children as they use the app!
Does YouTube Kids Have Ads?
Yes, the free version of YouTube Kids is ad-supported. This means your children will encounter some ads on their videos, just like regular YouTube.
However, you can eliminate ads by purchasing YouTube Premium, which will eliminate ads and also allow children to watch content offline.
Are There Parental Controls Available?
Yes, YouTube Kids offers some parental control options. The main one being you have the option to keep your children from making video searches, which reduces the risk of them finding inappropriate content.
You can also choose trusted channels and topics, restrict recommended channels to the channels that have been chosen and approved by humans.
If you want to access the parental control features on YouTube Kids, you just have to go to Settings and unlock the menu for adults with a random or a custom passcode you can set up.
After that, you must get into your Google account, choose your kid’s profile, and then start adding parental controls to their profile.
Are There Content Filters On YouTube Kids?
No, there aren’t any content filters on YouTube Kids. However, you can limit the content your kids have access to by using the parental control options available.
As explained above, you can allow only verified content from kid-friendly partners, which have been chosen and approved by a real person, not an algorithm.
Other than that, the app is built to show videos, no matter how old or new they are, based on the user’s history, age, and terms that have been searched for. If your children still find content you don’t want them to see, you will have to block those videos yourself as they come up.
If you want to have a bit more control, you can activate the “Approved Content Only” setting, where you can whitelist the channels and videos your children can watch on the app.
How To Set Up A Profile On YouTube Kids
You can create up to 8 profiles on YouTube Kids and personalize them for each user.
You just have to download the app, log into your Google account, and go to the Settings menu to set up the profiles. Your kid can choose their avatar and set up their own passcode (which can be overridden by parents) for some privacy from their siblings.
YouTube Kids is set to “Younger” on default, but you can set it to “Older” if your children are in their tweens for less restricted content. Don’t worry, they will still be protected!
The Bottom Line
YouTube Kids is the perfect option for children to enjoy content they love without parents having to worry so much about what they’re exposed to.
Granted, you will still have to keep an eye on them, but you’ll have a lot more control. The app is for kids ages 4 and older, but it’s recommended for children ages 7 and older.
It’s recommended you wait to give your children access to the app not just because of the commercialism, but also because there’s still a risk of finding inappropriate content.
(Featured image: Deposit Photos / Postmodernstudio)