Wary parents who have been fearful of turning their kids loose on YouTube to search for age-appropriate content can breathe a sign of relief thanks to the YouTube Kids App. Launched just yesterday, this free app for iOS and Android is designed to make it safer and easier for children ages 2-8 to discover and explore the millions of videos they are already watching on topics they are curious. Build from the ground up with kids in mind, the way this simple family-family app that puts just-right content for kids at their fingertips is simply brilliant. Finally there’s a way for kids to watch age-appropriate videos, channels and playlists in a visual format that’s easy for the youngest kids to navigate.
Featured content on YouTube Kids App is entirely kid-appropriate and features favorites like Jim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends, National Geographic Kids, Reading Rainbow and Thomas the Tank Engine, and discover new videos coming soon from beloved YouTubers like the Vlogbrothers and Stampylonghead.
Kids who aren’t quite reading can navigate the YouTube Kids App using the large images on bold icons that put favorite characters front and center or through four playlist categories that have a doodle-like appearance at the top of the screen. Master tappers and swipers easily browse channels, playlist categories like Shows (video player), Music (radio), Learning (light bulb), and Explore (binoculars), or search for videos on certain topics without the worry that content will be inappropriate for young minds. Kids can search for videos on how to build a model volcano, math tutorials, the world of trains, and everything in between!
Any kid-friendly app is made even better when there are some parental controls built in and the YouTube Kids App has options that helps parents control the content experience for their kids. Here’s a look at the parental control features:
- Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that limits kids’ screen time. The app alerts them when the session is over so you don’t have to.
- Sound Settings: Parents have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching quietly while you catch up on chores or simply take a break in peace.
- Search Settings: If you’d rather limit your children to just the pre-selected videos available on the home screen, you can turn off the search feature.
- Product feedback: The goal is to continuously improve YouTube Kids App, so there’s also a space for you to give YouTube your feedback.
- Safety: YouTube Kids is a signed-out app experience, so it does not collect, use or disclose information connected to a Google account, including the user’s name, address, contact or other personal information.
New Shows on YouTube Kids
Besides the favorites already mentioned, what else can you expect to find through the YouTube Kids App? Here’s a look at some of the new shows on YouTube Kids with more shows to follow!
- The Furchester Hotel is a series for 3 to 6-year-olds set in an ‘almost’ world-class hotel run by a close-knit family of cheerfully incompetent monsters. The series, which is designed to encourage creative problem-solving, introduces brand new characters and also welcomes the beloved Elmo and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
- New digital videos for Thomas & Friends features Thomas the Tank Engine™ as fans have never seen him before, having adventures off the Island of Sodor in fascinating destinations like London, Paris, and New York City, and coming to life in children’s playrooms.
- Explore the amazing technology that surrounds our everyday lives, in this exciting new original series called uTech, presented by Reading Rainbow and YouTube. In the first episode, join host LeVar Burton as he takes a look at some of the places you may have not realized we encounter technology (from the moment we wake up to an alarm clock, until we go to bed at night and brush our teeth).
- National Geographic Kids playlists are an exciting and educational way to explore the very best of YouTube. Hosted by kids for kids, these curated playlists on awesome animals, cool science, natural phenomenons, and more are perfect for curious kids who want to explore, laugh, and learn.
- WONDER QUEST: Set in the world of Minecraft, one of the most popular kid’s video games today, and starring Joseph Garrett, better known to millions of fans as Stampylonghead, “Wonder Quest” brings audiences family-friendly adventure with an educational twist. Will Stampy accept the quest from a friendly wizard? Will Stampy and his friends save the town of Wonderberg from a fate of really bad jokes? A fun way for kids to explore, Stampy invites friends to build an online world that encourages wonder — all based on Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards.
- A new series from Outfit7, Talking Tom and Friends will chronicle the adventures, hijinks, and inventions of Talking Tom and the gang as they shoot their own reality television show.
And two new shows from Hank and John Green, the Vlogbrothers include:
- SciShow Kids will tap into kids’ curiosity and answer their many “why” questions with animated explanations, live-hosted experiments and field trips
- Crash Course Kids will empower both educators and students with customized elementary school lessons, hosted by some of your favorite YouTube stars
Images courtesy of YouTube Kids App