Do you have young kids (ages 5 and under) in your home? If so, definitely check out the YouTube Kids app because it contains a variety of kid-friendly content. I was introduced to the app at a YouTube event at the YouTube Space in downtown Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. (On a side note, I won a “YouTube Creator Starter Package” – a video camera, tripod and other filming essentials – at the event, so expect to see more video content here on Mom in the City in the upcoming weeks!) Anyway, with its variety of shows, music and learning programs, I think that your young kids will be both entertained and educated by the YouTube Kids app.
As a parent, I like the following six things about the YouTube Kids app:
1. It is is bright and colorful.
2. It is easy for parents to give feedback regarding content that is not kid-friendly to help filter videos. You simply write out your concern and you can include a screenshot of the issue if you like. Flagged videos are manually reviewed and videos that don’t belong in the app are removed. (My oldest son Michael taught me how to capture a screenshot on my iPhone. Am I the only one who didn’t know that you just need to hold down the power button and the home button to take it?!)
3. There is a timer for parents to set time limits for their kids usage of the app.
4. Parents can turn off the search function in the app so kids can only access videos on the home screen. This is one way to limit what content children can access.
5. There are several other helpful setting options that parents can set. For example, you can cut off the background music and sound effects and you can also clear the watch history (including recommended videos).
6. Sesame Street is on the app. What can I say? Your kids might be more excited about Stampy and Thinknoodles but my kids grew up with Sesame Street!
Nothing is perfect though, so there are a couple of things that you should note:
1. Access to the security settings is super easy. Granted, this app is for small kids but I think that kids are able to read numbers pretty early.
2. Watching the unboxing videos can lead to your kids having a case of the “gimmies”. This is a case of knowing your own kid. If your kid tends to want everything that they see and get upset when they don’t get it, then you probably want to keep them away from the available videos that show kids unboxing a variety of toys and games (i.e. EvanTubeHD).
Have you allowed your young kids to use the YouTube Kids app? If so, what do you think about it?