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Parents all across the world are probably pulling out their hair in trying to keep the kids busy. Below is a collection of Youtube channels that will hopefully keep them out of your hair for just long enough to have some peace.
Always remember to doublecheck the channels yourself before allowing the kids to watch.
Here’s a YouTube channel for kids who like to bake. Hosted by Rosanna Pansino and a cavalcade of guests, this weekly program takes a family-friendly approach to the cooking show, demonstrating how to create all sorts of baked goods like cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. The icing on top is her predilection for tying her projects into nerd pop culture, creating eats that are shaped to look like characters from Harry Potter and Star Wars. Parental guidance is still a must if your kid actually wants to get baking (obviously), but the videos have a way to really focus young bakers.
With the motto “Recycled, easy crafts that really work,” this channel offers more than 700 how-tos on everything from bottle-cap tops to doll furnishings. Most activities require a minimum of materials, time, and expertise, so you can get started right away.
Best for: Younger kids.
This YouTube channel wants to make sure the next generation knows what museums are and cares about the amazing adventures you can have therein. Coming from the Chicago Field Museum, and hosted by “Chief Curiosity Correspondent” Emily Graslie, each episode shows a look behind the scenes of the operations of the museum. This is a perfect way to get your kid excited about earth science, animals, and the environment. Check out the video description and opening titles before watching though, as some episodes carry viewer discretion warnings.
With his glasses and braces, Coma Niddy (aka Mike Wilson) isn’t a typical rapper. But his educational riffs on everything from dark matter to nanotechnology lend him both street and science cred. Coma Niddy says he enjoys explaining concepts in a medium kids will remember.
Best for: Older kids and tweens.
Good-time guys Rhett and Link offer nothing but pure, wholesome entertainment. Their skits, challenges, goofy explorations, and other random pursuits all are well-served by the hosts’ comic banter, uncanny rapport, and use of good vocabulary words.
Best for: Older kids and tweens.
These quick illustrated tutorials make for perfect snackable science lessons that you can share with your kid. Created by Henry Reich, the YouTube channel examines a wide range of fun subjects like the physics behind black holes or whether it is better to walk or run in the rain. The stick figure animations make for a watch that kids can enjoy, and perhaps even tackle themselves.
Having started with “Kids React” videos (where kids watch and comment on YouTube videos), Fine brothers Benny and Rafi have expanded to include teens and elders. The results can be moving as the participants express profound truths that subtly illustrate how to view media critically.
Best for: Older kids and tweens
Upbeat British host Carrie Anne Philbin’s tutorials, vlogs, and interviews on software engineering make computer programming seem doable, fun, and appealing for girls. How-to’s include introductions to computer languages, programming basics, and even how to build a computer.
Best for: Older kids, tweens, and teens
If you know The Fault in Our Stars, then you know John Green. He and his brother Hank make up the Vlogbrothers, who promote curiosity and learning on just about every topic, from health care and ethics to psychology. Both former teachers, the duo run several off-shoot channels including CrashCourse (mini-lessons on history, literature, and more), SciShow (science explainers), and others (not all as age-appropriate as the original Vlogbrothers channel).
Best for: Tweens and teens.
The same adorable muppets that have taught kids the alphabet for 50 years, and probably taught you a thing or two, have moved over to the Internet. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert, and Ernie and the rest of the crew is hanging out on a YouTube channel, with plenty of online-only cameos from stars like Bill Murray.
Now your kids can enjoy the smart, informative, big thinking joys of TED Talks too The TED foundation has created these educational editions of their highly popular lectures. Each video is born out of a collaboration between experts in various fields and creative animators who create visuals that are just as captivating as the content. They even take submissions for ideas if you have a particularly insightful kid.
There is a reason that Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl brings in monster ratings every year: people of all ages love to watch animals at play. For the other 364 days of the year, your kid can check in with the friendly creatures from all over the world that live at The Houston Zoo. Videos include a digital hang out with red river hog babies, an exercising skunk (above), and an introduction to their newborn giraffe Mara.
Founded by funnyman Rainn Wilson, a.k.a. Dwight Schrute on The Office, this YouTube channel is a wealth of captivating content. There is something for everyone with this crew, from their “Art Attack” program to “The Science Of Happiness.” A great place to start is with their most popular videos, the “Kid President” series.
These animated videos are designed perfectly to help either keep your kid occupied with an afternoon of sing-alongs or send off to sleep with a lullaby like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. There is also original content here, featuring a collection of strange creatures that help teach lessons on everything from how to treat your family members to steps you can take to eat healthier.
This YouTube channel for kids from National Geographic uploads frequently with cool videos of awesome animals, fun science and colorful travel destinations. They don’t just limit themselves to the exotic either, there are plenty of programs that explore the wonders in your own backyard and even your own house pet, like one episode called “How to Speak Cat”. They have even created playlists depending on your kid’s interests so that they can binge-watch creature captures like you binge-watched the latest season of Narcos.
a wide variety of subjects, from history to psychology to science to ethics. They tend to be either general introductions to big topics like expressionism and Big Data or skills-focused instructional videos that teach kids important stuff like how to use Wikipedia.