YouTube often gets a bad rap, but there are some beneficial and educational videos out there. I’m not advocating for always plopping your kid in front of a screen, but we all know there are times it is a helpful distraction. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 hour a day of screen time for children between the ages of 2-5, so it would be great to have a mom approved list of videos/channels that are educational. After all, sometimes we just need 30 minutes to make dinner without our toddlers running amok in the kitchen. Here are five great YouTube channels and videos.
- Little Baby Bum– These videos offer classic nursery rhymes set to story-telling videos. Sure the animation is honestly what I would consider slightly odd, but kids seem to love it. The nursery rhymes are repetitive and cute (just what toddlers like) and they can help drive home important daily tasks. The brushing teeth song/video really helped my son to want to brush his teeth. I, in fact, sing the song every time I brush his teeth. Bonus, these are also on Netflix.
- Classic books– Just about any children’s board book you can think of has a video on YouTube. Whether they are animated tellings of the book, or cool songs that tell the book, or just some person reading the book, they are out there. Our current house favorites are Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and it’s catchy song), Goodnight Moon, and The Bunny Rabbit Show. My son usually follows along with his physical copies of the books when we view these videos.
- Coilbook Learning for Children– My son is obsessed with trains and this channel has a video called Learn Letters with Max the Glow Train. It’s literally a talking train that picks up talking letters in his train cars. There are also some other Max the Glow Train videos that showcase fruits/vegetables and counting too.
- Brain Candy TV with Lizzy the Dog– I love dogs, and so does my son. Lizzy is a real life dog that is clearly videoed in front of a green screen doing her tricks like pointing to certain letters with her paws, or counting items. Honestly it’s pretty cute.
- PreSchool Prep videos– As a former teacher, I find these videos to be extremely beneficial. They showcase letters by giving them faces while making their phonetic sounds. The A, for example, often repeats it’s long A sound or its “ah” sound. I feel good about it when my son later articulates the letter sounds while working with our magnetic letters on his magnet board.
As a final thought, it should be noted that most PBS shows, like my personal favorite Sesame Street, also have video clips on YouTube. The song/video “Spanish Me, English Me” really speaks to me on a personal level.