Google has hit it out of the park with a brand new YouTube app, specifically designed for young children. It’s called YouTube Kids, and it was designed especially your 3-6 year olds. While it may be designed for young children, it is also really fun for us who are young at heart!
As a father of two young daughters, I like that Google is trying to prevent young eyes from accidentally seeing videos on the Internet that were never intended for them to see. If you are in Canada, you can access the app when you are on a US IP via VPN or using a tool like HotSpotShield.
Design and Use
The app, which is pre-filled with access to family friendly content, is just fun to use. It is colorful, and filled with music and sound effects. Your kids can choose from 4 main categories and the ability to search.
Shows: Your kids can watch fun video shows including the Sesame Street Channel and Thomas & Friends Channel.
Music: Here, you will find music channels that lead to hundreds of kid-friendly songs and hours of fun. This is bound to be the favorite section for many toddlers who can sit through every iteration of “Wheels on the bus” that YouTube can serve them and still be excited.
Learning: With PBS Kids and Khan Academy, your kids can really learn while using the app on a tablet or phone.
Explore: Here is where you kids can use their creativity with channels like Play-Doh and Simple Kids Crafts.
Search: You can help your kids search by typing in search words. Google has even added the ability to search by voice.
YouTube Kids has some well thought out parental controls. There is a timer, a way to leave feedback, and the capability to turn off the music and sound effects. In addition, there is a way to disable searching, so that only the content on the app will be viewed.
YouTube Kids is available now on Google Play and the App Store. (The app is currently only available in the US and set to roll out to the rest of the world over time.)