Top 5 Best Kids Shows on Youtube [UPDATED]
Top 5 Best Kids Shows on Youtube (For Under 6's)
With the Internet being such a big part of so many household computers, tablets and smartphones we figured we would share a list of the best free online kids shows that have been keeping our little monsters entertained.
It sounds crazy but we don't have a cable, satellite or even freeview account in our house. We're not big sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-tv kinda people. We have shows we watch together as a family, typically movies, and then others we watch separately on our laptops, Fran on his and me on mine, but as a general guide our family tv generally logs about 1 hour of "on time" a day.
We get movies and shows from things like iTunes where we use 'homeshare', but the lion's share of our Internet to TV use comes through the Apple TV and good ol' fashion YouTube. There is obviously a LOT of content on YouTube - so - here are the shows that we watch the most in our house through the Internet --> to the Apple tv --> to the living-room television. *note that everyones criteria for good tv is different. These are show that we find are of good moral standing, have a good message and leave our kids with something positive after they end...
Story + reading = WIN!
Long before the kids learnt to read we watched Super Why. This is a great example of PBS creating a show that keeps kids focused and interested in reading. The general premise involves Wyatt and his pals solving a problem by looking in a story and solving a puzzle. The bottom line:
- It holds the children's attention (ages 3-6)
- Basic phonics is learned
- The moral of the story is positive
- Beware of earworms!
Curiosity saves the day!
Crossing over a few generations now, Curious George is still making waves in our house. Fran watched the old version of this show as a kid in the US and still gets the warm and fuzzies when he thinks about the Curious George books and subsequent TV adaptation of that curious little monkey. Fast forward 30 years and he's now playing the new episodes for his little groms.
If you're not familiar with this show, each episode is based on a mischievous adventure George happens to stumble upon or create. Whether it's at the country or city home of the Man in the Yellow Hat, George always happens to avoid catastrophic disaster and learn a lesson by the end of the minute 12. The bottom line:
- The kids love watching George get into mischief and can relate to his curiosity in a big world of grown ups
- Each story has a valuable lesson to learn i.e. what are germs and how do they work (Toots!)
- Each episode wraps up nicely and the characters are wholesome and contribute a different perspective to each scenario
The Berenstein Bears
Much like Curious George, Fran had these books as a kid and can the early TV adaptations of the books. It doesn't get more wholesome, packed-to-the-rafters with moral messages than this! Each episode addresses a direct issue that kids deal with during the early stages of life (ages 4-12). The writers of the show take an easy mellow approach to a problem and address it matter-of-fact and head on.
What that means is that the kids get valuable lessons, (yes things that you are already telling them too), and hear it from Momma, Papa, Brother and Sister bears. Bottom line:
- Strong moral foundation
- Address real issues such as jealousy and bullying and provides coping techniques
- Keeps the attention of our little monsters
- We frequently hear the kids apply a lesson learnt from an episode into their daily lives
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood introduces children to people and places far beyond their own neighborhood, and encourages them to verbalize and address their inner feelings and concerns.
Fran tries not to sit down and partake in a Daniel Tiger marathon if he can, but often voices his surprise at the subjects and the very adult ways they are handled on the show. It's not uncommon to hear about how and why people look different, how to treat people unlike you, dealing with anger and so many great, very specific topics. Bottom line:
- Deals with heavy issues
- A spinoff of Mr. Rogers neighborhood
- More PBS Gold!
- Don't be surprised when your kids start singing Daniel Tiger songs when they're in a situation they've seen on the show, i.e. "You have to try new foods 'cause they might taste goooood" or "If you feel so mad that you wanna roar, take a deep breathe and count to 4".
Yo Gabba Gabba!
Unlike the previous 4 shows, Yo Gabba Gabba is the type of show you'll want to sit down and watch with your little monsters. It encourages movement, song and explores social situations and themes. We love the throw-back references to 8-bit video games, PufnStuf and other things from our childhood. Perhaps our favorite part of the show is the rolling list of indie bands and guests that just happen to be hanging with DJ Lance Rock. Bottom line:
- Bridges the gap between kid and adult TV in a relevant and fun way
- We love the blend of live action, short sketch and song segments
- Lucy loves the sweaters the kids wear
- An enjoyable watch that both kids and adults can sit through
We don't sugarcoat anything so it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that we find these shows can be tedious and boring to watch, especially after the 13th or 20th watch. BUT, we're doing it for the kids! What shows are on heavy rotation in your house?