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Let’s talk today about some of my family’s favorite educational YouTube channels for preschoolers!
Anyone else have a kid who’s obsessed with watching videos? I’m pretty sure my three year old isn’t the only one.
The frequency with which he asks if he can watch a video is a little ridiculous, especially since the answer is “no” more often than it’s “yes.”
We’ve reduced our screen time quite a bit. But I guess I say “yes” just frequently enough that he thinks he might get lucky.
When we do watch something, YouTube is the simplest option, but I know there’s a lot of crazy stuff out there. So I try to stay close by, and I often play it through our TV so he can’t just click on random videos to watch next.
By the way, you may be wondering if YouTube is still a safe place for kids these days. After all, you’ve probably heard about the scary content that slips into the middle of kids’ videos. There’s some truth to the rumors, but there’s also a lot of false hype. Check out this post for some fact-checking on whether or not YouTube is safe for kids.
A good option for a safer viewing experience is the YouTube Kids app. But if you choose to go that route for your kids, I highly recommend locking it down to specific channels or videos, especially for younger children. Weird stuff slips through the automated filters all the time.
Check out my post on making the YouTube Kids app safer for your kids.
When I let my son watch YouTube, I want to make sure what he’s watching is clean, fun, and at least somewhat educational. (Take a look at this post for some help in assessing just how educational a video is.)
Here are our top 5 educational YouTube channels that both Mom and preschooler can feel good about.
We’ve only just started discovering the world of Blippi, and I’m not totally sure how my son feels about him yet. But the videos are fun, energetic, and cover a variety of topics.
Kids can learn about colors, numbers, healthy eating, animals, vehicles, and more. The Blippi Español and Blippi Deutsch channels are good options for moms who want their kids to learn a second language.
My emergency-vehicle-obsessed child really enjoys the police car episode.
I just want to know how to get a little bit of Blippi’s energy for myself.
Rachel and the Treeschoolers
We teach our babies some basic sign language to help them communicate before they know how to talk clearly. (“More,” “all done,” “potty,” “eat,” and “please” and “thank you” is about as sophisticated as we get.)
We checked out several Signing Time videos to help teach my son sign language when he was a baby and toddler. But when we moved to Raleigh, we were no longer able to get DVDs at the local library.
Fortunately, I discovered that the creator of the Signing Time videos runs the Treeschool YouTube channel. Kids can watch Rachel and the Treeschoolers learn about weather, the solar system, the human body, and the scientific method, along with basic signs to go along with the new concepts they’ve learned.
I wish these videos were a little heavier on the sign language, but they’re still a great resource for mom and kids. The songs are fun, educational, and very catchy. You might find yourself singing along!
If your child is as vehicle-obsessed as my son, you’ll love this channel. This fun collection of videos features “talking” work vehicles.
But these aren’t cartoons–you’ll see real-life footage of tow trucks, fire trucks, and mining operations as the vehicles talk about what they do for a living and work through challenges together.
I’m pretty sure we have the tow truck episode memorized.
These videos from the Toddler Fun Learning channel were a recent discovery for us. It’s up for debate whether or not you’ll find them annoying, but as an American, I enjoy listening to Gecko’s British English.
Kids will learn colors, numbers, and shapes with fun songs about Vicky the Ice Cream Van, Trevor the Tractor, and Fiona Fire Truck. (Sensing a theme here yet? Somebody in this house loves cars and trucks…)
Just be prepared to answer questions like, “What’s a lorry?”
Super Simple Español
I got my bachelor’s degree in Spanish before I went on to study computer science, so I like simple opportunities to teach my children Spanish.
Although it may be a little bit of a stretch to call this an “educational YouTube channel,” I think it counts if you’re trying to teach your child Spanish.
These videos feature well-known children’s songs in Spanish so your child can have fun exposure to a second language. I often hear my son singing “no mas omitos a cama en la cama” (his butchered rendition of the Spanish version of “no more little monkeys jumping on the bed”).
Moderation in all things
I’m a big believer in not letting technology babysit my children. But sometimes Mommy is sick or needs to be able to make supper without distraction or just needs a little break, and a video may be just the ticket.
It’s nice to have a list of educational YouTube channels to fall back on when those moments hit.
Want more kids video options? Make sure you also check out these free YouTube alternatives.
And if you’re looking for a little something to watch yourself, check out these TED Talks that will make you a better parent.
How about you? What are your favorite YouTube channels for your preschooler?
Did you enjoy this list? Please share!