Avoiding YouTube altogether could mean you miss out on some channels that can help your bilingual, bicultural 21st century family grow. Here at Kids in Madrid we’ve curated some of our favourite broadcasters to give you an idea of what educational YouTube channels for kids we are watching.
Positive parenting around screen time
When dealing with the issue of parenting in the digital age, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website Healthy Children reminds us that screen time shouldn’t always be alone time. Their advice is to watch a show with your child, play video games with your children and share your perspective on their favourite channels. In a child-led environment such as digital content consumption, your best bet is to interact with your children’s choices rather than monitor them. In the co-viewing tip sheet that is available to download here, the authors state: “the most important media literacy habit we can encourage in our kids is to ask questions about the media they consume”. Suggested questions include asking your children to identify the genre they are watching, to ask how realistically the males and females are being portrayed and to identify what choices and inherent biases are included in the creation of the content that they enjoy watching so much.
Trusted YouTube Channels for Kids
The BBC was one of the earliest broadcasters to embrace YouTube and run dedicated channels on the video-sharing platform. A first look at the CBBC (Children’s BBC) YouTube homepage can be daunting for the unprepared parent. The format of the homepage is identical to every YouTube channel available online, with trending and newest programmes showcased on the landing page. However only one click away are the playlists which breakdown the content by subject. Here you can find all the episodes of one of our favourite children’s programme Blue Peter which has an eclectic mix of craft, cookery, sports, nature and history challenges mixed in with interviews with sports personalities, inspiring adults and TV personalities. There are also book and film reviews. The programme has child presenters and encourages audience participation from all corners of the planet. This channel is fun to watch with children of all ages, with younger viewers being enthralled by the subject and their teenage siblings identifying themselves with the presenters.
Another children’s broadcaster that has really embraced the opportunities open to them via YouTube is Go Noodle, with their How To channel teaching kids how to learn how to do almost anything . Go Noodle is mainly an interactive site loved by teachers and parents to find movement and mindfulness videos for kids, however their move towards teaching children how to do cool card tricks and how to make unicorn slime has brought them a wider audience.
Wildlife and Nature YouTube Channels for Kids
Kiddopedia is full of high-quality videos about animals, the sounds they make and the environments they live in, aimed at pre-schoolers and early years learners. Their videos are educational, help stimulate association capabilities in youngsters and are jammed full of vocabulary.
For older children, the best channel to subscribe to is National Geographic Kids which has some fantastic playlists on its channel including Best Job Ever where children learn about amazing outdoor jobs such as riding horses with Mongolian nomads or hanging out with penguins. Parents and children alike learn fascinating facts, fun experiments and all about friendly insects.
YouTube channels with English resources
For those who are learning English as a foreign language, check out these two excellent channels suggested by our friend and bilingual expert Alex Perdel from Crecer en Inglés. Both channels have bilingual presenters who switch between Spanish and English with the same ease as most of our kids! The “vocabulario de la familia” playlist of videos by Amigos Ingleses is good to watch with your children. For Spanish parents who are trying to support their children who are studying at a bilingual school, this channel will help with pronunciation.
Alex has his own channel which offers video tutorials full of practical advice on how to speak English at home together as a family. It is full of tips to help Spanish families give the gift of the English language to their children from birth.
Have you read our blog on the best educational apps for kids and how to find them? If not, be sure to check it out here! Don’t forget to tell us about your favourite YouTube channels for kids on our Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!