If you’ve read our article on screen time alternatives, you’ll know that we’re not all about getting kids to sit in front of a TV all day. That said, limited screen time can be a way to keep kids occupied and happy, while also giving them a bit of education…or just entertainment (that’s ok too! We all love a bit of relaxation time!). YouTube is a regular go-to for parents and their toddlers. But where do you find the channels that are specifically made for toddlers and preschoolers? And what about the ones that are more than just nursery rhymes and songs?
Here is a list of some that we’ve found:
Blippi is the name of this toddler show’s host. Blippi is a real person (well, we don’t think his real name is Blippi…). That is to say, he’s not a cartoon or a puppet. He’s a human who wears suspenders and a bow tie, and talks like a kid while teaching little eyes about his discoveries. He goes on field trips to learn about colours, numbers, machines and the basics of ‘life’ that toddlers experience in their little world.
Blippi has some offshoot YouTube channels, which are also for kids. For example, Kideo and Blippi Toys. Though, they all seem related to the same genre of video, and don’t differ much from his main channel. The latter two may have more toy features, however.
2) Wow English TV
This is another series of videos hosted by a ‘real life’ guy named Steve. His ‘real’ body is often mixed with cartoon backgrounds. He doesn’t wear a funky outfit like Blippi, but he does act like he’s talking to toddlers, and is very animated with his vocal tones and hand actions. Steve uses simple English and repeats words, which is helpful for tots who are learning to speak.
3) Maple Leaf Learning
Maple Leaf Learning seems Canadian, only because it’s got a red maple leaf on the main character’s drawing. The show features “Marty and friends.” Marty is a Moose puppet who sings educational songs behind animated backgrounds.
4) Machines for Kids
This channel is very simple, and apparently, very low-budget too. It hasn’t been updated in over a year. But we can see why toddlers would love watching it. It’s just plain footage of boats, diggers, trucks, tractors and the like. With background music, of course! If your child is obsessed with machinery on construction sites, then this will keep them occupied. This channel is actually another offshoot of Blipi’s work too. But it doesn’t feature interactions with a host.
5) Katie Cutie Kids TV
Katie Cute is a female, ‘real life’ host singing nursery rhymes with animated background graphics and child-friendly costumes. The woman’s character doesn’t come off so much as a host talking to the audience, but more as the person making faces to go along with background music and lyrics. It’s soft and simple content, and great for wee ones.
6) Patty Shukla Kids TV – Children’s songs
Mrs. Patty talks and sings enthusiastically to her audience of early learners. She also sells music downloads and apps to go with her videos. Often, other kids appear alongside Patty in her videos, joining in on the fun as she leads them through actions to songs.
7) CBC Kids
Just like the CBC you grew up with as a Canadian kid, this is that, but on YouTube. You can get the more ‘mainstream’ TV characters on video here, including Sesame Street.
8) Toddler Fun Learning
On this channel you’ll find toddler-appropriate learning lessons that both talk slow, and show graphics slowly, for little ones to absorb at their level. It’s a mish-mash of animated characters talking to kids, plus ‘real life’ footage of animals or cars. While it’s not all songs, they do have some videos that include singing.
9) Mother Goose Club & Mother Goose Club Baby
This kid’s channel features characters like Humpty Dumpty teaching preschool-aged kids about planets in song, or Bo Beep singing about animal sounds. Other times, you’ll see ‘real life’ humans (including kids) in costumes on animated backgrounds. This is a mostly a singing channel, and doesn’t do much talking. It has a ‘baby’ list of videos on another channel, which seem more appropriate for younger toddlers.
10) Super Simple TV – Kids Shows & Cartoons
This children’s channel on YouTube features series of ‘episode-style’ cartoons. They are mostly animated, though some use puppetry. They teach preschoolers the alphabet, or they simply entertain with stories and characters who solve problems or make discoveries. The pace is also slow enough for young ones, which is helpful for their comprehension level.
11) Caitie’s Classroom
This is an offshoot of Super Simple TV and their other channel, Super Simple Songs. Caitie – another ‘real life,’ adult host, sings classic early childhood songs to children. Sometimes puppets appear, and have conversations with Caitie before they decide to start a sing-a-long. Catie’s songs have repetitive words to help preschoolers learn words. There is also a series of talk-only videos on this channel that, for example, explain how to do simple, educational crafts for young children. Or, Caitie may do a science experiment, or go out on a trip, such as to get a haircut. Catie is a little bit like Blippi, but a lot more toned down, and calmer in her mannerisms.
12) Funny Lion
This is an imaginative, story-telling channel that uses toys and people’s voices to enact stories. It’s extremely simple, and doesn’t contain the many animations or effects you’ll see on other series. That said, it does the job of keeping toddlers and preschoolers entertained with horse sounds or “Silly toy wolves playing” (to give one video title example). For adults who have a hard time playing make-believe with kids and their toys, this channel will teach you how!
There are many more preschool-friendly videos on YouTube!
We’ve listed 12 YouTube channels for toddlers and preschoolers, which can be your go-to source for ‘safe’ and age-appropriate videos. But certainly, we weren’t able to cover them all. Keep your eye out for good content and then subscribe, so you can get that channel’s updates.
Sometimes, parents are concerned about what their kids might click on when they’re not overseeing them, or the ads that appear on videos. For that, YouTube has come up with an answer that solves most of these issues: YouTube Kids. It’s an app-only place to set up videos that your kids can watch. You can even block the content you don’t want your kids to see, or report inappropriate content.
Since YouTube is free-for-all, where anyone can watch, and anyone can upload, it won’t always be fool-proof. For ad-free content, you’ll probably want to stick to Netflix or the new YouTube Premium paid services.