There is a hot topic going around social media about child safety issues with YouTube content. The recent uptick in shares from about a scary character called MoMo who discusses suicide ideation and practices hit the internet a few years ago, and has started to recirculate again recently. However, it’s no secret that the internet is full of creepers and as parents we all want to protect our little ones from them as much as possible. That’s why we’ve created a list of YouTube alternatives that are filtered and safe, so your kids can go back to enjoying their carefree life.
Parent-Approved Apps for Shows
Netflix offers a child profile option that filters out adult content for viewing while on the child profile. There is also a setting called ‘child lock‘ that locks any adult content with a passcode and an option to set time limits on the app.
If you haven’t heard of this app, then you’re in for a treat! Cakey is an app that has videos from YouTube and have all been approved and placed in ‘collections’ by parents that are using the app. Which means that children can only watch videos that have been approved by their parents. Videos can also be easily deleted if you no longer want them to watch it.
There is no option for children to search for videos (so they don’t stumble across anything inappropriate), and best of all there is no comment section in the videos (which is the safety issue YouTube is facing). You can create a pin code to access parent settings, enable the take a bite reminder (to make sure your child remembers to eat while watching), set a daily viewing limit and the kicker, its all FREE!
This app is used by schools, students, and teachers where students can create and upload their very own videos. It is a great alternative if your kids love the “real” videos on YouTube but you don’t want them on YouTube or YouTube Kids anymore.
Disney has a ton of great shows for children to watch at any age. If you are subscribed to cable, your child will be able to access unlimited full episodes on the app. But if you don’t have cable subscription don’t worry, your child can still watch their favorite shows but their choices may be limited.
Did you know that if you’re an Amazon prime member, you get access to free videos? Yes! There’s a category dedicated to kid-friendly/family videos. How convenient!
Here is another app that’s great for kids who have their favorite shows on Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. A few episodes are available for free but is unlimited if you have a cable subscription.
This is another fan favorite for parents with kids in the younger crowd. With shows like Wild Kratts, Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Sid the Science Kid, and Pinkalicious you will be sure to find something for everyone in the two to six age range.
Reading Apps for Kids
If you want to take this opportunity to pull away from videos all together, there are some reading and educational apps that are a great alternative to YouTube.
With this app your child can read along with some of their favorite stories as read by authors and celebrities. It can be watched on YouTube, SchoolTube, or via their app.
This digital learning library has audio books for kids 12 and under. Books are separated by ages so you can find something for all the kids to enjoy.
The magazines that we got in the mail as kids are now available to read, play, and interact with online! They have their own featured apps and games that your kids can play independently, all broken down by age and development levels
If your kids love animals and learning, they will love NatGeo for Kids. This app has animals, photos, stories, videos, and more to learn about their favorite animals, places, and things!
Wait, what about YouTube Kids App?
Although this app was made for kids and is offered as a safer YouTube experience, there are some things about the app that make it questionable. For starters, the app will recommend videos on the child’s home screen based what they’ve searched for and previously watched (a safety issue YouTube is facing). Another red flag is that videos on the YouTube Kids app are not manually reviewed by anyone, which makes us wonder how effective the app really is for safety?
If you still feel like your child is ok to watch YouTube, make sure that you’ve enabled the ‘restricted mode’ in the settings. The restricted mode disables comments on videos, but is not 100% effective when it comes to filtering out unwanted videos and comments.
We all are aware of the dangers of the internet, and it is our job to educate and make sure our children know what content is or isn’t ok to consume. Let’s keep our children safe in any way we can.
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