Parents have plenty of reasons to be skeptical of YouTube, but you can trust these six kid friendly YouTube channels.

If you’re skeptical of YouTube, you’re not alone. It’s important to be discerning about what you allow your kids to watch, but not everything on YouTube is bad – you just need to know where to look. There is a whole world of interesting, entertaining and informative videos on this platform, but not every video is kid friendly.

So, how are you supposed to know which videos are safe for your kids to watch? One way is to keep an eye on which channels they follow and only allow “safe” channels to be watched by your kids. Keep in mind that auto played videos can have questionable content in them, so your best bet is to create a parent-approved playlist that your kids can view. You’ll also want to monitor their screen time and online searches to keep track of how they spend their phone or tablet time.

Learn more about popular apps in the Zift App Advisor.

Kid Friendly YouTube Channels Kids Will Actually Love

There's no doubt that kids are obsessed with YouTube, but a lot of the content just isn’t appropriate for them to watch. Between the past Logan Paul controversy, counterfeit kids’ cartoons, and raunchy music videos, parents have plenty of reasons not to trust YouTube. Of course, the best thing a parent can do is watch with your kids, but realistically, that’s not always possible. 

When you can't watch with them, you can trust these six kid friendly YouTube channels for your family’s safe viewing.

  1. Lilly Singh
    For teens and mature tweens
    Lilly Singh is a comedian who performs comedy sketches and parodies. The topics of her videos usually revolve around real life situations that many kids deal with, like “when your friend gets dumped.” The videos are not inappropriate, but the topics are meant for a more mature audience. This channel is best suited for mature tweens and teens.
  2. Nerdy Nummies
    For crafty kids of all ages
    Rosanna Pansino’s channel, Nerdy is a cooking channel that is perfect for gaming fans. This show features DIY tutorials for “nerdy” crafts and baking.  The tutorials include treats that are superhero, game, and movie themes. This channel is perfect for any kid that loves gaming, superheroes, crafts, and baking! If you want to try making your own treats, this is a great activity for parents to do with their kids.
  3. HobbyKidsGaming
    For gamer kids
    HobbyKidsGaming features a dad and his sons playing with new toys, playing video games, and going on family-friendly adventures. The videos include gameplay of Mario Odyssey, Amazing Frog, Roblox, and more.  This channel is great for kids who want to watch gameplay videos because they are completely G-rated. Parents won't have to worry about cursing or inappropriate content that can be found on many other gaming channels.
  4. Smosh
    For tweens
    Smosh is a comedy skit channel, which are performed by a group of six young adults. One of their popular series is “every [blank] ever,” which includes videos like “every grandparent ever.” Tweens will enjoy the juvenile humor and pop culture references on this channel. Younger kids may not be interested in this channel.
  5. Mother Goose Club
    For little kids
    Great for preschoolers, this channel teaches nursery thyme classics through skits and songs. Parents will recognize songs like “Wheels on the Bus” and “Skip to my Lou.” Kids will love that the videos are animated, but also include real kids and adults.  Mother Goose Club is created specifically for young kids and is completely safe for them to watch. Older kids may not be interested in this channel.
  6. SmartGirls
    For tweens and teens

    Amy Poehler’s YouTube channel is an uplifting and enlightening channel for tween and teen girls. It features interviews with female celebrities and Q&A sessions with Amy. The channel is focused on empowering young girls and emphasizes intelligence in a funny and informative way. Watching SmartGirls is a great way for girls (and boys!) to learn about smart, influential women.

Why is YouTube Popular With Kids?

The rise of platforms like YouTube have changed the way kids experience entertainment and how often they get to do so. The ability to access video on demand has enabled kids to watch what they want, when they want. Couple that with the convenience of interacting with content producers who can respond to their suggestions or requests quickly, and it becomes relatively clear why the platform has become so successful.

But what about the stars? Why are they so successful and popular with kids? Glad you asked. 

Diversity is Represented

Let’s be honest here: representation matters. As a society, we’ve come to learn (or rather are in the process of learning) the importance of kids being able to see people who look like them portrayed on screen. 

YouTube has made that possible and then some. Whether it’s a matter of race, religion, sexual orientation, body type, disabilities or socioeconomic backgrounds—you name it, and a kid is likely to find that kind of representation on the platform. 

YouTubers are Real People

In a 2014 study commissioned by Variety, teenagers aged 13-18 in the U.S. provided invaluable insight into the biggest influencers for their age demographic. The 1,500 respondents were essentially asked to rank 20 influencers based on approachability, authenticity, and other factors. 

YouTube stars took the top five and six dominated the top ten. A key reason for this was relatability. 

Think about it: as a teenager are you more likely to relate to Katy Perry or the kid on YouTube who’s living their life just as you are? The only difference between you and the latter is that they’re recording and sharing their life along the way, and probably funnier or more entertaining in the process of that; with the former, there’s a publicist, glam squad, image consultant, millions of dollars, and a myriad of other things that create a sea between you and them that not even social media could help either of you to cross. 

YouTubers are Responsive

One of the greatest powers that YouTubers have is the ability to respond quickly—be it through videos, the comments section, or social media—to the needs and desires of viewers. They can adjust their content at lightning speed—something that TV producers cannot.  

This gives the viewer a shared investment and creativity in the kind of content that they consume. Responsiveness produces engagement, and engagement increases popularity.  

Video Creators are Resourceful

Pranks, challenges, hauls, tips, DIY—the list goes on. There is no shortage in the kind of content that kids get, and like, to see. With relatively low (or no) overhead costs, YouTube stars (and content producers in general on the platform) can produce videos or YouTube shows quickly. 

A video about makeup only requires makeup items, a face, and some level of skill (depending on whether humor or credibility is the star’s end goal). If the YouTube star is already into makeup, they likely have these items on hand and can use their own face as a palette.  Depending on their level of popularity, that low-budget (or no-budget) video can garner hundreds of thousands of views. Those views can then lead to opportunities that include sponsorships, a brand ambassadorship, or employment.

How to Enable YouTube Restricted Mode

It's almost impossible to keep kids away from YouTube completely, but with the right tools and information, you don't need to! When kids are watching the right channels and the right content, YouTube can be safe and even informative. 

You can choose to use the YouTube Kids app, which is designed to limit content and filter out inappropriate videos. However, there are videos that can easily slip through in this app including violent counterfeit cartoons and other mature videos that make YouTube Kids flawed for families.

Another option you have is to turn on YouTube’s restricted mode within the regular app. Watch this video for a step-by-step guide to enable this setting.

YouTube has lots of wonderful videos that no doubt your child is already obsessed with watching but keeping them safe on this platform can be a real challenge. When in doubt, consider using a parental control app to help view and block the apps that are on your child’s devices.

To learn more about keeping your kids safe on YouTube, download our Complete YouTube Guide for Parents.