We recently took off the YouTube app on my boys’ iPads because they were finding inappropriate videos by accident. I felt like I had to hover over them just to keep an eye on what they were watching.
Well now I don’t have to worry about that and I’m thrilled! Google recently launched a new app geared towards parents of young children called YouTube Kids. I immediately downloaded this app for my boys and wanted a few days to play around with it.
I am very impressed with the app. Toddler to big kids can view lots of different shows, videos, music, educational content, and more.
The app makes it safer and easier for children to discover and explore videos on topics they are curious about.
I thought my almost 9 year-old would be a bit too old for this, but he’s finding lots of videos and shows to watch and really likes it. He can still watch Minecraft videos, so he’s happy.
It’s very easy to set-up:
- Once you download the app, you’ll be prompted to configure some settings.
- There’s not a ton of options for settings but a few are search features, content controls, sound effects, and background music.
- The homescreen is broken down into four categories: shows, music, learning, and exploring.
My favorite feature is the parental controls. The YouTube Kids App offers several options that help you control the experience for your kids.
o Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that limits kids’ screen time. The app alerts them when the session is over so you don’t have to.
o Sound Settings: Parents have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching quietly while you catch up on chores or simply take a break in peace.
o Search Settings: If you’d rather limit your children to just the pre-selected videos available on the home screen, you can turn off the search feature.
o Product feedback: The goal is to continuously improve YouTube Kids App, so there’s also a space for you to give YouTube your feedback.
There are still a few things they need to work out:
- Password system is currently designed for children who can’t read. My oldest can read and my youngest is learning so this could be a problem.
- You can’t customize the homescreen.
- Ads will pop up before shows. So far I see that they are all child friendly and you can skip after 5 seconds, but still annoying.
- You can’t search for other videos while currently viewing one like you can in the YouTube app. I know my boys like to do this.
But overall I really like this app mostly because I know that my boys can’t get into trouble with it.
Here’s a quick video to show you what the YouTube Kids App looks like: