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Did you know that YouTube has launched a kid friendly app?
If you have kids or encounter kids at any point in your day, you know that they are crazy about the internet, apps, games, music, etc…This is not to debate whether they should or shouldn’t do so. We live in a digitized society and its natural that it would filter down to our children.
My kids use my old iPhone as an iPod, use our tablets and computers and have kid-friendly tablets of their own. My husband and I are on our devices quite a bit for work and personal use, so it’s not hard to believe that the kids would be curious about them and want to emulate what we do.
However, being someone who works online and in social media, I know the dangers that the internet holds. I cringe when my daughter pretends to be texting or blogging and the idea of her having a Facebook or Twitter account horrifies me (judge me,do it, I’m a hypocrite).
Parental controls and settings are our best friends right now. Also, we are opening up the conversations about what is appropriate for their age groups and in general. Plus, we are obviously close by when they use the devices.
Hallelujah, Netflix gives you the option to have kids and adults separate. My Husband and I are huge The Walking Dead fans. I really don’t want my 5 and 6 year olds to see that. And they shouldn’t have to run into that when they are browsing for the usual obnoxious teenie bopper sitcoms and cartoons.
YouTube is different story. My two year old loves to watch certain music videos repeatedly while I breastfeed or am otherwise occupied with the baby. It keeps him by my side and not climbing the refrigerator shelves while I have to stay stationary. I am not a breastfeeding extraordinaire able to travel and accomplish anything other than nourishing during a feeding.
Many of the channels that he likes are meant for preschoolers , but I don’t believe that they have control of the ads that are featured before their videos. Fifty Shades of Grey and Sinister are two movies that I have seen advertised leading up to nursery rhyme videos.
I am giving YouTube a double Hallelujah for FINALLY launching YouTube Kids. Again, this is not to debate anything. Kids use these apps and services. My kids do it and it’s likely your kids do or will. Having safer options for them should be on the minds of the companies that create these sites. It’s not only in our our best interest, but theirs as well.
The Official Description
The official YouTube Kids app is designed for curious little minds. This free app is delightfully simple and packed full of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists. YouTube Kids features popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world.
DESIGNED FOR KIDS
We’ve taken out the complicated stuff and made an app even little ones can navigate — that means big buttons, easy scrolling, and instant full-screen.
VIDEOS KIDS WILL LOVE
Kids can enjoy favorites like Sesame Street, Thomas & Friends, and Dreamworks, online hits like Mother Goose Club, TuTiTu, and Super Simple Songs, plus anything else they’re into — music, gaming, science, crafts, and more.
VIDEOS PARENTS CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT
We’re as focused on kids’ safety as you are, so we’ve built the YouTube Kids app to be a family-friendly place to explore.
When your child browses the app’s home screen, they’ll find a vast selection of kid-appropriate channels and playlists. When families search in the app, we use a mix of input from our users and automated analysis to categorize and screen out the videos that make parents nervous.
And for added peace of mind, parents can quickly notify YouTube if they see anything questionable directly from the app.
SETTINGS FOR PARENTS
You can turn off search for an even more contained experience. Or set the built-in timer to let your kids know when it’s time to stop watching (so you don’t have to). The app puts these settings behind a grown-ups-only lock, out of kids’ reach.
YouTube Kids. Made for curious little minds.
So far, the only things that I am unhappy with is occasional ads that pop up on the sidebar and that it is currently only for Android. I am sure that with it’s increased popularity, it will be universially available shortly.
How does your family use the internet? Have you tried YouTube Kids or other apps/sites geared towards children?