Video is the new TV for this generation of kids, if you hadn’t quite noticed. (Ha.) When we say to our kids, “let’s watch a show!’ their inclination is to turn their favorite video app or video platform on their little screens, and click play.
But the truth is, when left to their own devices, our kids don’t always make the very best choices. I mean, how many times can they watch a bag full of frosting be “satisfyingly” smoothed onto a cake? Or a cat fall off the TV? Or a famous young YouTuber hawk their line of toothpicks, or whatever?
(The answer is: A lot.)
And of course, we also have concerns about major video platforms themselves, from the comment section (DO NOT READ) to privacy breaches and data collection, to the rampant commercialism.
That’s why we’re really pleased that this post is sponsored by Jellies, a wonderfully curated, highly-lauded, and safe video app for kids featuring creative, educational, and commercial free videos that kids love, all hand-picked by actual people — not an algorithm.
With that, here are some ideas we put together to help get you excited about new, interesting, and safe videos to watch with your kids.
While there’s nothing wrong with some mindless screen time sometimes, it is kind of nice to have new ideas for videos in mind that will do a little more for your kids’ developing brains (and bodies) than just watching other kids open boxes of toys.
Top image: Ocean in a Bottle: Easy Science Experiments for Kids video by Liyah’s World
15 kinds of educational, entertaining kids videos to look for
1. Educational videos, obv
The world of educational videos is so vast, we could do an entire post about them, but basically, pick your topic, any topic: Black history, women’s history, holidays around the world, science facts, financial lessons, US capitals, sight words for preschoolers or advanced astrophysics for teens…you name it, there’s a good educational video out there to open your kids’ minds.
2. Exercise videos and dance tutorials
Who says watching videos has to be a passive activity? There are so many cool videos to get toddlers, preschoolers, even older kids off their butts. Whether they like “real workouts.” need to get their wiggles out, or are dying to learn how to floss like a pro, take a look around and see how many great ones there are.
3. Music videos made for kids
While our kids may love the same pop songs (or retro hits) we’re listening to, the videos are not always kid-appropriate, even if the lyrics are. There’s such an amazing array of indie kids’ musicians — or kindie artists — these days, plenty of which have serious musical cred from their past lives as grownup chart-toppers. And they make some really enjoyable, watchable videos too — even for us!
4. Cooking videos
If you’ve got a wannabe Master Chef Junior contestant on your hands, or just a kid who’d rather make their own pizza at dinner time, there are plenty of videos made just for kids, often starring kids, that — believe it or not — are not even sponsored by a brand. And yes, we love the cake videos just like everyone, but maybe give some healthy cooking videos a try too?
Super Sharks! video by SciShow Kids
5. Nature and animal videos
Of course there are all those cute kitten and puppy compilations, but it might be nice to nudge your kids into the greater world of nature and animal videos. Our youngest kids always surprised us with their fascination with videos simply depicting the sunset, macrophotography of insects, or exploration of the oceans. They don’t necessarily think of watching nature videos as learning “science” and yet that’s just what they’re doing.
Kids’ minds are sponges, and good documentary videos can open their eyes and ears to so many new things, from cheesemaking to space travel to how kids live in other parts of the world.
7. Science experiment videos
If you want to get your kids’ minds going, there are so many wonderful kitchen-table science videos, that are perfect for rainy days. Raid your pantry for food coloring, baking soda, white vinegar and some other basics, and those videos can turn into a fun offline learning experience.
8. Sports videos
It’s not just baseball highlights and interviews with basketball players — we’ve found all kinds of cool sports videos that fascinate our kids. Introduce them to curling, crew, even lumberjack sports. And when it’s Olympics season, kids just love learning more about favorite new sports that they’re discovering. (Luge videos, anyone?)
About our sponsor
If you love the joy and learning kids get from videos, but have been looking for a safer, more responsible environment, Jellies app to the rescue!
Parents love this 100% commercialism-free zone for kids. No ads, no unboxing, no hidden product placement. Just 5000+ (so far!) safe, entertaining children’s videos comprising 200 topics, all designed to inspire learning, creativity and imagination, and get them engaged in activities offline, too.
Each video collection is sorted by topic and age, from toddler to tween, so it’s easy to find just what you’re looking for, then use the easy parent dashboard to add new video topics to your child’s own customized video library.
Best of all, the videos on Jellies all 100% curated by experts and parents — not some algorithm that can allow the inappropriate stuff to sneak through.
Download the Jellies app now through this link.
It’s free for the first 30 days then if you love it, you can upgrade for just $4.99 a month to guarantee a safe, educational, ad-free video environment for kids.
9. “How it’s made” style videos
One of our favorite kinds of videos for kids are the ones that peel back the curtains and take us into the factory or science lab to see how everyday items are made. From automotive parts to fortune cookies, we could basically watch these all days. Uh, with our kids.
10. Joke videos
No, not practical joke videos — jokes! As in riddles, knock-knocks, puns…all the things kids love.
11. Magic trick videos
One thing kids may love more than telling jokes is fooling their friends with simple magic tricks. There are tons made just for kids, ranging from beginning slight-of-hand, to coin and silk tricks, to science “magic.” No rabbits in hats just yet.
How to Make a Pokeball video by Becca Beach
12. Crafting and maker videos
If you want to learn how to frost a cake, sew a pillow, write your name in calligraphy, make an origami bird, paint a sunset, make marble paper, or fashion your own kazoo, you guessed it — there’s a video for that. And hey, if you have a kid who loves cartoons, maybe a video on designing their own animated characters will excite them.
13. How-to videos
Beyond crafting and cooking, there are so many cool videos that teach kids basically, everything: how to bowl, how to build a pillow fort, how to perform bike or skateboard tricks, how to teach a dog tricks, even how to fly a jet. But that will require a pilot’s license. And you know, a jet.
14. Musem tours
If you can’t hop a plane to the Louvre or your kid isn’t quite ready to spend a whole day at the Tate, online museum tours can be a really cool way to expose kids to different artistic styles and artists, and maybe even encourage them to create their own work inspired by their virtual visit.
15. Foreign language videos
If you want to raise bilingual kids, or just teach them to say hello in new languages, online videos are a really affordable way to see if they have the interest and aptitude, before investing in a dual-language immersion program.