Fantastic YouTube Channels

YouTube can be a great source of education and entertainment – and with many of us currently stuck indoors for large parts of the day, that makes it a fantastic tool for keeping children occupied.

With thousands of channels to choose from, though, finding the best content for your child may seem like a daunting task. What’s more, not everything on YouTube is suitable for children – so unless they’re using the YouTube Kids app, they could potentially stumble across something they really shouldn’t be watching.

Fortunately, there are plenty of child-friendly YouTube channels for your kids to get stuck into. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites below.

NOTE: For a more secure online experience, we’d recommend downloading the YouTube Kids app, created so that children can explore their favourite family–friendly videos in a safer, more accessible way. Added parental controls allow for parent–approved collections, time limits and more – ensuring peace of mind when guiding your child through their video watching spree. We’ve indicated by each entry whether it is available on YouTube Kids or not.

Read the parent guide on YouTube Kids here

Some of your teachers have started their own YouTube channels during the lockdown. Have a look at their great videos below.

Mrs Ali's Classroom YouTube Channel contains all sorts of videos. Take a look here.

Miss Hunt's Science YouTube Channel contains videos of science experiments to do at home. Take a look here.

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

Describing itself as “Science with a side of awesome”, Crash Course Kids is a fantastic way to engage your younger children in the exciting world of science. Covering topics ranging from habitats to space to chemical reactions, the producers of this show have one goal: making science fun. Whilst it is an American channel, much of the content will apply to any children currently working at KS2 – and all kids who have an interest in how the world works.

Watch Crash Course Kids here

Available on YouTube Kids: Selected videos only

Homeschool Pop is a jack of all trades in the educational YouTube channel–sphere. We’d say it’s aimed at the younger age bracket of KS2, although there is some useful content for 10-11 year olds. Covering topics from maths to history to geography to biology and even social studies, there isn’t much this channel hasn’t explored. Again, it’s American – so if you’re reading this elsewhere, be aware that some subjects may not match your local curriculum – but it’s a great all rounder to boost your child’s general knowledge.

Watch Homeschool Pop here

Available on YouTube Kids: No

If you have children working at KS1, this channel is a gem. With weekly episodes spanning about 30 minutes each, WordWorld is produced in such a way that words are “the stars of the show”. Almost like a show-and-tell activity, objects are built with the letters that make up the word they represent. A great way to encourage reading, writing and spelling.

Watch WordWorld here

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

The child-friendly version of the immensely popular network National Geographic. Nat Geo Kids features videos about animals, science, culture and much more. The videos are short but informative, and there’s loads for your child to choose from to help feed their curiosity.

Watch National Geographic Kids here

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

Everyone loves Sesame Street, right? It’s made by the Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit education organisation that produces multiple educational programmes for children, and has been a children’s TV staple for more than 50 years. The show’s YouTube channel is packed with videos designed to help your child learn essential life skills – everything from tying a shoelace to caring for ourselves and others – plus plenty of educational content that may well be useful if your kids are working at KS1. More than just a teaching aid, though, it’s also guaranteed to bring a smile to every face.

Watch Sesame Street here

Available on YouTube Kids: Selected videos only

You’ve probably already heard of TED Talks, a collection of topical videos from expert and influential speakers. TED–Ed is an extension to TED Talks, with a commitment to “creating lessons worth sharing”, straight from your device. With a library full of expertly produced content from collaborations between educators and animators, TED–Ed celebrates education worldwide – and is a great way for older children to challenge their knowledge.

Watch TED–Ed here

Available on YouTube Kids: Selected videos only

Less your typical educational channel and more concerned with “tackling human existence”, SoulPancake defines itself as “the dreamers, misfits, artists, activists, and innovators who have the power to positively change the world”. Covering everything from LGBTQIA content to a segment on “How many female scientists can you name?”, this channel brings it all to the table. Interesting content produced in a slightly different way to help expand young minds.

Watch SoulPancake here

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organisation whose mission is to provide free education worldwide. Its channel features expertly produced content on a wide range of school subjects, as well as advice videos on how to manage exam anxiety and procrastination, to name but a few. More recently, the channel has been offering livestream “office hours”, where parents, teachers and students can submit questions via YouTube’s live chat.

Watch Khan Academy here

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

Netflix Jr. features characters from children’s Netflix shows, complete with bright engaging content to help kids learn, sing and play. The DIY videos are particularly fun (providing you have the time to assist), and are a great way for younger children to get stuck into some arts and crafts after lessons finish.

Watch Netflix Jr. here

Available on YouTube Kids: Yes

You’ve probably already heard of this massively popular YouTube channel. With 24.5 million subscribers, Ryan’s World, starring eight–year–old Ryan, features science experiments, challenges, arts and crafts and music. The videos can vary in length – anything from five minutes to half an hour – but the content remains engaging and upbeat throughout. A fun channel with lots of variety.

Watch Ryan's World here