App review by Sandy Wisneski, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2019
YouTube Kids
Get it now

YouTube Kids

Kid-targeted videos are best with adult guidance

Get it now
Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 5 reviews
Privacy rating
81%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Math, Science, Character & SEL

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Catchy sounds and easy navigation make for an engrossing, endlessly engaging viewing experience.

Cons: Adults still need to moderate, because inappropriate videos or ads may slip through filters.

Bottom Line: With adult supervision and controls in place, this is a fun way for young kids to browse online videos.

YouTube Kids offers a range of educational videos for the pre-K and early elementary school-age set. Videos can be used as supplemental resources to introduce new concepts or for motivation when beginning a new unit. Brain-break videos are a great addition throughout the day and get students moving and ready to continue learning. One example, "The Mother Goose Club," introduces students to phonics and letters with a fun and engaging approach.  Connect students to books by bringing guest readers into your classroom with video read-alouds. YouTube Kids narrows the selection, saving time searching for the right video. Adjust the settings to a specific age group (preschool, younger, or older) to meet your classroom needs. 

Continue reading Show less

YouTube Kids is a kid-friendly portal (through the web and an app) to YouTube that features curated TV shows, music, and educational videos. Since there are periodic updates, the channels and videos are always changing. While the bulk of the content that most kids will encounter isn't problematic, it's still important that educators monitor viewing habits and make adjustments as needed. The app has drawn controversy in the past for including some clearly inappropriate videos and ads (with nudity, alcohol, and profanity). YouTube's curation process isn't perfect (details of how titles are curated are slim; publicly, Google says it's "a mix of automated analysis and user input"), so adult oversight is key.

Kids navigate by swiping left and right or by browsing through the menus that appear across the top of the screen. "Shows" features clips and full episodes of popular children's programming; "Music" offers a wide range of songs; "Learning" includes access to education-minded kids' shows; and "Explore" offers access to a range of content created by users and by vendors who market to children. Kids can also access popular playlists from channels such as National Geographic Kids and Sid the Science Kid. Once kids watch a few videos, a Recommended menu appears at the top, where kids can view more clips and shows related to those they've previously viewed.

Access to the parent/educator section requires completing a simple math computation, but you can also create your own custom passcode. Settings options allow parents and educators to customize kids' experience by toggling sounds on and off, disabling searches, and clearing watch histories. Upon first login, adults can view a tutorial that helps them choose content for kids. There's also a timer function, which can set a limit (between one and 120 minutes) on kid's viewing time, and a colored progress bar at the top of the screen displays how much time remains. After the time has elapsed, a "Time's Up!" animation appears and locks kids out of further viewing. Adults must enter a code for access to resume.

The YouTube Kids interface feels designed for young kids, and the majority of featured content is aimed at that group. Generally, the content is appropriate, but educators still need to monitor the usage since the filters aren't foolproof. Some of the content will have commercialism embedded within, and ads may still pop up during video viewing.

The layout is whimsical and fun, with extra-big buttons making it easy for kids to play and pause. Simple icons help kids easily understand broad categories for the videos they'll find. Parental control features are valuable, but once kids get older, it would be beneficial for educators to create a personal password to keep them from gaining access. Adults can disable search, and the timer function lets adults limit and control kids' access. The Recommended videos menu is a great feature: After only a few video views, kids get a custom list of related videos that improves as kids view more content. There's a vast selection of videos available that are both entertaining and educational. The key is to monitor what content's being viewed and to use this experience to encourage positive media literacy.

Overall Rating


As a tool for students to browse kid-centric videos, this platform is tops. Sound effects and intuitive icons are highlights of the user experience, making this a fun, engrossing way to access a world of video content.


Though learning content is only a subset of the offerings, kids can find positive and educational messages throughout that could easily transfer to school and real life.


The interface is very intuitive and easy to browse, with available guides and links to additional resources.

Common Sense reviewer
Sandy Wisneski Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 5 reviews) (5 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jill B. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Kid-centered videos that are great for education.
I'm not sure how secure it is. I can type in some inappropriate words and they wont show, however students can get off on the wrong video quite easily. One of the best features is the speech search. Kids who can't type what they are looking for can easily say it and search for it that way.
Read full review
Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

See complete evaluation

Learn more about our privacy ratings