My three-year-old’s newest obsession is watching Mario Bros videos on YouTube. When we were at a park play date a few weeks ago and he started talking about it, I got a few looks from the other moms like I had been letting him watch the Saw series. After I explained it, they kind of warmed up to the idea, but for whatever reason YouTube is stereotyped as being for mature audiences only. But this is not necessarily true. YouTube has quite a few channels that cater to a younger crowd. Hey, its where Bieber got his start! Here are five ways to waste and afternoon with your kids on YT:

  1. Old school cartoons All of those great animations from when we were kids are archived on YT. My boys were really into The original Transformer cartoons after the movie came out. We have also watched Alvin and The Chipmunks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Woody Woodpecker. What childhood show makes you nostalgic? Chances are you will find it on YouTube.
  2. YouTube original videos created for kids. Perhaps the most well known kids’ series on YT is Fred, a lonely six year old who starts posting videos to a YouTube channel with his mom’s camera. Fred has since collaborated with Nickelodeon to create a feature film based on his character. But Fred is not the only channel out there for the kiddies. One of our favorites is the Duck Song by Forestfire101.
  3. Silly Babies. Kids love watching other kids act silly. My boys LOVE the infamous ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video and anything that involves a tub or dancing.
  4. Funny Animals. There are talking dogs, crazy cats and so much more. National Geographic and Discovery Networks have their own channels so you can look up almost every animal imaginable. My boys are currently into sharks.
  5. Video Games. This one is not very entertaining for me, but my boys love it. There are tips, tricks, guides and reviews for almost every game and system. As with all of YouTube, just be sure to monitor what they are watching. The video game themed vlogs seem to be especially bombarded with foul-mouthed teenage boys (imagine that!), but there are also some clean ones that are actually pretty witty. YouTube has yet to create a feature that allows you to block offensive channels, so you have to revert back to good old-fashioned paying attention to what your kids are doing.