(Small) Children’s Videos During a Pandemic: YouTube – Part 1

Over the next few weeks as families find themselves largely isolated, without the usual support systems, and parents balancing work and child care more video will be watched by children than is the norm. I’ve compiled a list of some of the shows my son enjoys the most from YouTube. Hopefully you’ll find some shows on this list that your child will enjoy too.

Avoiding Dangerous Content

YouTube can be a great resource for entertainment and learning but there is also the danger of exposure (especially for our children) to inappropriate content. I personally haven’t encountered this situation but have heard about it frequently enough from others that before I share some specific recommendations I’d like to also share a few principles that have helped me avoid this sort of content with our son:

  • Origin – Look for videos that are coming from a trusted source. This could be the original content manufacturer or a third party that has shown consistency in delivering quality and authentic videos over an extended period of time.
  • Age – Look for videos that have been on YouTube for some period of time. The longer the content has been on YouTube the less likely it is to have dangerous content – as it remaining online indicates others probably haven’t reported it as dangerous.
  • Views – Look for videos with a high number of views. This indicates that many people have watched the video and that there hasn’t been a determination by the viewers that the content is dangerous.

None of these methods is foolproof but using these three in combination has helped me keep our son clear of disturbing materials.

Mighty Machines

Our son absolutely loves this show. Each episode is about “mighty machines” in a specific context – whether that is collecting garbage, building a road, or on a farm. Its real video of these machines at work with the individual machines being voiced by a few actors to provide a consistent and informative narrative. The episodes are usually 30-40 mins in length. Some of his favorite episodes include:

We’ve watched a number of these videos on Multi Otomoto’s channel. Another source is the Building Machines channel.


Another perennial favorite is Blippi. The show features a man dressed cartoonishly, using a high pitched voice, and oftentimes acting quite silly. This is a show parents both love and hate. It can be entertaining and informative but also a bit insanity inducing (for parents).

The episodes tend to be between 10-20 minutes long.

Here are a few of our favorite episodes:

Gecko’s Garage

A gecko interacts with various machines in his garage, performing fixing and painting the machines – mainly trucks. There are a huge number of these videos, they vary in length. The show is a little more subdued than some of the others so whether a child wants to watch the show often depends on their mood. You can watch the show on the official YouTube channel.

What Shows Does Your Child Enjoy?

I’d love to hear what shows/videos your child enjoys on YouTube! Let me also know if this is useful and we can have a Part 2 with a few more favorite channels. 🙂

(Small) Children’s Video During a Pandemic: Disney+

As everyone hunkers down for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and some of our central institutions (such as schools) shutter their doors many parents are going to find themselves with massive numbers of anticipated hours of child care…and during these times, when social distancing becomes the norm, having some quality video entertainment won’t hurt.

Disney+ is one service that provides quality entertainment for children (and adults) and is reasonably priced ($7/mo.).

Since Disney+ is a relatively new service we don’t have extensive experience with their catalog and our little one. What shows and/or movies do you like on Disney+? Are there ones you steer clear of that you had watched as a child or adult but now think may not be the best for your child? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Winnie the Pooh

Our mainstay here is The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (4 seasons, 23 mins. per episode, 1988-1991).1Note that some episodes may be frightening for small children (S1:E1 Pooh Oughta Be in Pictures and S1:E9 Babysitter Blues for example).

The Heffalump movie is another perennial favorite.


There are a number of different children’s movies available. I’m always a fan of Pixar’s films and numerous options such as Toy Story (1-4), Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Brave, Inside Out, Cars (1-3), Finding Nemo/Finding Dory.

There is also a large catalog of Disney films. From classics like Bambi, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and Pinocchio4Snow White, The Litter Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, 101 Dalmations, Robin Hood, and so on. to more recent popular hits like Tangled, Frozen, etc.