(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. 🙂

Web-Based Chore Management.

At one point I was looking into chore management applications – especially ones that would remind someone if they didn’t do their chore. I never found one I was entirely happy with and am hoping Asana will someday add an SMS reminder feature to their product…Here is the list of web-based chore management applications I found. Most of them are aimed at parents wanting to encourage their children to complete their chores…

  • Chore Wars – A RPG game like interface for completing chores.
  • PAYjr Chore and Allowance System – Offers a unique debit card which can be credited as children complete their chores.
  • my job chart – Has web-based, android, and apple (e.g. iphone/ipad) applications.
  • Cozi – Not strictly a chore management application, but has some features for chore/appointment/task management.
  • goal for it! – Has behavior and chore charts, as well as goal setting for adults, and todo lists.
  • 4chores – Manage chores and also helps children run neighborhood businesses performing chores.
  • Chore Ninja – Includes some unique features like not assigning outdoor chores when it is raining.
  • MyChores – Not aimed at children, based out of UK.

An Introduction to Intergenerational Ministry.

So, tomorrow I’m preaching and I mentioned that the topic would address multi-generational interactions. Steve Weir pointed out that my terminology was incorrect (thanks!) and that the correct term is “intergenerational.” I googled it – and boy did that make finding relevant articles and sites easier!

In any case, I just wanted to highlight several excellent posts on the topic by Kara Jenkins over at Ministry to Children’s site. Each is meticulously researched, relatively short, and worthwhile reads. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of intergenerational ministry – give these articles a gander!