My son, Nabeel, is a hardcore YouTuber and so are millions of kids around the globe. It was only wise of YouTube to have come up with an app dedicated to children with relevant content picked up from its huge database of videos as well as some parental control features.
YouTube Kids App was launched in India recently and I was there to know how it makes such a must have app for us kids as well as us parents. We were walked through an informative presentation by Mr. Malik Ducard, Global Head of Family & Learning, YouTube, Mr. Don Anderson, Head of Kids & Learning Partnerships, & Aman Dayal Partnerships Manager, YouTube Kids.
The app focuses on 3 E’s; namely, Entertain, Enrich & Exlore as explained by Mr.Ducard. While YouTube already has a storehouse of kid’s content there was a need to create this app to keep kids away from viewing things not meant for them and to ensure a secure and fun zone of their own which the parents don’t have to monitor time and again, added Mr. Don Anderson.
The first thing I did, after attending the launch was to download the app and test it over the weekend. Below are some of the features I really loved about the app.
Salient features of the app
1) Content categories based on different interest; namely Shows, Music, Learning & Explore
• Shows include kid-friendly programming from popular YouTube creators.∗
• Music includes songs to sing and dance along to, including nursery rhymes, popular music videos for kids, and clips from their favourite musicals.∗
• Learning includes everything from ABCs and 123s to science lessons and language arts so children can engage, grow and learn.∗
• Explore includes content that helps your child discover the world around them, develop new hobbies, and explore topics they’re interested in.∗
2) Search for content by typing as well as saying the keywords. This is a wonderful feature for younger ones who sure know their “hoolahoops” and “dinosaurs” but can’t spell them 🙂
3) You can set the age of your child and content will be suggested based on it. This makes searching and exploring time less and entertainment time real and enriching.
4) Like the general YouTube App, YouTube Kids also has recommendations based on past viewing patterns.
5) Timers can be set before you handover the phone to your child. Kid’s get a “Times Up” notification once it’s up and locks the app. This is my favourite feature of the app, now no more dodging and yelling at the child to get MY phone back.
6) One more parental control that I like is the option to “turn off search”, which will limit viewing to the videos suggested on the homepage.
7) It is also possible to enjoy the app on a wider screen, your TV, by connecting using a Chromecast.
8) Clear search history is also a good thing since it ensures the same videos are not suggested and viewed by the kids and allows fresh new content to surface on the screen.
9) The interface is pretty simple and attractive with huge video icons.
10) The parental control section is passcode protected so even if the smarter kids manage to get in there they won’t know how to get through.
The YouTube Kids app is for kids aged between 2 to 10 and is available for iOS and Android platforms. It is free but ad supported. I like that the app is not only entertaining but also educative making it the ideal infotainment app. Also the app has family-friendly shows that the entire family can watch together.
Resorting to digital world for entertainment and learning should not be the only way of doing so..don’t forget to expose the kids to the traditional infotainment ways of free-play, books, co-playing and peer learning.
Source ∗ – https://kids.youtube.com/
Till then, Love Being a Mommy!