5 Trusted Mom-Approved 'YouTube Kids' Alternatives (1)

Honestly I’ve never liked YouTube for my kids and now in light of the recent discoveries on YouTube Kids, I find myself wanting to share my trusted mom-approved alternatives to YouTube Kids. ?

What’s that you say? You don’t know about what’s up with YouTube Kids? You’ve never HEARD of YouTube Kids? Allow me to very quickly fill you in. OR skip right down to the list of Mom-Approved Video Alternatives to YouTube Kids below

Warning – the images you’re about to see may be disturbing. You’re welcome to keep reading OR skip right down to the list of Mom-Approved Video Alternatives to YouTube Kids below

I was first alerted to the insane happenings on YouTube Kids after a friend shared a disturbing Facebook post. I wish I had taken a screenshot of it, but the gist of it was that she had seen a disturbing video on YouTube Kids. She was tending to her older son and placed a tablet playing YouTube Kids in front of her younger son to keep him entertained. She said at 4-minutes and 45-seconds into the video (when most parents are probably not watching) a man emerged onto the screen sharing instructions on how to kill yourself.

Disturbing right??….

A few days later a friend shared this image. I have not shared her name in order to protect her privacy.

On February 12, 2019 she wrote “This is an exceptionally hard thing for me to post. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’ve decided it’s way too important not to bring awareness to other parents. This is not up for criticism. I only want to let all parents know what to watch for…. Kids youtube, roblox, fortnight… no matter how much you think you are monitoring your child.. notifications to what your child is watching. It doesn’t matter. My 7 year old child was taught how to attempt suicide by youtube kids and these games. She has expressed that she doesn’t feel neglected or unloved. Instead, she was constantly told to ‘go kill yourself’ by other gamers, by youtube kids. Shown HOW to. Sunday night, she had a full blown anxiety attack. Which I held her and sang to her while she got through it. Monday, she drew this in school. This is a VERY real danger! I NEVER thought I would find myself helping my SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD through an anxiety attack. PLEASE, keep your children away from these things. I’m just so glad my child was able to express her feelings before she actually tried to harm herself. I never thought something as ‘innocent’ as youtube kids would have these subliminal messages. Again, I’m only sharing our experience in the hopes to prevent another child going through this. “

Thank God that mom shared her story. She is not the only mom to share the horrors she found on YouTube Kids. On February 23, 2019 another mom shared these images from YouTube Kids on her public Facebook profile and this caption.

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Peppa Pig Sickos on YouTube Kids
She wrote: “Parents: Monitor what your kids are watching on YouTube or YouTube Kids. There are some things that are completely inappropriate disguised as kids shows with kids characters. … this channel has taken the likeness of the (Peppa Pig) characters and twisted them into sick stuff such as suicide, murder, sex, drug taking. Also seen with Paw Patrol but its hidden in pretty much anything. They get past the filters because of the characters and they’re marked for kids and will autoplay if no one is paying attention. Please FLAG THESE if you see anything similar. The thumbnails do change often so be aware. Another example I read recently was using characters from a TV show called The Winx Club and it had a step by step tutorial of how to become a fire fairy by turning on your oven and turning on the stove and letting the magic gas fill the house and to make sure to do it at night so no one hears you or it will ruin the magic. The little girl in the article ended up severely burned over most of her body after blowing up the kitchen. Or even telling kids the right way to cut for suicide… Yeah. Trust no one and nothing with your kids peeps.”

These images make me sick to my stomach. The more I learn, the more I become downright angry at the exploitation of our youth. I’m sure as mom you are just as disgusted and outraged. So what do we do about it? We protect our kids by only allowing appropriate content and we speak very loudly to YouTube Kids by no longer using their service.

A spokesperson for YouTube told the Washington Post the video platform is always working to make sure it is “not used to encourage dangerous behavior and we have strict policies that prohibit videos which promote self-harm.”

According to YouTube’s spokesperson, the Google-owned platform relies on both user flagging and smart detection technology to flag content that violates its policies. “Every quarter we remove millions of videos and channels that violate our policies and we remove the majority of these videos before they have any views,” the spokesperson told the Post in a written statement.

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However, there are reports showing that YouTube knew about and ignored toxic videos for years, like this one in Bloomberg.

Trusted Mom-Approved Alternatives to YouTube Kids

Bottlesodes

Bottlesodes, or B-TV as it is sometimes called, is fairly new. An Iowa Couple created the subscription website after they were tired of the lack of quality kid content online. Read our article by co-found Bethany Sines.

Recently the origins of Bottlesodes was featured on the Blaze. This online content library is new and growing. Bottlesodes features videos that don’t overstimulate young minds.

You can also stream on any Apple or Android device.

  • Age – 3 – 11
  • Price – Free 1-month trial, monthly membership after that
  • Parental Control – No
  • Ads – No

Download Bottlesodes (Android | iOS)

Pure Flix

According to it’s website, Pure Flix states “Our purpose is simple — Pure Flix streams wholesome movies, TV shows and more your entire family will enjoy.” Most of what you will find on Pure Flix is from a Christian perspective.

You can set up Pure Flix to run with your Roku, Apple TV, Kind Fire, you name it. You can also view through the Pure Flix website on any smartphone, computer or tablet.

  • Age – all ages
  • Price – Free 1-month trial, monthly membership after that
  • Parental Control – No
  • Ads – No

Get Pure Flix here

Epic

This is an app my kids talk about ALL the time. We first discovered it through their elementary school and have grown to love it. The Epic App has two versions – one for home and one for school – both available through the app.

In addition to videos, the Epic app for kids also has audiobooks, more than 25,000 e-books for kids and thousands of non-fiction titles. The app comes with a free 30-day trial. After that it’s $7.99/month and well worth it. We are starting homeschool in the Fall and Epic will no doubt be one of the tools in our warehouse.

Epic! has been featured on The TODAY Show, Parents Magazine, USA Today, Parenting.com, Refinery 29, CNET, Forbes, Publisher’s Weekly and more. 

  • Age – 4+
  • Price – Free 30-day trial, $7.99/mo after
  • Parental Controls – Yes
  • No Ads

Download Epic (AndroidiOS)

PBS Kids

The PBS kids app does a great job of providing live and on-demand videos for kids. Your child can find characters such as Curious George, Bob the Builder and Sesame Street. The best part is that the content is directly from PBS Kids. That means you don’t have to worry about someone corrupting the videos and airing unsavory content you don’t want your child to see.

New full episodes come out every Friday from your favorite PBS KIDS shows.

Tap the “LIVE TV” button to watch what’s airing on your local PBS station right now.

  • Age – 4+
  • Price – Free
  • Parental Control – Yes
  • Ads -No Ads

Download PBS Video (AndroidiOS)

Nick Jr

If you don’t have cable you can still enjoy Nick Jr anywhere through the app using your smart phone or tablet device. This app has all of your child’s favorites including Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, Wallykazam, and more. This app also has interactive and educational games, plus music videos.

  • Age – 4+
  • Price – Free
  • Parental Control – No
  • Ads – No

Download Nick Junior (Android | iOS)

Sesame Street

I grew up with Sesame Street. Neither of my boys have gravitated to it but I thought I’d include it in this list. Lost of my friends have kids who still love my favorites like Bert & Ernie, and Big Bird and the gang.

  • Age – 4+
  • Price – Free but you can unlock more content with in-app purchases
  • Parental Control – No
  • Ads – No

Download Sesame Street (Android | iOS)

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