App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Hellosaurus App Poster Image
Embedded mini-games get kids involved in viewing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Some videos touch on early learning themes like counting or high interest topics such as dinosaurs. There are also videos about mindfulness, animals, arts and crafts, or at-home science experiments.

Ease of Play

The main menu has straightforward organization. Activities in the videos are mostly easy to follow.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Limited content only without a subscription. Many featured content creators are popular YouTubers or other well-known kids' brands such as National Geographic Kids or Highlights. Some YouTubers' channels on YouTube focus on product placement.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hellosaurus is a subscription-based service for young kids that tries to make watching videos an interactive experience. Kids can watch videos from popular YouTube channels such as Super Simple Songs, Mother Goose Club, and Bounce Patrol, as well as Hellosaurus original content. Some of the featured YouTubers host channels that heavily promote products, though the videos included with Hellosaurus don't seem to do so. At various points, kids can complete activities relevant to what's happening at that point in the video, such as tapping to hatch dinosaur eggs one by one during a song about counting dinosaurs. Videos tend to range from about 5-15 minutes long. To start using the app, parents need to provide an email address and create an account. Parents are also asked to allow access to their device's camera and microphone. There's one episode available to try for free. To see all content, parents need to sign up for subscription. At the time of this review, technical issues interfered with being able to view some videos. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Parents sign up for an account with HELLOSAURUS to get started. Then, kids browse the main menu by content creator to choose videos from popular YouTuber channels such as Kidz Bop and Cosmic Kids Yoga, or from the collection of original content. Videos center on a variety of themes, such as music, arts and crafts, animals, daily routine, or mindfulness. At various points throughout the video, kids can complete an activity where they can, for example, tap to unwrap a present, answer questions about penguins, tap musical instruments to play along with a song, or practice relaxation breathing techniques.

Is it any good?

This unique way to watch videos offers kids an opportunity to feel actively involved, even if some interactive parts are more successful than others. As most of these videos are from third-party creators, Hellosaurus is a good curator. The collection includes high interest, high-appeal videos that kids are sure to love. For the most part, the video pauses at various points to allow space for the interactive elements, which sometimes works fine, but other times feels awkward. And, some of the interactions are more interesting than others. For example, it's fun to "dig" in the sand to discover dinosaur bones, but less fun to tap to make a figurine do a handful of dance moves during a pop music video. The best videos combine some screen games with suggestions for kids to do movements or breathing off screen as well, such as stomp around like a dinosaur. The Hellosaurus original content, not surprisingly, has the best integration of interactive elements in that the narrator speaks directly to what kids can do in the activity. But, the episodes are disappointingly repetitive. At the time of review, the collection wasn't large, but the developer promises new content regularly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Hellosaurus different from more traditional video watching. Is it exciting to play along with the video?

  • Talk about branding. Does your kid know and love any of the content creators? Does that make them more interested in using Hellosaurus: Interactive Videos? Do they want to watch more of the content creators' videos now that they've seen them here?

  • Discuss your family's rules and guidelines around screen time before handing over the device.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love apps for toddlers and preschoolers

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