Parent reviews for YouTube Kids

Common Sense says

Kid-targeted videos best with parental guidance.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 58 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 60 reviews
Parent of an infant-year-old Written byMZabel April 12, 2015

Common Sense Media needs to revisit this review

I'm a pediatrician and was excited about this app when it launched since so many patient's parents ask me about sites and apps their kids can use safely. But after doing some homework on YouTube Kids I really feel that Common Sense Media needs to revisit this positive review. For starters, the App includes WAY too much advertising. Both direct advertising and more deceptive ads that are masked as "content." A coalition of child advocacy groups have gone so far as to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google for violating federal law forbidding with some of their practices with YouTube Kids. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/consumer-groups-to-ask-f-t-c-to.... If that were not enough like one of the other reviewers posted, the "automated analysis" that Google is using to filter these videos is totally inadequate. Many videos are getting through that are filled with cursing, profanity, sex and other inappropriate material. Read some of the one star reviews on the Google Play store to see that this is not a minor problem. And Google's answer for what parents should do to stop their kids from seeing the inappropriate videos that slip by their filters is to shut off the search feature. But the password to do that is spelled out on the screen. So kids old enough to read can just turn this feature on and off at will. I think this is a good idea but VERY poorly executed and I would not recommend any parent, especially those with young children, to use this app until these MAJOR flaws are fixed.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byAnonymous92254 February 8, 2019

YouTube Kids Is Just Dumb

Why would older kids want to watch these stupid "learning and fun" videos when kids like me want to listen to dubstep and trap and parodies, that kind of stuff. I don't want to watch tgesellschaft stupid videos and they aren't even good or appropriate for little kids, This sucKS so much.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written byJoana Juao February 21, 2020

Age recommendations don't make any sense

The content is acceptable, but you need to play with the age restrictions. My son was watching a video, I went to check on him and saw that the next video was "the gender of a non-conforming person."
I just thought that could be confusing to an 8 year-old, and that I would explain that to him when he was a little older. Also some children don't interpret things the correct way, so you have to be there to offer guidance. I would suggest going down an age level, even my 12 year old has the 5-7 setting. She watches everything she wants to watch that way.
Adult Written bynduns January 10, 2020

A good idea, but horribly executed

See, here's the thing, unlike most people, I actually think the idea of an app that allows children to only access videos deemed appropriate for them is a good idea. It prevents them from inadvertently watching something that's not intended for them. But here's the thing. The people behind the app clearly don't actually watch many of these videos before they slap the 'For Kids' label on them.

Many videos that were never intended for kids are features on this app because they contain themes that we as a society just assume are automatically for kids. Does your video contain animation? Does it have game footage? Does it have puppets? Well, you better let Youtube's staff know in advance that it's not for kids otherwise they'll just assume it is and add it to the Youtube Kids app. The fact that 'Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared', a video that uses its kiddy exterior ironically to trick audiences into thinking it's cute and innocent as part of a joke was added to this pretty much proves the people behind this don't really research any of the videos they select for it.

But what makes it even worse is what this does to the content creators. First off, it reduces the amount of money people who make a living off of Youtube bring in by a significant amount. It also prevents you from adding to the video to a playlist so you can rewatch it at anytime and it prevents anyone from commenting. (Well, okay, that last one actually kinda makes sense) I dunno, would it really be impossible to just prevent kids from doing and seeing that stuff but still allow the older members of the site to partake in such things?

Again, the idea behind this is good. Heck, from what I can gather, this was also made to protect children's personal information, but it's painfully obvious the people behind this don't know what they're doing. This definitely needs work, a lot of work, and I hate that so many great content creators have to suffer all because Youtube's staff was stupid enough to brag about kids bringing in so much income for them.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written bydodama November 26, 2019

Stupid.

I think this is a babyish app and for christ sake you can't even listen to music or watch anything other than babyish nonsense.
SURELY PEOPLE 9 AND OLDER CAN WATCH NORMAL YOUTUBE!
I want it to go and get fired

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byBSC249 October 10, 2015

This is a terrible app for parents who monitor what their kids watch.

Do not think you are getting an app that you can just let your kids play with. There is no way to block videos or even rate videos. And unless you are going to clear the history every day, your kids will ultimately end up watching the "recommended" video's and the absolute garbage that youtube kids recommends. This is a terrible app for parents who care about what their kids do with their allotted time on an electronic device.

If you want an educational distraction for your kid(s) while using a tablet/phone, Do Not Use This App!

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byHolly R. March 4, 2019

There's cartoon porn...

I discovered several "fan made" cartoon porn that wasn't age restricted and was not blocked. They featured well known characters from cartoon characters and one involved a pregnant Minnie Mouse. Others had Elsa from Frozen having sex with Spiderman. Another had Elsa with a huge male penis impregnating a female (?) Spiderman. Overall you will have the honor of introducing your child to porn and violent fan made cartoons. Thank you YouTube Kids for being more inappropriate than the YouTube app for the more mature viewers...

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 4, 7, and 8-year-old Written byoffshoreowl March 28, 2015

Use of Bad Language in searchable content

As much as this has been a wonderful app, as soon as my children were able to search for videos there was a problem. Some of the videos contained the use of bad language. I informed my children that they had to be responsible by reporting the video, but I am still wary of each video they watch now. It needs a bit more screening.
It has the potential to be a great learning tool but as said before, needs better screening. I don't want to have to limit everything my child does, is profanity absolutely necessary?

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written bynadina k. September 2, 2016

YOUTUBE KIDS WORST APP FOR CHILDREN !

One of the WORST apps I have come across!
For any parents BEWARE! Youtube doesn't supervise any of the content in this app. Half the app programmes are vulgar DIY nonsense, video footage of some idiots at their home reviewing toys or asking kids to swear or dislike food , bathing and other negative things your children will learn by watching this garbage. Stick to real children programmes that try to educate your children and keep them away from Youtube!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byInsereNomen May 5, 2020

Good Idea, Garbage Execution

I would be amazed if anyone at Google has used this themselves at home. It's terrible. My experiences were primarily on a laptop set up for my children to be able to use responsibly without me constantly having to fiddle with it. This proved impossible.

- It must be tied to a parent account, but you have to sign back in constantly. I don't know if this wouldn't be true if I left Chrome logged in directly to my account instead of my daughter's, but that would defeat account-level restrictions elsewhere.
- Every time you sign back in, you are forced to watch a nearly 3 minute commercial about it that you can't skip through.
- Their standard age-based restrictions are useless. It's all advertiser garbage.
- The commercial you are forced to watch repeatedly describes the ability to lock it down and whitelist specific videos and channels. What it doesn't tell you is that this functionality is only accessible from the mobile app, not the web. I would like to configure this stuff on a giant computer screen, but instead I'm forced to pick through it on my phone.
- You can't re-order channels you whitelist. It's ordered by when you whitelisted it, most recent first.
- Once you've whitelisted a channel, you can never find the channel via search again. You get all the individual videos instead. You have to start one of the videos, then you can de-whitelist/re-whitelist from the video. (This was the only way I could re-order the list, which I wanted because I'd whitelisted the most relevant channel first.)
- After a few days of use, channels started disappearing from both of my daughters' profiles. I can remove and re-add them, but nothing fixes it. The whole channel tab is gone and their videos have disappeared from their Recommended feed.
- You can't turn off Autoplay of next videos. This encourages children to sit there and binge. The format of some shows makes it hard for them sometimes to even realize a new video has begun. The site's own back button (not Chrome's) at that point also takes them back to the previous video instead of the selection screens.

There is plenty of good content on YouTube, if you know where to look. They're beautiful islands in a sea of trash. All I want is to let my daughters watch those specific channels freely when given the opportunity. It looks like Google wanted to create that possibility, but despite a fair amount of time since the service's launch, the execution is still terrible.
Adult Written bydancebug0001 April 4, 2020

Annoying

I think it is annoying and just plain out a waste of time! If you want your child to be using a safe app you've come to the WRONG place it is just the same as REGULAR Youtube and is just HARDER TO USE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For your child's sake just find a G rated thing on netflix and put that on your child will thank you.
Adult Written byResponsibleMommy March 26, 2020

It's fine

I really love how you can block content that you don't want your kids to see, but they said you can limit viewing to pre-picked stuff and limit screen time but I can't find the option to do it. I also don't know why pure unboxing is allowed on there at all.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Consumerism
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byjure February 24, 2020

content is really low level

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byDiverseAppreciator December 15, 2019

Needs a Good Values section

Children need to be taught good values, and a section for shows which teach good values (e.g. healthy eating) such as Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood and Dora the Explorer is a worthy inclusion.
Adult Written byFamilythings83 December 11, 2019

Re re

Not happy with this youtube kids app it won't let you start the songs over it just plays from the middle and if you rewind it it skips they need to do a major update on that

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written bykeyre November 14, 2019

Do NOT Trust It!

This is absolutely not a substitute for supervision of kids on Youtube. It still allows through a lot of questionable and inappropriate content. Many people would be shocked by what is available on Youtube and the twisted stuff that is going on with even some "popular" channels. Now, I'm not a prude nor am I a conspiracy theorist. I grew up using the internet myself. But think of it this way - would you let your kid go hang out with a bunch of random adults you've never met with no supervision? Then don't let your kids use Youtube (or YT Kids) without being right there with them.

They claimed they were going to have an option for only hand-picked content, but so far that hasn't happened. The problem is that it seems to be bots using keywords and algorithms to decide what is "appropriate" for children - however, it fails miserably. I have even found graphic and disturbing sexual and violent content using kids characters. Stuff that would be too twisted for MA Rated TV.... The intentions of people creating this content is worrisome. On top of it, some creators purposely put out taboo/inappropriate stuff in order to get views, KNOWING kids will click it from curiousity or because they are trying to find Peppa Pig or Paw Patrol or Elsa.

On top of it, there is a lot of content that promotes poor behaviour ("bad baby videos" is one weird trend where they have older children pretending to be infants).

There are apps that do work for that though... The best/safest one I know it Youtuze. It costs about $1.50. I would recommend also installing an App Locker that locks the actual Youtube app (I use one called App Lock). You must set a password or code on both AppLock and Youtuze. One easy way to organize and set up Youtuze is to create a Youtube account and make Playlists for your kids. Then add the Playlists to Youtuze. You can also add full Channels (accounts) that you know are totally safe. Or individual videos.

It takes a bit of learning curve but my 6 year old has been able to use it independently since he was 4. I now feel safe letting him use the tablet in the car or when I'm busy with dinner or something.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byMatt198 August 14, 2019

Terrible

Great if you want your kids to learn Korean, Russian, Spanish, or any of the other languages that it likes to suggest. Getting it to stick to showing English content is a nightmare. Even as an adult, it is difficult to get it to show things in English. Terrible
Adult Written byendarker July 8, 2019

Kids will not use it

install it and then wait for your child to beg you uninstall it..

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byBigmomma06 May 13, 2019

Just No

It seemed great at first. Youtube and the internet are blocked on my tweens devices. I found one watching Grand Theft Auto videos on kids you tube and my other found weird videos of women breastfeeding. Nice. Who are these people uploading this to kids YouTube? I don't know. But at this point, I think parents should be aware that it's not as kid friendly as is presented here.
Adult Written byEnchantedpinkgem May 7, 2019

Please don’t let your kids use YouTube

There is just too much you cannot control. Even with all parental control settings on terrible things still come up!!! I have banned YouTube in my house after having my child have suicidal thoughts! My happy and sweet 10 year old daughter. I NEVER suspected it would come to this and it’s all because of YouTube! Please parents don’t allow any YouTube in your home with children of any age!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety

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