A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that CookieSwirlC is a YouTube channel on which a bubbly unseen host opens and plays with toys. There's no cursing, violence, sex, drinking, or drugs; content is pitched to be inoffensive for any age, and safe for young children to view. Parents, however, may be concerned that their kids will want to buy the toys they see demonstrated. CookieSwirlC is over-the-top excited about the toys she opens; she's not examining them in a critical way and pointing out pluses and minuses. She exclaims excitedly over every item in a box, and says things like "Oh, it's so cute!" and "This is adorable!" frequently. She opens a lot of "special edition" or "limited edition" toys, which may induce parent-nagging for these types of toys. Parents may want to explain to toy-crazy kids that they'll have to confine their requests to the the family's budget, and that constantly buying new toys is not a realistic situation.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Since 2015, COOKIESWIRLC has been using toys to act out cute skits and opening and checking out new toys on her YouTube channel, and she has the billions of views to prove that her videos are irresistible to viewers. She tends to pick toys that are on the cute side and appeal to young preschool or grade school age: Shopkins, My Little Pony, Monster High, Barbies. She shows viewers the toy in its packaging or original box, then opens up the package and examines what's inside. Sometimes she uses toys as puppets for imaginative skits: operating a shop in 1941 Hawaii, buying ice cream from a marshmallow who works in a truck and wants to put marshmallow on every order. That said, CookieSwirlC's videos serve as direct marketing for the toys and games featured, and the sheer quantity of toys she opens is incredible (she says on the "About" section of her channel that she gives away toys to charities and fans).
Is it any good?
As addictive as sugar and sweets for young children, this YouTube channel is lots of mindless fun but may induce the "I wants" in kids who fall uncritically in love with the toys they see. CookieSwirlC is sometimes so enchanted by the toys she opens that she literally screams with delight: "Ohhhhhh! So cute! Cute little baby chicks, here they come, here they come!" she chants deliriously, watching a set of surprise eggs crack themselves open. When she's freeing a doll that's stashed inside a dissolving shell, she enthuses "The colors! Oh, the colors! They're so bright and beautiful!"
When she's not opening up toys, she's playing with them, using tiny trinkets to act out scenarios like making Play-Doh food for lunch, or friends who come together to help a little lost doll find her way through the forest. CookieSwirlC clearly has a childlike imagination and loves making up stories and voices for each of her little characters -- which is part of the reason young viewers enjoy her channel so fiercely. But her unbridled toy acquisition may not sit so well with parents, who worry that allowing their children to watch CookieSwirlC opening up a new (and often expensive!) toy almost every day will lead kids to imagine that that kind of consumption is normal and acceptable, when in many or most families, it's very much not. CookieSwirlC has cuteness and charm to spare, but parents may not feel comfortable allowing their kids to receive what amounts to endless hours of marketing messages. It's hard for most kids to watch this channel without wanting every toy CookieSwirlC shows us, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Kids: Do you think CookieSwirlC has more toys than you? Where would you keep your toys if you had as many as she seems to? Do your parents ever complain that you have too many toys, or that your room is a mess?
Families can talk about the concept of trash and waste. When CookieSwirlC opens up her toys, what does she do with the plastic and paper that they're packed in? Why don't we see that on the videos?
Does watching CookieSwirlC make you want to buy and play with these toys? Or is it fun just watching her play? Does getting more toys or other stuff make you happy? Does that happiness generally last beyond the newness?
For kids who love YouTube
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.