It never fails — your kids are watching a benign YouTube channel, and they have soon plunged down a rabbit hole as they check out suggested and related videos. This can lead to some really bizarre stuff, and it means you can't really let them loose to explore on their own. Good news, though — YouTube has saved the day. Starting today, you can download the free YouTube Kids app from Google Play or the App Store.
Kids will be able to explore in a carefully curated kids-only environment, which uses a bright and friendly interface that allows them to navigate easily (and with a voice search option too). There are also full parental controls, which allows you to set time and searching limits. "With content from some of the most trusted brands in children's entertainment and education media and a child-friendly user interface, YouTube Kids is a parent's best friend when it comes to helping kids discover and enjoy age-appropriate video," says Larry Magid, co-director of ConnectSafely. "Nothing can replace an involved parent, but YouTube Kids makes parents' job easier, more fun and more rewarding for them and their kids."
Moms everywhere are thrilled they will now be able to let their kids loose to explore YouTube in an age-appropriate way without worrying they're going to click or tap on something they shouldn't be watching.
"I can't wait to get my kids up and running on this," says associate Parenting editor Maria Mora. "They love watching video game walk-throughs, and I hate having to hover by the computer, listening for bad words. They're right at the age where I want them to have the freedom to surf YouTube, but I'm not ready for them to experience the dark side of the internet."
Rachelle, parenting blogger and owner of Unlatched, completely agrees. "My kids are very skilled with technology, but I always worry about what they may encounter online," she explains. "I'm excited that YouTube is creating an app for kids. My kids like to keep clicking suggested related videos, and now I can be confident they won't see inappropriate videos while they are watching YouTube."
YouTube is an amazing platform for adults and kids alike, but the YouTube Kids app makes it so much easier for a child to explore kid-friendly content safely.
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