3 GREAT PLACES TO FIND FREE EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS FOR KIDS
Many kids today get hours in front of a screen. You may not be able to keep your child away from the television or the iPad, but you can make the most of the minutes that he spends there!
Sesame Street has been a popular educational resource for parents and teachers for decades, but you have thousands of options. Nevertheless, we know that you want to make sure that your child isn’t just watching cartoons– you want to know that she is learning, too. Fortunately, it has become less and less expensive to make and share videos, so many educational outlets are now using videos to help kids learn. Here are three Codabear favorites:
- Super Simple Songs. At Codabear, we love music. We love how music brings families together. We love how music helps children to memorize and to learn. We love how music encourages physical activity. And we love how music helps children build analytical skills such as pattern recognition. So we love Super Simple Songs.
Super Simple Songs offers animated singalong videos that teach memory, life skills, social skills, and more. The songs are sweet and addictive, and kids will love to sing, clap and shimmy along. Videos are available for purchase, but you can also stream them for free on their YouTube channel
- Sprout. Kids get a kick out of Sprout TV. Many of the Sprout shows—such as Zou, Stella and Sam, and Tree Fu Tom—are visually gorgeous and packed with stories that teach lessons and skills. Still, watching television often requires that your child sit through commercials. Sprout Online is a fabulous alternative.
The Sprout website allows your son to select and view his favorite segments of his favorite shows on demand. No subscription, no payment, very few ads—just great shows with cute characters, engaging storylines, quiet music, and lessons a-plenty. As a bonus, Sprout Online also offers activities, crafts, games, and workbooks—so you can turn TV time into schooltime in a flash.
- Kidobi. Kidobi might be a best-kept secret. Built by parents for parents, Kidobi allows parents to create video playlists for children that piece together some of the best educational video content available. Parents can search for videos that touch on a child’s interests—like horses or soccer—or they can search for videos that teach specific skills.
Kidobi videos are sourced from around the web and include popular, well-known sources such as Sesame Street and the Discovery Channel as well as smaller, independent YouTube channels that you might have a tough time finding if your were browsing on your own. The best part is that these videos have been prescreened and vetted by the Kidobi team, and they are rated by other parents.
Kidobi is like Spotify or Pandora for kids’ videos. Like Spotify, you can build your own playlist by searching for what you know your child wants to watch. On the other hand, Kidobi also has a Pandora-like function: you can type in your daughter’s age and interests, and Kidobi will assemble a playlist that is customized for her.
You can use Kidobi for free, but a monthly payment gives you access to “premium” videos. The service appears to be relatively new, as few videos have parent ratings—but the model shows promise!
Tips for getting the most out of educational videos.
We know. Sometimes you just need a minute. Sometimes you just need something to play in the car. Sometimes you just need a distraction so that you can finish paying the bills. Sometimes you just can’t bear to listen to Frozen again. It’s OK!
Still—the less you treat a video as entertainment, the more your child will learn from it. So take the time to engage with your son and ask him about the video. What did he learn about the post office? Who would he like to get a letter from? What would he write in a letter to Grandma?
You can also pause videos to take advantage of “teachable moments.” As a character enters a door, press “pause” and ask your daughter to tell you what she thinks is inside the room. When a character makes a mistake, press “pause” and ask your daughter to tell you what she thinks might go wrong. When you hit a happy ending, ask her how she feels, and why. You’ll get caught up in the story, too, and who knows—you might even learn something!
User: Luci Correia
License: CC BY 2.0