Educational YouTube channels and videos can be a great addition to fun summer learning and we’ve rounded up our favorites.
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backstory chatter – mild disclaimers about choosing age-appropriate content
While summertime is definitely the time for kids to be playing outdoors in the sunshine instead of sitting in front of a screen every day, we believe there is a place for video content too.
If you’re planning your own backyard summer camp, it’s a good idea to have a balance of activity types. Organize a week of fun by following our simple system: play, craft, and learn. And use a variety of mediums, including hands-on activities, outdoor play, and media like books and videos.
Not only is it more fun and engaging for kids, but also for adults. (After all, who wants to listen to Baby Shark one more time?) Of course, we know that some kids thrive on repetition – and that’s a different story.
Today we’ve collected our favorite educational YouTube channels and videos to help you add a little something extra to your lesson plan.
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YouTube tips for parents
- Videos are a great way to introduce a topic – or keep your child entertained for a few minutes while you set up an activity.
- Watch videos together to spark a conversation!
- You can download and set up the YouTube Kids app on your device. It has custom settings so you can choose the content, age range, and the amount of time they can use it. You can also turn off the search function and only allow videos you’ve added to play.
- Even if you’re not using YouTube Kids, you can adjust some settings on a family account too.
- You can subscribe to your favorite kid-friendly channels and let kids watch what’s on your subscription page.
Educational YouTube channels
Kids Learning Tube
Kids Learning Tube is filled with both short and long videos on topics like anatomy, earth science, and space. There is a whole series on world geography with a video for each country and US state. Their animated videos are for all ages.
The TED-Ed channel is run by TED, who you’ll probably recognize for their TED Talks. There are educational videos on a wide range of topics that answers questions that both kids and adults have. This is a great channel to browse if you’re looking for a specific topic, but preview content for age-appropriateness.
Brain POP is filled with videos for classroom use. The channel includes animated videos on everything from DNA to Marco Polo, as well as lesson planning guides for teachers and parents.
Crash Course Kids
The creators of Crash Course designed Crash Course Kids to introduce grade school science following 5th-grade curriculum. Content includes earth science, life science, space, and engineering among its topics.
The original Crash Course channel also has tons of educational videos that you might find useful, but this content is generally aimed at older teens and adults.
On the Storyline Online channel, you’ll find children’s books read by actors. Examples include “Harry the Dirty Dog” read by Betty White and “Rent Party Jazz” read by Viola Davis. Each video also includes a link to an activity guide on their website.
Just like the television channel, PBS Kids on YouTube has cartoons and live-action shows to entertain and educate kids. Find shorts and full episodes of your kids’ favorite shows. PBS Kids also often has live streaming.
SciShow Kids uses live hosts and animation to do experiments and answer questions. Videos introduce kids to science for grades 1-3.
Art for Kids Hub
If your kids love to draw, you’ll want to follow Art for Kids Hub. Every weekday this family-run channel uploads an art lesson in the form of ‘how to draw’ tutorials.
Nat Geo Kids
Nat Geo Kids, created by National Geographic, has tons of kid-friendly content. Watch videos about animals and pets, weird but true facts, and more.
Finding Stuff Out
The Finding Stuff Out YouTube channel is a science show run by kids. Each 20-minute episode covers a topic and they’re organized into seasons like a television show.
Watch videos from the BBC children’s series Horrible Histories for a fun and funny way to learn about world history. This show covers some of the yuckiest parts of history and terrible characters in an age-appropriate way.
Get kids moving or relaxing with interactive videos from Cosmic Yoga. Do yoga poses, sing along with music, and learn fun lessons.
Homeschool Pop was created by a homeschooling dad. Browse to watch videos on science, social studies, history, math, music, and Spanish. Playlists are organized by grade level.
The preschool cartoon Gecko’s Garage features a cute little lizard who fixes trucks and teaches shapes, colors, and letters.
Help your kids learn math for elementary, middle, and high school with Mashup Math. Each video gives a lesson on a particular topic in less than 5 minutes.
Find children’s books published for kids by Harper Collins. Harper Kids includes includes read-aloud stories and supplemental activities to go along with your kids’ favorite books.
Rock ‘N Learn
On the Rock ‘N Learn YouTube channel, kids can learn English, Spanish, and other languages through animated videos.
Calico Spanish for Kids
Calico Spanish uses cartoons, music, and games to teach conversational Spanish for elementary kids.
If your kids spend all summer asking you how things work and why, it’s time to hop over to Peekabook Kids. Their animated videos answer all the questions you don’t know the answer to (How does a jellyfish sting?) and the ones you’re not sure how to answer (Why do girls get periods?).
Learn Bright is filled with videos on elementary school topics including reading, math, science, social studies, and language arts. Most are less than 10 minutes.
Blippi is a goofy character who get kids excited about the world around them with engaging preschool and kindergarten lessons.
Super Simple Play
On Super Simple Play, Caitie and her friends use music, songs, and field trips to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colors, numbers, and the world around them.
Mooseclumps features songs and parodies that kids can sing along with while learning preschool and kindergarten lessons.
The YouTube channel for Sesame Street includes shorts, full episodes, and live streams of your favorite furry monsters and their neighbors.
Learn elementary school math with fun songs on the Number Rock channel. Videos are in English and Spanish.
The Dad Lab
Watch Sergei and his two sons do weekly science experiments and simple learning crafts in The Dad Lab.
Add a few of these educational YouTube videos to your summer learning lesson plans or save them for a rainy day when you need something to do indoors.
Play, craft, and learn all summer long
Plan your summer with the DIY Summer Camp Planner! Our step-by-step guide will help you organize a day, a week, or a whole summer of fun activities for your kids.