YouTube is a great resource for fun, educational free content for children.
From younger kids to older kids - and from nursery rhymes to science lessons, you can find just about anything that you and the kids would like to learn about! So, with there being so many millions of videos to scroll through - we've taken out the hard work out of searching, to bring you our top-rated educational videos!
These channels are bound to entertain and teach your kids valuable lessons and should also take some of the pressure off your lockdown homeschooling routines! Simply sit down with them and enjoy one of these channels, and perhaps be there to answer any questions that they may have. If you find a video that you enjoy elsewhere on YouTube, make sure to subscribe to the maker's channel to get notified on when more videos are coming.
Veritasium: If you're looking for an all-round science lesson that will teach your kids the fun of all things STEM-related, then this channel is for you! It answers so many science questions big and small, as you watch demonstrations of experiments, and go on the occasional radioactive site tour! Of course, like any good science show, the host blows stuff up occasionally!
SciShow: This channel features a collection of videos, ranging from topical science news to expert interviews and science quiz battles. Kids will enjoy the 'quick questions' videos - these short and factual features are great if your child is always asking 'but why?'. Expect answers to questions that are relatable to everyday life - and you might just find yourself answering less 'why?' questions yourself!
Periodic Videos: For any kids specifically interested in chemistry, it doesn’t get much more exciting than this. The videos will teach your children everything they need to know about every element in the Periodic Table, they also teach about Nobel Prize-winning experiments! Aside from the hosts 'mad scientist hair-do', it's also super entertaining to watch the slow-motion chemistry reaction videos of exploding hydrogen bubbles! Definitely don't try these at home with the kids.
Smarter Every Day: Destin Sandlin is a father of four, showing off science by exploring the world. Potentially better for older kids, Sandlin explore topics like how engines work, how Houdini died, what's in a kangaroo's pouch, and much more. Even the 44th President, Barack Obama, features on the channel!
National Geographic Kids: This YouTube channel deserves to be top spot - because it really does cover everything and it comes from such a trustworthy name! The videos are based mainly at younger kids as they're easy to understand, very colourful and very playful! They're a great fun and educational alternative to watching regular television. Some of them are also quite methodical - similar to nursery rhymes.
MakeMeGenius Geography: Made mainly for younger kids/home students, this educational channel hosts several videos on topics such as different seasons, and landforms. Not only is it good for geography, but it also has a few educational videos about coronavirus for kids, which can be really useful if you're struggling to talk about this topic positively and constructively at home!
Darron Gedge’s Geography Channel: This channel uses a slightly more academic approach to geography, so it would be great for homeschooling lessons as opposed to a bit of light-hearted watching! If you have older kids, this would definitely work for you, as it covers everything from weather maps to demographics, landscape formations, and even the coordinate system!
Geography Now: Another favourite YouTube channel to add to the list - the host, Barbs, is really entertaining and will keep your kids focused for ages! These videos cover everything from a country’s flag and landscape to its people, culture, and political comrades.
General Knowledge Channels
Peekaboo Kidz: This fun, animated series answers kids’ common questions about all sorts of topics. If you’re not sure to answer one of your curious child’s questions, you might want to see if Peekaboo Kidz has covered it already. Examples of some of their videos include “what is pollution?” and “how does the internet work?”. Perfect for those keeping those curious minds busy!
Lotty Learns: Using nursery rhymes and games, this educational YouTube channel is aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, to help form the building blocks of reading (and other important concepts, like shapes and colours). Each animated video focuses on the basics of learning to read, like phonics, letter blending, and sight words.
The Smithsonian Channel: This channel covers everything from animals, to history, to culture and everything in between. We classed this as general knowledge as the videos are all very brief yet engaging - so, it is perfect for hosting a range of topics in one afternoon! So, if you're looking for some general lessons to occupy the kids whilst you get on with some jobs - sit them down to watch these lessons on interesting phenomena in nature and everyday life.
Homeschool Pop: is a channel of videos specifically made for parents wanting to home-educator - which most of us have now become during lockdown! There are lots of videos on offer, covering most primary school topics.
Inspiring Technology Channels
Super-Awesome Sylvia: This inspiring video series features tutorials made by a young girl on various making projects including gadgets and toys. Kids can learn about so many design technology topics on this channel, from screen printing to how to make silly putty and rockets.
Vi Hart: On this channel, you'll find some very adventurous video from a lady who brands herself as a mathemusician and virtual reality philosopher. Her videos are all highly engaging and entertaining. She covers maths, topical discussions and model making! Her tone is light-hearted and chatty so the kids may just feel as though they are watching a regular channel as opposed to in a lesson.
Make Anything: 3D printers have really become a hot topic since the pandemic Families with a passion for 3D printing and design will like with host Devin Montes. Some of his videos feature answers to problems solved with 3D printing, while others focus on projects he has created with a 3D printer. Get curious about this technology and tap into your creativity as a problem-solver with Make Anything.
What Do We Do All Day: This is a YouTube channel for kids features lots of different activities, ranging from puzzles, to maths, to art and experiments. The host does a great job of combining the art and creativity elements of science, math, and engineering in one - for a viewing experience that your kids are bound to like.
Speakaboos: This channel is great for younger children as it hosts a variety of videos showing stories and songs for kids to watch and read along with as the text appears on the screen!
Coilbook Channel: This a good pick for toddlers. With short videos for each letter of the alphabet, kids can see a letter, an object that begins with each letter and hear the letter sound. This is great for early stages of literacy development!
Storyline Online: This channel allows children to listen to professional actors read their all-time favourite stories on screen! It will certainly take the pressure off you to act out the characters well!
MovetoLearn MS: If you know that your child is a kinaesthetic learner - why not try exercising with a book on this channel! This is a really fun way to help those busy brains content whilst homeschooling in lockdown.
Peach Blossom Media: On this channel, each story is about one letter sound... The series of short stories make a great way of learning about letter recognition and words - whilst being fun and entertaining.