May 5, 2008
YouthTub: Online Video Clip Sites That Kids Can Watch
YouTube is taking over the world. If you have a kid over the age of, oh, 3, she probably knows all about it.
The video-clip megasite is full of entertaining tidbits _ just search for "Muppets" and you'll find hours of childhood joy. But don't forget: Your kids can stumble into just about anything in the deep, murky YouTube waters.
Technically, sites like that aren't really designed for kids. YouTube's "terms of service" page says: "If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use the YouTube Website. There are lots of other great web sites for you."
Sure, but what are they?
We've found a few YouTube alternatives that are safe for the younger set. Are they as good as YouTube? No. But using YouTube is part of what makes being an adult so much fun.
In the meantime, here are some kid-friendly sites to look into:
This site launched in September, billed as a YouTube for kids. It's even designed to look a bit like YouTube - with more primary colors.
How it works: Registration is required to upload videos. It's free, but account activation has to be approved by parents. The staff reviews videos and comments for appropriate content.
What you'll find: the Castillo Kids, siblings who do covers of golden oldies (and also have a YouTube following); a kid named Chandler who posts "Chandler's Thing of the Day"; and a series of videos from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (do a search for "meat shake" - you won't be sorry).
Designed for the 14-and-younger set, Yomod is an online community that allows video and photo sharing.
How it works: Online registration requires a parent's credit card to verify identity, but there's no charge. Posted comments and uploaded videos must be approved by Yomod staff members.
What you'll find: a cat swimming in a bathtub; a water balloon to the head - in slow motion; and a fantastic school prank involving 94 kids and a crosswalk.
Nickelodeon's "Turbonick" site offers videos from Nick shows - and a Me:TV section, which allows kids to upload and share their own videos.
How it works: Uploading videos requires free registration, which requires parental permission. The site monitors material for objectionable content. Warning, though: eEven in the Me:TV section, you'll have to watch frequent commercials.
What you'll find: a short comedy bit acted out with cell phones; a girl who can crack all her joints; and a scene from Star Wars starring an orange M&M as Luke Skywalker
Yes, this site is provided by the CD-selling empire that is Kidz Bop. But no purchase is necessary to watch and upload videos.
How it works: Free registration is required, and parents are contacted for approval. Parents are given user name and password info, too.
What you'll find: Somebody's little brother on a sugar high; an animation of stick figures breakdancing; and a girl named Giulietta who sings classic rock songs, complete with brief history lessons on Blondie and Van Halen.