Kid-friendly video streaming services available in Australia
Online channels that provide entertainment just for little ones.
While outdoor play and hands-on activities are most recommended for children, there are always moments when video entertainment comes in handy.
Thankfully, content-limited video platforms are taking some of the stress out of internet entertainment for kids.
These apps and websites allow for parental control and have limited or no advertising content.
While YouTube provides hours of entertainment, the standard channel can make recommendations that are not child-appropriate. To solve this problem, YouTube created a platform that exclusively caters to little ones.
The content on YouTube Kids is divided into Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. When setting up the app you can choose pre-school or school age (or both) to customise the homescreen experience.
Aussie kids will appreciate being able to view locally produced Hi-5 and The Wiggles as well as perennial favourites Pocoyo and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Available as an app for iOS or Android, YouTube Kids also includes parental controls that let adults switch off the search feature and set passcode controls. There is even a built-in timer to limit viewing time.
The app is compatible with Google Chromecast and Apple TV so that your child can view from the big screen at home.
Modern parents might remember the ‘old days’, when children’s programming was only scheduled for a few hours at a time! The current generation can not only enjoy ABC Kids on TV from morning to night, they can watch their favourites on repeat via ABC’s website and apps.
ABC Kids is ad-free and designed for preschool aged children. Downloadable for iOS and Android, the app gives a large selection of shows including Octonauts, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom and the Play School ‘Big Adventure’ series.
Designed with little fingers in mind, the ABC Kids app keeps the ball in Mum and Dad’s court by allowing certain shows to be turned on and off.
When you set up a new Netflix user, a checkbox asks if the user is a kid. If so, it will restrict the profile to TV shows and movies for children under 12. You can filter further to ‘Little kids’ to restrict the content that might be too much for a preschooler.
There are also restrictions available for the creation of teen-friendly channels
Netflix has hundreds of shows, including original content Care Bears and Cousins, Dragons: Race to the Edge and Degrassi Next Class for older children.
The service has a monthly subscription fee and once you have signed up you can watch across devices including tablets, smartphones, desktop computers and smart TVs.
Amazon Prime Video
The Kids and Family channel on Amazon Prime Video offers movies including The Adventures of Tintin, The Flintstones and Babe. In terms of shows, there are some exclusive series to choose from as well as firm favourites Blue’s Clues, Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer.
Parents can enter Amazon Prime’s Accounts and Settings to access parental controls, which lets you set a PIN and limit viewing content to kids, older kids, teens and young adults. You can also switch off auto-play, which stops subsequent videos from playing automatically.
There is plenty to choose from on the Stan streaming service, with popular content for young children including The Gruffalo, Hey Duggee, iCarly and Paddington Bear as well as a number of Dreamworks movies and some classic favourites.
Once you have signed up for the $10 per month account, you can create a PIN and a child’s profile, which will restrict the content to a young viewer level.
This lets kids stream content or download it so that they can watch without an internet connection. The shows play ad-free and the app enables parents to limit screen time and restrict viewing to G or PG classifications.
The shows on Foxtel Kids match what they can view on TV – this includes content from the Disney Channels, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, CBeebies and Discovery Kids.
A tip to remember is that a lot of devices also offer parental controls that will limit video viewing time.
By setting up an automatic switch-off, the smartphone or tablet becomes the bad guy rather than the parent… just be sure to protect it with a hurl-proof cover!
Ever wondered what affect streaming might have on your cap? You can check out how much data your video, movie and TV streaming services use here.