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Types of videos suitable for children

Videos refer to any digital pictures, it can be video formats in a computer file, such as MP4, MOV, AVI, etc.

Online videos appropriate for children includes many types of genres and contents, it can be found in different platforms for them to enjoy.

Where can children watch videos?

There are different platforms online available for children to watch videos daily, which provide safe and appropriate contents for them to watch.

YouTube Kids is similar to the original website, YouTube. However, it filters inappropriate contents away and offer various choices for parents to make. They may choose between videos available for preschoolers (below 4 years old), younger children (5 to 8 years old), or older children (9 to 12 years old).

Parents may decide to disable search features, and the platform will then offer videos that are deemed as appropriate for the child to watch.

Occasionally, the featured videos may not be suitable, as videos are still being taken from the original YouTube. Parents ought to be careful when they let their child use the YouTube Kids.

KidTube is a website that promotes videos for children that are 12 years old and below. It follows a strict policy for videos that are approved and appropriate for children. Most of the videos are educational.

Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon host children appropriate videos in their TV network. It includes video clips, episodes, games, or fan arts. Most of the videos are offered for free, even without subscription.

To watch movies, parents may use Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The two streaming app contain many videos for children. A child profile can be created to limit and filter the types of videos they can watch.

What are the genres of videos for children?

There are various genres of videos for children in YouTube Kids. It includes reading, shows, music, learning and other types of videos for children to explore.

As for KidTube, the video genres are arcade, exercise and aerobics, adventure, exclusives, animals, arts and crafts, cartoons, comedy, cooking, education, games, music videos, language and toy reviews.

Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon video genres are typically sci-fi, dance, superhero, and music videos. More information can be found from their website.

For Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, movies are generally live-actioned, animated, adventure, comedy, drama, fantasy and educational.

What are the common videos for children?

On YouTube, content related to toys or games in children’s videos are found to be common and have higher views. Results indicated that the views of the children video (toys or games) surpasses videos of toys and games for general audience.

In Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, the videos that are most watched are Teen Titans Go, The Amazing World of Gumball, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The most common movies watched in Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are How to Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Cinderella, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. More movies and videos details can be found from their websites.

What are the screen time guidelines for children?

52% of the children (as young as 18 months old) are found to be exposed to electronics and digital devices in Singapore.

For 18 months and below, babies are recommended not to have screen time.

For 18 months to 24 months, some screen time can be recommended for children as they learn new skills together.

For 2 to 4 years old, an hour of screen time per day is recommended, this includes the educational videos they are watching.

As for children above 4 years old, restrictions on the use of media should be placed consistently. Parents may take the decision on the duration of screen time per day for their child.

It is encouraged for children to sleep, eat, play, study and interact with others. Electronics should not be taking time away from such activities.

Watching videos helps children to learn easily, it makes the process fun and enjoyable. Compared to the traditional way of learning, children will be interested and engage in the process.

● Videos that are lively captures the attention of the children longer and make the lesson successful.

Memory of the contents last longer as children are able to remember the information for a longer duration.

What are the side effects of watching too many videos for children?

As technology is always changing and a part of our lives, parents may teach their child about proper media usage. However, watching too many videos will be detrimental to the child’s life.

● Children have a higher chance of being overweight and unhealthy if they spend more than 4 hours of the day watching videos.

Aggressive behaviours might be displayed by children when they watch violent shows.

● Children may face fear and be afraid of the world, as they think that terrible things will happen to them. (Watching horror videos, etc)

● Children may pick up bad behaviours and life habits, since certain characters may exhibit behaviours that are risky to health. For example, smoking, drinking, and doing drugs.

What should parents do for children who enjoy watching videos online?

Parents ought to be careful and wary of the contents in the videos that their child will watch.

Parents should avoid letting their children watch videos that are violent. Most action videos have violent acts that are done by people that are considered “good”.

As most of the stories end with “good” people eliminating “bad” people, children are likely to follow their actions and admire them. Some may not understand and develop nightmares, behaviour issues, fear, or have sleep issues.

In an event where the child is exposed to elements of violence in a video, parents should talk to their child, comfort them and explain the actions taken by the characters within the video.

Parents should avoid letting their children watch videos that contain risky behaviours, such as alcohol drinking, drugs, smoking and sexual acts.

The child might be mistaken, and think it is fun, enjoyable, and acceptable to follow the actions. This may lead them to problems that can be avoided in the future. For example, substance abuse and sexual intercourse at an early age.

Parents should encourage their child to do physical activities and be active. Watching too many videos may lead to obesity, as the child is more likely to eat and be inactive.

Parents should take note of the advertisements that may occur in the videos. Children may not understand what the advertisement might be about, and some may not even notice that their show stopped, and the advertisement had taken over.

Advertisements may project unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as encouraging children to eat and drink unhealthy food or buying new things that look good.

If the child comes across an advertisement and want the items, parents should explain and tell them about the goal of advertising. Children should be taught to be a smart consumer, not to buy anything that captures their attention.

Parents may prompt questions to guide their child in becoming a smart consumer. For example:

  1. “What makes this item looks nice to you?”

  2. “Do you think the item will look nice as it did in the advertisement?”

  3. “Do you think this choice is good/healthy?”

To restrict the child’s exposure to advertisement, parents should encourage their child to watch TV shows. They should silence the advertisement and ask questions about the video.

Parents may consider pre-recording the video to skip the advertisement, or use a reliable stream service to watch videos.

I hope the information available helps you to understand more about online videos for children and how to use videos effectively for your child’s development.

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Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)

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Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293



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