YouTube seems like the place to learn just about anything nowadays. In fact, with millions of how-to videos and tutorials to choose from, it’s easy to feel spoiled for choice.
Quantity? Check! Quality that’s kid-appropriate? Now that might take more than a quick search to find.
Parents and teachers looking for just the best of the best - YouTube videos for kids that provide engaging, educational content from actual experts - deserve better vetting than the total number of likes or subscribers.
There’s no denying that *YouTube is among the best ed tech tools of 2021, but it’s one accompanied by an asterisk for good reason.
Over 500 hours are uploaded to world’s 2nd most popular social media platform per minute, and while many excellent YouTube videos for kids are mixed in there, there’s no guarantee of quality. But when you weigh the pros and cons of YouTube, that volume can also be a major pro, as YouTubers need to compete to gain subscribers, likes, and views.
Enter this ultimate guide to the best educational YouTube channels. Don’t worry! We’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
Top YouTube learning channels
We’ve scoured YouTube for the most educational channels that help kids learn in an age-appropriate manner. From Pre-K to high school, here’s the cream of the crop.
Preschool YouTube Channels
YouTube for toddlers? You’d be surprised not only at how much is out there, but that quality preschool learning videos can really get little ones excited about learning math, literacy, science, and other skills!
Renowned for fun experiments and project demos, The DadLab is a great way to get youngsters excited about science! This channel emphasizes learning through play and has become so popular, the creators published a book of hit activities!
It’s a classic for a reason! Sesame Street has endured as a beloved TV show for decades and now also appears as high quality YouTube content for kids. From valuable life lessons to numbers, inspiring guests and more, it’s hard to go wrong with Sesame Street.
ABCMouse offers activities, songs, and animated stories for preschoolers and early elementary school students.
This channel is all about stories, spelling phonics, and generally encouraging kids to explore the magical world of words. Alphablocks boasts 1.6M subscribers and interactive content kids love.
Blippi, beloved character and host to fun, educational videos, takes kids on adventures. Whether he’s at the circus, in a castle, or cooking something delicious in the kitchen, Blippi is a wonderful channel for lighthearted learning.
The Busy Beavers YouTube channel teaches kids all about numbers, colors, spelling, and more alongside cute characters.
YouTube Channels for Elementary School
This is a wonderful age in which kids can focus on fundamentals like math and literacy skills while also branching out into particular areas of interest. Encourage kids’ curiosity and interest in learning more about dinosaurs, art, or whatever captivates their imagination at this age with inspiring, informative YouTube videos for elementary schoolers.
The National Geographic kids’ YouTube channel brings the wonders of the natural world and human history to life.
Mindfulness and mental health education fall to the wayside in schools far too often. Mindful Kids offers age-appropriate exercises that introduce kids to ways they can relax, focus, and build a positive outlook.
Dude Perfect produces fun videos that have become YouTube legends. Their awesome footage becomes a valuable learning tool in Make Trick Shot Games with Dude Perfect, ideal for elementary kiddos who love learning with Roblox.
Of course, teens and tweens also love Dude Perfect, and they can join in the fun too with Trick Shot Video Editing!
With educational content tailored specifically to kids, Netflix Jr. offers short videos and full episodes all geared towards encouraging learning.
From science experiments, to story time, to even explaining tough topics in a kid-friendly way, PBS Kids has videos designed to engage kids in just about every subject under the sun.
Common Sense Media Education
This channel focuses on digital literacy, online safety, and other essentials for navigating life in the 21st century. Common Sense Education helps parents, teachers, and kids safely use technology and choose quality tools to enhance learning.
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls
Crank up the girl power with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls YouTube Channel! This is an extension of an umbrella organization that focuses on empowering girls and young women to build communities, break down gender stereotypes, and fearlessly pursue their dreams.
I know, PBS appears on this list more than once, but trust me, it’s worth it! The PBS Eons focuses specifically on natural history and unlocking the secrets of fossils, ancient civilizations, and other fascinating factoids. This channel is great for elementary and middle school students.
YouTube Channels for Middle School
In middle school, kids are at an age where they more frequently seek out educational videos on their own for help with math homework or just out of curiosity about their favorite subjects.
Many middle school students will already love YouTube, so why not encourage them to not just consume streaming content, but create their own? Experience can be the best teacher, especially with an expert mentor, and a YouTube online course is an excellent way to get that experience.
For more immediate learning benefits, steer kids towards quality information with these YouTube channels for middle school students.
The vastness of history can be a little overwhelming: Simple History keeps things, well, simple for kids looking for just the facts about events, historical figures, and time periods.
Being able to hear a new language while learning it is essential: the Rosetta Stone YouTube channel offers quick demos in French, Spanish, and more to help supplement kids’ language studies.
It’s OK to be Smart
This sounds like a no-brainer, but in middle school, it’s especially important for kids to hear: It’s Ok to be Smart. A PBS-sponsored channel, It’s OK to Be Smart tackles BIG questions that are sure to get kids and teens thinking.
The Brain Scoop
The Brain Scoop takes kids on virtual field expeditions that explore some seriously cool (and sometimes weird) science.
Perfect for middle and high school students, Mathantics offers concise, informative tutorials on a wide range of math topics.
If your child could use a little more support in math, iD Tech can help them ace their next challenge with 1-on-1 online math tutoring!
The Art Assignment
From Impressionism to video game art (and all the galleries in between), The Art Assignment offers a spectrum of enriching and inspiring art content.
Ever wonder how you can actually find unbiased news these days? Middle school is an excellent time to find out, and MediaWise can help. As a bonus, this channel gives kids a break from teachers and stars other kids!
Poetry was not meant to, to paraphrase poet laureate Billy Collins, be beaten to death with a garden hose in the search for meaning. Ours Poetica is a wonderful way to breathe fresh air back into poetry with readings from famous poets, animated poems, and other videos designed to spark imagination and inspire a love of language.
YouTube Channels for High School Students
Demystifying chemistry homework or Hamlet? High school kids should keep up the habit of seeking out reliable information that gets them thinking (instead of just giving away the answer). Plus, YouTube is a great way to shake up the after-school routine and help kids not just achieve but get inspired to keep learning.
Crash Course is true to its name. Created by celebrated YA author John Green, this channel offers succinct, interesting explanations and visuals that help kids understand complex literature, history, and more.
Eddie Woo Math
Looking for a quick refresher on a math topic? Eddie Woo’s channel can help. His approachable yet expert style can help high school students break down tricky math concepts with the help of example problems.
The School of Life
This channel goes beyond standard high school curriculum: The School of Life tackles topics like philosophy, emotional wellbeing, relationships, and other things teens would benefit from talking about (but might not be on their next test). This channel covers some mature content that might not be suitable for younger viewers.
From awesome animated lessons to TED Talks from inspirational people all over the world, TED Ed is a channel truly in a league of its own. Whether it’s for a class assignment or just out of intellectual curiosity, TED Ed boasts some of the most mind-blowing, inspirational content on YouTube.
Feeling lost in the infinite expanse of the universe? Minute Physics breaks down some of science’s most complicated concepts in helpful, concise videos.
Level up learning with tech
Screen time doesn’t have to be mindless if you’re mindful about what you’re watching, how you’re engaging with the content, and what you plan on doing with the information.
Kids can start learning this lesson from an early age, and these educational YouTube channels can support their journey!