The 25 Best Educational YouTube Channels for Kids in 2023
Between years of pandemic disruptions and modern elementary education’s increased dependence on screen time, online learning videos are more popular than ever. Family Education took a closer look, searching for kid-friendly YouTube channels that offered engaging educational content for kids ranging from kindergarten to junior high.
Based on our perusal of subscriber count and content quality, creativity, and diversity, here are some of the best educational YouTube channels for 2023's kids. Some of these selections spotlight evergreen channels curating high-quality content that can be reused again and again, including in the classroom. Other picks made the list for their high viewerships and regular updates of fresh, engaging learning videos. We've included recommended viewing ages wherever possible, marking which channels are the most little-kid friendly and which are most likely to excite older kids.
The types of educational content represented include phonics, math, reading, American history, world history, digital literacy, media criticism, science, music, bilingual learning practice, and physical fitness.
1. Bright Side - 42.9 million subscribers
Bright Side doesn't list a target audience age range, instead adopting a mission of "inspiration, creativity, [and] wonder." Perhaps its best descriptor is interesting, as in, there is always something randomly interesting to watch here. Interspersed with riddles and brain teasers are various science and psychology factoids. If you've ever wondered what could happen if a baseball smacked into the International Space Station at light speed, or how to survive in a black hole, Bright Side is your kind of place. Best for older kids and teens.
2. Kid's Learning Tube - 1.27 million subscribers
Kids Learning Tube is a treasure trove of educational videos, each of which focuses on a single topic. From Earth Day to vegetables to anxiety, Kids Learning Tube combines original sing-along educational songs with animation for a fun learning environment. Playlist categories include "Earth Science," "Famous Inventors," "Motivational Songs for Kids," and much more.
3. Ted-Ed - 16.4 million subscribers
Does time exist? Why do cities need trees? Why isn't the world covered in poop? TED-Ed, home of the signature TED talks, answers these and many more burning childhood questions in beautifully animated videos. Search the playlists for subjects such as "Love" or "Superhero Science," and look for TED-Ed's multi-episode series, including There's a Poem for That and Think Like a Coder.
While most preteens will love this channel, many of the videos are appropriate for younger kids, as well.
4. Netflix Jr. - 10.1 million subscribers
It might seem strange to shout out Netflix, but they provide some of the most popular children's educational shows being made today in their programming package: StoryBots, Octonauts, and Ada Twist, Scientist, for starters. On Netflix Jr., you can join the StoryBots as they explain how a cold virus spreads, or follow Dottie Culpepper as she shows students how to become a ranger. There's even a seven-minute workout video that will keep the kids entertained while Mom exercises.
Netflix Jr. is a great channel for kids from Pre-K to second grade, but some of these videos might also appeal to third- and fourth-graders.
5. SciShow Kids - 768k subscribers
In SciShow Kids, host Jessi and her rat robot companion, Squeaks, show kids how to discover the answers to their most urgent questions. "Why Do Planes Leave White Streaks in the Sky?" and "How Do Temporary Tattoos Work?" are among the sample offerings. SciShow Kids is best for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.
6. BrainPOP - 148k subscribers
BrainPOP's animated video curriculum is meant to engage curious kids on a slew of subjects, from engineering to Emily Dickinson while supporting educators and boosting achievement. For kids in K-3, there's BrainPOP Jr., and for kids in grades 4 and up, BrainPOP and BrainPOP Espanol.
7. Art for Kids Hub - 5.67 million subscribers
Rob, a dad of four, uploads new art lessons for elementary school-aged kids to the Art for Kids Hub YouTube Channel every week. If you want even more art ideas, there's an app for that. Off YouTube, the Art for Kids Hub family sells how-to ebooks and makes supply recommendations via their own website.
8. Cosmic Kids Yoga - 1.28 million subscribers
Follow Jaime through kid-approved yoga workouts and stories they love (Frozen, Moana, Trolls, Minecraft, Star Wars). There are also relaxation guides and exercises separated by age group. Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great fitness resource for kids in Pre-K through sixth grade.
9. Nat Geo Kids - 607k subscribers
The official spot for National Geographic's flagship children's magazine, the Nat Geo Kids YouTube channel is great for kids of all ages. Subchannels include Things You Wanna Know, Party Animals (animal bloopers), and contenders for the Best Job Ever. Keep it going with the Explorer Academy series of very short (typically under five minutes) learning videos examining everything from underwater aliens to cave drawings.
10. Khan Academy Kids - 123k subscribers
The online counterpart to the popular Khan Academy app, Khan Academy Kids is designed for toddlers through early elementary school. while some of the main channel videos are meant for parents or teachers, Khan Academy's Circle Time playlist features stories and activities on Mondays.
11. Ryan’s World - 31.8 million subscribers
Created by Ryan Kaji and family, Ryan's World is a child-led kids education and entertainment channel with roots in toy reviews that, according to its parent company, Sunlight Entertainment, has grown into an eight-channel media empire with more than two dozen staff animators, videographers, and other digital media professionals. There's a little sifting to be done to find the most educational videos because the channel still includes a lot of toy-themed content, but the core Ryan's World YouTube channel does incorporate science experiments, simple chemistry, animal world facts, and interviews with scientists. Learn about space travel as Ryan explores the Mars Rover and the Milky Way; then try earthly travel as Ryan attempts horseback riding, skiing, and snorkeling.
The online learning portion of the content is fun and informative, but the interview language is not always little kid-friendly, so older kids (third to sixth grade) will probably find the educational video interviews on Ryan's World more enjoyable.
12. PBS Kids - 1.7M subscribers
Catch clips and even full episodes from some of public broadcasting's most popular and diverse educational children's programming: Arthur, Molly of Denali, Alma's Way, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and much more. Join story read-alongs from popular character actors and find special features such as Black History Month videos on the subchannels. Most of the web offerings are best for kids 5-10.
13. FreeSchool - 511k subscribers
Another great channel for evergreen homeschool lessons, FreeSchool calls itself a "safe and friendly place to expose children to famous art, classical music, children's literature, and natural science." Sample lessons include individualized letter lessons, constellations, and fun facts educational videos about interesting or famous places. Kids from about kindergarten through fourth grade will find FreeSchool's video lessons most interesting.
14. Homeschool Pop - 852k subscribers
The "pop" in Homeschool Pop refers to its homeschool dad creator, according to their bio page. Stop here for Spanish learning videos, animal facts, history snippets, and math pointers. Most of their educational videos are under 10 minutes, but some are over an hour. While some of the science and bilingual content may appeal to older kids, this channel is best suited for kindergarten through second grade.
15. Socratica Kids - 97.8k subscribers
Funded by the Socratica Foundation, the Socratica Kids channel is best for preschoolers through second grade. It's all up to the puppets--muppets?--here as the on-screen hosts presenting everything from counting and phonics to science and stories. The channel has been sitting without new videos for a while, but it's great evergreen educational material.
16. Hoffman Academy - 211k subscribers
Get oodles of fun, funny, free music lessons. A longtime favorite within homeschool circles, Hoffman Academy provides memorable, easy-to-follow piano instruction for school kids of any age. Adult beginners can try it too! Lessons cover music theory, composition, and pitch as well as piano and keyboard fundamentals.
17. Rock 'N Learn - 1.34 million subscribers
Aimed at toddlers up through fifth grade, Rock 'N Learn's best online learning video offerings are its beginner second language videos. There are primers for French, Spanish, and conversational Korean. Younger kids benefit from English phonics along with sight word and digraph practice. Older kids can try multiplication rap or study fractions in addition to practicing a new language.
18. Crash Course Kids - 682k subscribers
A science channel with a special emphasis on fifth-grade studies, Crash Course Kids has been static for a couple of years but boasts a plethora of evergreen kid-friendly content. Online learners can study gravity, food chains, Newtonian fluids, and more. Best for 9- to 12-year-olds.
19. Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel - 2.94 million subscribers
For the kinetic learners in your household, Jack Hartmann's channel is a refreshing treat. It's all about connecting music and factual concepts with movement. Of course, you'd expect to find dance and exercise videos here, and you'd be right. Keep going with educational songs featuring counting challenges, alphabet letters, and sight word memorizations. Find calendar tips and holiday music too. Best for kindergarten through second.
20. The Kennedy Center - 562k subscribers
Stop in at The Kennedy Center's YouTube page for Lunch Doodles and story readings by beloved children's author Mo Willems. Use the #MoLunchDoodles hashtag to search for the full list. For older kids and teens, stick around for high-quality music and performing arts videos.
21. Mystery Doug - 492k subscribers
Designed for elementary teachers, Mystery Doug produces brief videos (under 10 minutes) answering children's tech and science questions, such as "Could you make a real lightsaber?" and "Can my pet understand what I'm saying?" Cofounded by science teacher Doug Peltz, Mystery Doug's parent company was picked up by Discovery Education in Fall 2020.
22. Highlights Kids - 17.6k subscribers
Compared to some others on this list, Highlights Kids has been flying a little under the radar and isn't updated as frequently. Like its classic parent magazine, the Highlights Kids channel is for children 6-12 and it includes jokes, activities, and recipes. "Hidden Pictures" puzzles, a longtime feature of the magazine, are here, too. Find poems, songs, stories, or letters from other kids; make a mask, and binge the Ever Wonder? subchannel to see how cheese is made.
23. ASAP Science - 10.1 million subscribers
How do you talk to people about climate change? Can hydroxychloroquine cure Covid-19? Could you generate electricity with a bicycle? ASAP Science answers these and many, many more in a hilarious fashion. With content that covers drugs, dieting, sustainability, the Covid pandemic, and even sex ed, there's engaging information here for tweens and teens as well as younger kids. The Toronto-based channel by Mitchell Moffitt and Gregory Brown runs under the tagline, "Making science make sense."
Shut It Off ASAP, which bills itself as "a new show about using science for self-reliance," premiers October 26.
24. Common Sense Education - 83.1k subscribers
Another channel aimed at classrooms, Common Sense Education provides digital literacy and digital citizenship content for grades K-12. Teen topics include social media, sexting, and online pressures; videos for younger kids explore boundary setting, personal versus private information, and internet safety.
25. Learn Bright - 112k subscribers
Need a quick overview of Newton’s laws of motion? How about a primer on adjectives, some simple multiplication, or a rundown on the Declaration of Independence? Learn Bright has you covered with short, straightforward videos ranging from history and geography to basic English and math. Best for kids in grades 1-4.
With so many great options for curious kids available, your family is sure to find a new favorite YouTube channel to binge-watch in 2023. Which one will you try next?
- artforkidshub.com. Art For Kids Hub. 2023.
- ryans.world. Ryans World. 2023.
- mystery.org. Building the Internet for Children. 2023.
- discoveryeducation.com. Discovery Education Acquires Mystery Science. 2020.
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