With streaming devices seemingly everywhere, it’s easy for your children to turn on the smart TV, pick up a tablet or smartphone, and start watching their favorite shows and movies. Indeed, there’s no shortage of streaming content they can enjoy, with studios pouring money into animated series, live-action adventure or “mystery” stories, or educational shows that are both informative and a lot of fun.
But it’s natural for parents to have concerns about their child’s online activity and device use, particularly those of younger kids. And though some parents may enjoy the freedom of apps and streaming platforms that are intuitively easy for just about any youngster to learn and explore, unfettered access to any online-accessible device is always a risk worth further consideration.
Fortunately, many apps that deliver quality children’s content also feature age-based content restrictions and other security settings that will give parents peace of mind. And several apps consist exclusively of children’s content, providing even greater comfort. As your family’s online safety is our top concern, your neighbors at S&T have cobbled up a list of some of our favorite kid-friendly streaming apps and platforms.
Our recommended streaming apps feature a robust selection of enriching children’s entertainment and educational content, which can be streamed in pristine, distortion-free quality on S&T’s advanced broadband network. And many also include settings and other protections parents will appreciate. Read on to explore our suggestions!
Four Streaming Platforms Made Specifically For Children and Families
PBS has been a perennial favorite of parents—and their kids—for decades. With years of children’s content creation expertise under its belt, PBS stands tall on our list. PBS Kids is a streaming platform geared toward children.
It includes some of PBS’ most beloved characters like Arthur Read, the bespectacled aardvark and namesake of Arthur, whose 25-season run makes it one of the most successful animated kid series in television history. And who can possibly forget Sesame Street’s Elmo, whose endearing kindness has tickled viewers’ heartstrings for decades!
The app is incredibly kid-friendly, from its touchscreen accessibility to its bright, attractive display. And because its content is geared exclusively to younger children, parents can feel confident that PBS Kids is a safe space for their kids to explore, learn, laugh, and be inspired.
Next on our list of recommended streaming apps for children is Noggin, an app developed by a venerable name in kids’ entertainment—Nickelodeon. Leaning big on learning, Noggin is a subscription-based app featuring ad-free content for younger kids, especially preschoolers. Many of Nick Jr.’s most adored series and characters are viewable on Noggin, including Peppa Pig, Blue’s Clues & You, and, of course, Dora the Explorer!
We love how the educational content included with Noggin provides opportunities for learning as much as entertainment. And some of the content on Noggin is designed to get your kids off the couch and moving around—even outdoors as they discover more about their world!
With over 60,000 videos to stream, the HappyKids app is another child-friendly and parent-approving app. Exclusively focused on content for children, HappyKids features a diverse array of educational and entertainment series. It’s also free, another boon to parents!
Appropriate for children of just about all ages, from toddlers to early teens, parents can also establish content restrictions through several tools. Parental settings include toggling the age range of viewable content and even blocking specific series entirely.
And to inspire extra confidence, HappyKids has been commended with several awards, including a 2022 National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA).
Another app that parents can feel comfortable letting their kids access and explore is Minno. An app specializing in faith-based, Christian content, its series are primarily geared toward younger kids, so parents need not fear inappropriate language or situations.
The app includes access to over 130 shows, including series developed by esteemed content creators at other major production studios like PBS Kids and Nickelodeon. Parents seeking more Bible-based content may find just what they’re looking for with Minno.
Kid-Friendly Features of the Major Streaming Platforms
Thus far, we’ve discussed streaming platforms explicitly designed with children in mind. Indeed, all the content on the four apps highlighted above is exclusively for kids. But the major streaming platforms also have features that make them more accessible to youngsters while also providing parents with greater control and oversight.
For example, Netflix lets you establish profiles just for kids, with built-in restrictions and limitations on content based on well-established rating guidelines.
Similarly, Max (formerly HBO Max) makes it easy for parents to limit content to specific age groups of about four years each. In this way, Max’s parentally controlled content settings let the series and movies available on its app “age-up” with your children.
And every list of kid-friendly apps would be complete with Disney+, now celebrating 100 years of renowned family entertainment from family-oriented content powerhouse Disney. Disney+ also features children-specific profiles, which, once set, restrict the content available to them based on their age—and they can’t simply switch out to “the grown-up’s profile” either, thanks to Disney+’s clever safety features!
Our recommended kid-exclusive content apps are a terrific way to introduce your children safely to the world of streaming entertainment and learning. Coupled with parental and content settings on some of the major streaming platforms, parents can feel much more confident about their kids’ streaming activities while helping them build healthy screen time habits, too.