7 of the Best Video Streaming Apps Made Just for Kids

Adults aren't the only ones using mobile devices these days

Mobile devices aren't just for grownups in today's digital age. Kids love anything with a touchscreen, and sometimes just handing them an iPad or your smartphone is all you need to keep them entertained for hours.

What better way to do that than with video? Now couldn't be a better time to embrace the big trend in kid-friendly apps not only for fun games and educational learning activities, but for video and movie streaming for kids too.

While popular video streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus do indeed offer animated series and other G-rated shows that your kids can watch, there's still always that slight risk for kids to accidentally stumble across inappropriate shows or movies. If you're a parent who worries about this, then having a good selection of apps installed on your device that deliver nothing but the best kid-friendly video content might be a good idea.

Take a look through the following list of popular kids' video streaming apps for fun and safe entertainment.

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YouTube Kids

Video Apps for Kids
Photo © Sam Edwards / Getty Images
What We Like
  • Additional content specifically for 8- to 12-year-olds.

  • Robust parental controls.

What We Don't Like
  • Videos not manually reviewed, so questionable content slips through unless Approved Content Only setting is selected.

YouTube just launched a Kids version of its app, so you don't have to sift through all the millions of videos hosted on the platform to find the best kid videos. The app interface has been designed to include big images and lots of color for kids to use and features topics that appeal to a young audience. It even comes with parental control settings for sound, search and an optional timer.

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What We Like
  • Large, free selection of kids' favorites.

  • Can share clips through email and social media.

  • Recipient of several awards.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to turn off autoplay.

Love the PBS Kids channel on television? Then you absolutely need the app! Your kids can enjoy all of their favorite PBS shows any time they want with just a tap. This award-winning free app has thousands of videos to choose from, including well known series like Curious George, Sesame Street and more. You also get recommendations every week for a new set of educational videos, called the "Weekly Pick."

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Nick (Nickelodeon)

What We Like
  • Lots of interactive content in addition to videos.

  • Customizable program guide grid.

What We Don't Like
  • Generally not appropriate for young kids.

  • Cable provider login required.

When it comes to kids' entertainment, Nickelodeon is a top provider. Its Emmy award-winning mobile app, called Nick, is a must-have for kids who love watching video on mobile devices. In addition to full episodes of popular shows like Spongebob Squarepants, The Fairly OddParents and others, kids can also use the app to play games, watch animated shorts and even participate in polls.

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WATCH Disney Channel

What We Like
  • Junior mode for young children.

  • Includes games and other activities.

What We Don't Like
  • Cable provider login required for some content.

  • Sometimes performs sluggishly.

Like Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel has its own official app too with enough features to keep kids going for hours. Your kids can use it to watch or catch up on all their favorite Disney shows like Girl Meets World, Austin & Ally, and more. Some new episodes and movie previews can even be watched before they're aired on TV. And when watching isn't enough, there are fun games and songs to listen to from Radio Disney, all available within the app.

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Cartoon Network

What We Like
  • Clips, songs, and full episodes of 25+ shows.

  • Access to many favorite cartoons anytime.

What We Don't Like
  • Cable provider login required for some content.

  • Lots of ads.

What kid doesn't love the Cartoon Network? With its official app, kids can watch popular cartoons for free and unlock additional episodes if an adult enters the required information from their television provider. Complete episodes of Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Clarence and so much more are available right at your kids' fingertips.

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What We Like
  • Offers a more educational approach than other apps.

  • Free of ads and spam.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as many options as other apps.

  • Subscription required for full content offering.

For an app with more of an educational twist, PlayKids is another popular app choice. Although it may not offer quite as much variety as some of the other major apps on this list, it still has over 200 kid-friendly videos to watch – along with access to additional games and books with a PlayKids subscription. Show episodes offered by the app include Super Why, Caillou, Pajanimals, Sid the Science Kid and more.

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BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

What We Like
  • Lots of educational content.

  • Login with school username gives access to even more content.

What We Don't Like
  • Full access requires paid subscription, in absence of a school account.

  • Not much free content.

BrainPOP brings your kids a new animated video every week with educational learning in mind. The app is designed for kids as young as kindergarteners and up to third graders, with an in-app subscription option that lets kids discover even more than just the free movie of the week. Characters Annie and Moby take kids through fun and informative videos in science, social studies, reading, writing, math, health, arts and technology.