Allowing only specific YouTube videos?
September 29, 2019 8:05 AM   Subscribe

I want to allow my children to only access YouTube videos chosen by me. I'm happy to pay money for this ability! My kids are 7 and 3, so I'd ideally be able to create a whitelist in advance containing various channels and individual videos.

YouTube Kids has this ability, but many of the videos my 3 year old enjoys are not available through YouTube Kids. For example, the Mighty Machines episodes. Also, my older son is on the spectrum and his life is focused on mechanical engineering right now. That type of thing is not available on YouTube Kids either.

We view YouTube on a PC, iPad and (rarely) Android phones. If a solution is only available on one ecosystem, that's sad but we'll deal.

I get that parent involvement is critical and an adult is always present - at the same time, we like to arrange our lives so that it's not just a constant stream of "No, not that." Like baby proofing a living room to allow safe exploration.
posted by WowLookStars to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Can you download the YouTube videos you like, rip the dvds of some specific things and make the files available in a player for the kids?
posted by k8t at 9:40 AM on September 29, 2019 [4 favorites]

I don’t think this is available as a YouTube feature, given Ive heard very tech savvy podcast hosts with small children talk about the fact that this was a feature they would gladly pay many $$s for but was not available.

I’d also suggest downloading/ripping the videos you’d like your kids to see and making them available via Plex or similar.
posted by cgg at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a parent, though my kid is an older teen now. Back in the day I used a "cleaner YouTube" browser extension that eliminated everything else on the page other than the video -- no comments, no sidebar with other recommended videos, etc. It wasn't a 100% perfect solution but that alone went a long way toward keeping it safe. I wonder if something like that still exists?
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:12 AM on September 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks! Hosting them locally is going to save us a lot of trouble! And thanks for the heads up about Plex - it's perfect.
posted by WowLookStars at 8:05 PM on September 29, 2019

Use the script called youtube-dl to grab the indivudal videos that you want to show them:

It will fetch down videos from almost any web page, not just YouTube. It can also pull out the audio from a video on-the-fly. And it will even fetch down a YT playlist, so that you can grab a copy of, e.g., an entire Crash Course at once.

Use it to populate your Plex server and then build a private video library for the kids! Copy the video over to an iPad and stop using WiFi or cell data on the go, thereby extending battery life!


posted by wenestvedt at 6:56 AM on September 30, 2019 [4 favorites]

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