Just about every parent these days struggles with getting their tweens off their phones and engaged with the real world. However, just because you have to set some clear boundaries about how much screen time is too much screen time, don’t make the mistake of assuming all screen time is bad. There are plenty of amazing resources out there online that can help your child learn more about the world around them, whatever their favorite educational topics happen to be. And no, we’re not talking about online scholarly articles or Wiki pages — educational content can be found on the favorite social platforms your child already knows and loves, such as YouTube.
So, the next time your tween reaches for their phone and turns on a tech review or unboxing, try introducing them to one of these 6 educational YouTubers for tweens instead.
Mike Likes Science
Mike Likes Science is a fun, educational channel geared at tweens and teens that combines comedy with music to teach kids about everything from coding to the Internet of Things to Black scientists in history to dinosaurs. Math, space, microscopic face mites — it’s all up for grabs. Plus, Mike Likes Science offers a huge backlog of content, so if your tween is just now discovering the channel, they’ll have plenty of videos to watch.
We could probably all agree that the more role models young girls can find in STEM fields, the better. Physics Girl provides just that — loads of cool content featuring MIT physicist Dianna Cowern as the host. Content ranges from 101-style physics introductions (perfect for when your tween is studying for that big, upcoming science test that they’ve been ignoring for the last few weeks) to quick question explainers to special episodes featuring guests like Bill Nye.
Geek Gurl Diaries
For girls who are more interested in coding than physics, Geek Gurl Diaries checks all the right boxes, with loads of videos on topics such as Raspberry Pi, Python, and Arduino. However, even if your tween isn’t quite into coding yet, they’ll still find interesting videos on this channel, covering topics such as the history of computing, real women currently working in tech fields, and more. There’s even a whole series of videos on hacking Minecraft via coding, which might be just the thing to get your uninterested Minecraft fan very interested in coding, very quickly.
Of course, not everything is about science. If your child has another educational interest, there are plenty of interesting educational YouTubers out there for them, too. CrashCourse is a fun one because it covers a huge range of topics, essentially giving the viewer a crash course on a different topic with each video. Plus, this channel is updated super-frequently, so there’s nearly always something new to watch (in case your child ever makes it through the extensive backlog of old content). Past topics have included zoology, geography, organic chemistry, history, and more. There’s content for just about every field of study.
For kids who prefer to be a little more hands-on with their education, Sick Science delivers a ton of videos that show your tween how to conduct cool science experiments. While the channel isn’t being updated frequently anymore, your child will have a ways to go before they make it through all of the currently available videos and their experiments. From creating instant-freeze water to homemade hand warmers, musical straws to the “perfect” fake blood, these experiments will intrigue the curious kid in every member of your family.
SciShow is a YouTube channel that’s out there asking the important questions — like, “What if your arm falls off right after you get a vaccine? Will you still be vaccinated?” Or, “Why do flamingos stand on one leg? “There’s also plenty of clickbait-y content sure to keep your tween clicking for hours (and learning while they’re at), thanks to video titles like, “How these snakes evolve to spit IN YOUR EYE”. Be careful — you might just find yourself sucked into this never-ending channel of interesting educational content, too.
“Entertaining” and “educational” aren’t mutually exclusive
Your tween can have fun watching entertaining YouTube content and they can learn something at the same time — really! Introduce them to one of the six YouTube channels above for educational content with a fun, kid-friendly twist. Who knows? You might just find that you like these channels, too — and no one’s ever really too old to learn a thing or two about the world around us. Whether your child’s into coding, physics, natural history, science experiments, geography, or just plain fun facts, there’s an educational YouTube channel out there that’s sure to grab their attention.
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