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Tips for Using YouTube with Your Kids

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YouTube has some fantastic videos for kids. From old TV favorites you'll remember from your childhood, to new and funky options, there's plenty of entertainment to be had. Unfortunately, there are plenty of videos that are inappropriate as well. I've got some tips for having the safest and most fun video session with your kids.
  1. Register with YouTube and make a custom playlist. Registering is free and easy. Then, once you're logged in, you can add any video to your playlist by clicking on the "Playlist" button.
  2. Screen videos in advance. Better to take a little time than find a disturbing surprise in the middle of a video. For some prescreened options, check out my list of YouTube videos for kids.
  3. Search for videos based on favorite songs, books, crafts, movies and TV shows. You can often explore similar links from there to expand your choices. Be creative in your searching. I actually found a full-length home movie of the "It's a Small World" ride at Disneyland.
  4. Use comments and star ratings to quickly screen videos if you don't have time for the whole thing. They'll give you a good idea if there's anything unexpected going on.
  5. When watching videos, adjust your browser size (by dragging the bar at the bottom up and down) so that just the video is showing. Then you won't have to worry about inappropriate comments and suggested movies.
  6. If you're really concerned, you can embed the playlist in a webpage (or blog post) of your own.
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