How to Start a YouTube Channel for Kids Safely
Do you know what video has the most views on YouTube? If you answered "Baby Shark Dance'' by Pinkfong Kid's Songs & Stories, you'd be correct. At the time this article was originally written, the video already had 11 billion views. And it’s not just adults entertaining kids that are getting all the views. A Pew Research study in 2019 revealed that videos featuring children aged 13 or younger were by far the most popular on YouTube.
Maybe your child has dreams of becoming a YouTuber, but you don’t know how to start a YouTube channel for kids. This article provides a step-by-step guide on creating a kid’s YouTube channel that will comply with YouTube’s content policies. Here's everything you need to know to get started making videos today.
- Steps for Safely Creating a YouTube Channel for Kids
- Know and Memorize YouTube’s Regulations
- Set Up a YouTube Kids Channel
- Set Privacy and Safety Settings
- Watch Everything They Do
- Set Limits
- What You Need to Start a YouTube Channel for Kids
- Tips for Creating a Successful YouTube Channel for Kids
- Kids YouTube FAQ
Steps for Safely Creating a YouTube Channel for Kids
Know and Memorize YouTube’s Regulations
To set up a kid’s YouTube channel, first you need to understand the platform rules. YouTube doesn't allow children under 13 to create their own accounts. If you have a child between the ages of 13 and 17, they'll need parental permission before starting their channel.
Next, you need to learn YouTube’s Community Guidelines and Content Policies. Violating these policies can get your channel banned permanently from YouTube.
If you are creating a YouTube for kids channel, there are even more rules you need to follow. YouTube changed its guidelines for “Made for Kids” channels after it received a hefty fine from the FTC. These guidelines forbid kids’ YouTube channels from being heavily commercialized. Read a list of YouTube’s best practices for “Made for Kids” content.
YouTube Kids has its own set of rules that is separate even from “Made for Kids” content on regular YouTube. Be sure to read the rules thoroughly if you want to be included in the app.
Set Up a YouTube Kids Channel
You can’t sign up to be on the YouTube Kids app directly. First, you need a regular YouTube account. Start making family-friendly content and your channel will be included on YouTube Kids after an approval process. Follow the steps below to sign up a kid’s YouTube channel on the YouTube homepage.
- Log in to your Gmail account, or set up a Gmail account if you don’t already have one.
Parents can use their Gmail account, or they can set up a supervised account for their child using Family Link.
- While logged in to your Gmail account, go to the YouTube Homepage and click on the Profile Image at the top right of the screen (this will default to the same image you use for your Google account). Click on Create a Channel.
- Select the name and new profile image that will be associated with the YouTube kids channel. Do not use your child’s real/whole name in the channel name.
- Set Privacy and Safety settings.
Set Privacy and Safety Settings
Knowing how to keep your child safe is an important part of learning how to start kids YouTube channel. You have the option to make your child’s videos Public, Private, or Unlisted.
Public means that anyone can see the videos. This is the setting you want to choose if you are hoping to monetize your YouTube for kids channel.
Private videos require an invite. Maybe you want a way to share long videos of your child with friends and family. YouTube is a great free way to upload large files, and with this setting, only those who get the link can see it.
Unlisted videos are viewable and shareable, but they don't appear in searches. This is an option for kids who really want to be YouTubers, but the parents aren’t so sure it’s a good idea. Your friends and family are free to share with their friends and family, but the videos aren’t going to go viral.
There are other customizable privacy and safety settings for YouTube for kids. Do you want people to comment on videos? Do you want people to share the URL? You can select "yes" or "no" to these options to ensure that the channel settings align with your views.
Your child's safety should be the number one concern when creating a kid’s YouTube channel. Err on the side of caution because you can always ease the privacy settings later.
Watch Everything They Do
YouTube has Parental Controls so parents can supervise what their kids watch on YouTube. But you should also be supervising what they create and upload to YouTube. Do not let your child post something to YouTube without watching it first.
You want to make sure the content they are creating isn’t violating any of the strict rules for YouTube for kids. You also want to check that they haven’t disclosed sensitive information, like their address or full name.
Creating content for a kid’s YouTube channel could easily become an obsession, especially when your child sees the subscriber numbers going up. You probably have Screen Time limits set up for your kids, so we suggest adding Screen Creator Time limits as well!
Find a healthy posting schedule that works for your family and allows time for homework, after-school activities, and some much-needed downtime.
What You Need to Start a YouTube Channel for Kids
An Easy-to-Use Video Editing Software
Chances are you’ve recorded plenty of videos, but you may have little-to-no experience with video editing. We recommend PowerDirector as the best video editor for YouTube beginners.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
PCMag Rating: 4.5/5
*Premium subscription available for $4.33/month
- AI-Powered tools like Sky Replacement
- Motion Titles
- Green Screen effects
- Filters and Stickers
You don’t need any prior editing experience to make professional-looking kids’ YouTube videos with PowerDirector. It’s so easy to use, even a kid can do it! But that’s not to say it isn’t packed with cinematic features and advanced tools. As your YouTube for kids following grows, so will your knowledge of video editing, and PowerDirector will grow with you.
PowerDirector comes with pre-made templates for YouTube intros and outros so you can finish your video quickly. It also has a stock library with music you are free to use in your YouTube for kids’ videos without worry.
Creating a YouTube for kids channel is stressful! Take the stress off of post-production by clicking the link below and downloading PowerDirector for free today.
Here are a few tools you need to record your first kid’s YouTube video.
Camera - The right camera is essential for creating great content and building your kid’s YouTube channel. If you want a budget-friendly option, consider using the built-in camera on your smartphone. If you're looking for a slightly more refined look and feel, check out the products from Canon, Sony, and DJI.
Lights - Proper lighting can enhance your YouTube for kids channel's production value. This can be as simple as shooting with natural light outside or using a ring light.
If you want to go the extra mile, three-point lighting serves as a straightforward and more professional way to light people. All you need is a key light as your main source, a fill light to brighten the shadows, and a backlight in a triangle around your subject. Check out Best Vlog Lighting for YouTube for more information.
Microphone - The best microphone for your kid’s YouTube channel will depend on your production style. If you plan on shooting different types of videos, it doesn't hurt to have more than one mic on hand. The three most common microphones include USB/XLR studios, lavaliers, and shotgun mics.
USB or XLR studio mics work well if you want to record a voiceover during post-production. If you're going to record sound during a shoot, consider using a lavalier, especially if the subject doesn't move around a lot during filming. However, if there's a lot of action in your kid’s YouTube video, shotgun mics are your best friend.
Tips for Creating a Successful YouTube Channel for Kids
Find a Niche
Every kids’ YouTube channel needs a central theme. What are the videos about, and what makes them different from other content? The answer will help you find your niche. Here's an overview of the most popular niches for kids’ YouTube channels.
Arts and Crafts - Your kid gets to create things with their hands while educating viewers. The father of Art for Kids Hub always has one of his kids draw with him. That way viewers can see the same character drawn by both a professional artist and a child, which makes it less intimidating for both the kids and adults who might be attempting it!
Lifestyle Vlogs - Capture a day in the life of your family like the popular YouTube for kids channel The Ohana Adventure.
Gaming - Young gamers, like Ethan Gamer, have made a name for themselves on kids YouTube playing well-known PC, mobile, and console games.
Skits - This could mean creating their own version of a popular film like Ninja Kidz TV, or coming up with a unique concept. Father and son duo LB and Aaron created T Rex Ranch, a fictional dinosaur park where they worked as Park Rangers. It started as just the two of them, running around their home wearing park ranger vests, with Mom running the camera. Now, it’s a series on Netflix.
Toy Unboxing and Toy Reviews* - If YouTube has taught us anything, it’s that kids love watching other kids open toys. Give your child a chance to play with and/or share their opinions on popular toys, something that EvanTubeHD has mastered.
*Please check the policy guidelines to see what kind of toy videos are allowed.
Choose a niche for your YouTube for kids videos you and your child will enjoy that also speaks to their strengths. If you are having fun, the audience will too!
Plan Your Videos
A little preparation goes a long way when creating YouTube for kids’ videos. You and your child should come up with a list of kids’ YouTube video ideas. That way, if you have writer's block later, you'll have something to fall back on.
Watch other YouTube for kids videos that have gone viral for inspiration. Try and figure out what elements of the video made it so popular with viewers. While you don’t want to copy someone else, it could help spark ideas. If you would like your videos shown on YouTube Kids, you also need to research the content policies to find out how to start a YouTube for kids channel that follows the proper guidelines.
You should also consider when, where, and how you're going to make your kid’s YouTube videos. Do you need special equipment? Do you need other people? Are costumes or props necessary? Answering these questions can help make the shoot go smoothly and keep costs down.
Optimize Your Content
One of the most important things you need to know when starting a YouTube for kids channel is how to optimize your content. Optimizing content for YouTube is a science. The right keyword in your title or description could make all the difference in going viral.
Title - A catchy title can persuade potential viewers to click on a link and discover your channel. Look at what the most popular channels in your genre name their videos. Pay attention to their capitalization, punctuation, and word choice. There are sites such as TubeBuddy you can use to find the right keywords you need to target for your subject. Use these keywords in your Title, Description, and Tags. Also, remember to write the keywords at the beginning of the title, because YouTube scans titles from left to right looking for information (for example, say “Super Mario Odyssey - The 15 Best Hacks” instead of “The 15 Best Hacks for Super Mario Odyssey.”).
Description - YouTube videos have a description limit of 1,000 characters. Use this space to your advantage. The space provides an opportunity to talk about the video in detail and include links to relevant sources. The description also makes it easier for people to find the video. Like with the title, be sure to use the keywords at the beginning of the description, and save the links for the end. YouTube will only scan the first 200 words for searches.
Tags - Tags are yet another way to get your content picked up by the YouTube search engine. Tag your keywords and any other relevant phrases. You can also have tags that you use in all of your videos that relate to your kid’s YouTube channel.
Thumbnail - Don't forget to spend time creating a quality thumbnail. According to The Creator Academy, 90% of the best-performing YouTube videos have customized thumbnails. Check out our article on YouTube thumbnails for inspiration.
Most importantly, make sure all of these elements are an accurate reflection of your kid’s YouTube video and not just click-bait, which will hurt your channel’s credibility and keep you banned from YouTube and YouTube Kids.
Share Your Content
An important part of maintaining a kid’s YouTube channel is marketing. It's not enough to simply create videos and hope that people will find them. You have to put in some elbow grease. That means sharing and promoting the YouTube for kids channel online and in person.
Start by sharing videos with friends and family members. These individuals will be your biggest supporters and provide the moral support to keep making content. They can also offer some friendly suggestions for future videos and ways to optimize the channel.
Create and maintain an Instagram account for your kid’s YouTube channel where you can post behind-the-scenes photos, sneak peeks of new videos, and post announcements.
Focus on the Community
Focusing on community engagement is one of the most effective ways to grow a kid’s YouTube channel. It shows that you listen to your audience and want to appease them. Make sure that no matter how popular your channel gets, you always create kids’ YouTube videos that make your audience feel like insiders.
Videos on YouTube for kids don’t have comments or other community features turned on. But you can find several ways to build a tight-knit community nonetheless. You can have inside jokes or create your own words. You can also highlight the things you have in common with your viewers, whether that's a love of exploring nature or playing video games.
Kids YouTube FAQ
1. What Is YouTube Kids?
YouTube Kids is an app separate from regular YouTube that only contains kid-friendly content. It means parents can leave the room while a child is watching and not have to worry. YouTube Kids offers a safer experience for kid viewers.
YouTube Kids goes a step further by allowing parents to choose what content their children can watch, block specific videos/channels, or only allow videos rated for a certain age. Parents can also set a timer to limit screen time on YouTube Kids.
There are a lot of rules for creators who want their videos included on the app. Videos are either labeled Preschool (appropriate for ages 4 and under), Younger (ages 5-8), or Older (9-12). There are content policies all kids YouTube videos must adhere to if they are to be included in any of these categories. For a full list of policies for YouTube Kids, click here.
2. Do YouTube Kids Channels Make Money?
Absolutely. Kids’ YouTube channels are some of the most lucrative on YouTube.
Think about how often kids watch the same feature-length film over and over and over…you get the idea. Now quadruple that number for how many times just one kid will watch a single kid’s YouTube video.
And repeat-watching isn’t the only way kids’ YouTube channels make money. Many kid’s YouTube channels revolve around unboxing, playing with, and reviewing toys, and therefore get sponsorships from toy companies and movie studios. Merchandising is also a huge money-maker.
However, as of 2020, YouTube banned targeted advertising, community features, and comments from any videos labeled ‘Made for Kids.’ The new rules make it harder for kids’ YouTube videos to monetize the way they used to. That doesn’t mean you can’t sell merchandise or post unboxing videos, but be sure to read YouTube’s guidelines on the proper way to do this.
3. How Do I Create a YouTube Channel for a Child Under 13?
Children under 13 can not have their own YouTube account, however, you can set one up for them using your Gmail account or through Google’s Family Link app.
Enable the parental controls and use a password your child can’t guess. Also, make sure your child never posts a video without showing it to a parent first.
4. Should I Let My Kid Start a YouTube Channel?
As a parent, you need to be involved in your kid’s YouTube channel, whether to help record and edit videos or simply to supervise and approve content. If you don’t have the time to help in either capacity, then it wouldn’t be a good idea for your kid to start a channel.
If you are willing to help/supervise, here are some things to consider:
One reason to let your kid start a YouTube channel is that it can be a creative outlet for your child. Would you rather they sit on the couch watching YouTube, or get creative and make their own content? It also teaches them skills such as acting, directing, editing, writing, marketing, and more. And of course, they could make an income with their kid’s YouTube channel.
However, starting a YouTube for kids channel can put your family’s privacy at risk. Your child might start measuring his/her worth against the number of likes and subscribers they have. They could also become obsessed with being famous.
If you decide to let your kid start a YouTube channel, sit down with them and discuss some ground rules. Make sure they understand the danger of revealing too much about where they live and other private information. Discuss the fact that they aren’t likely to get famous from their channel, and that their goal in creating content should be to have fun and share it with friends and family.
If your child is begging you for a channel but you aren’t sure, you can always create a channel for them and set it to Private. That way, they can create content, but you control who gets to see it.
5. Do YouTubers Get Paid if You Skip the Ads?
No. Skippable video ads are the most common type of ad on YouTube videos. The YouTuber only gets paid if the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad.
Overlay ads and Display ads are ads that appear in small boxes. The YouTuber only gets paid for these if the viewer clicks the ad to expand it.
There are Nonskippable and Bumper ads that play before a video, and viewers aren’t given the option to skip over them. YouTubers tend to get the full amount for these ads, as long as their viewers stick around.
6. Do YouTubers Get Paid for the Likes?
No, YouTube does not pay based on Likes, or even on Subscribers.
So why do channels always ask viewers to Like and Subscribe? These numbers can have a snowball effect on the number of views you get. When a viewer searches for videos on a certain topic, they are more likely to click on the one with the most likes or go with the channel that has the most subscribers. YouTubers can also use these numbers to get sponsorships.
7. How Do Kids Grow YouTube Channels?
While the parent is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting to help grow their kid’s YouTube channel, such as coming up with titles, getting brand sponsorships, and keeping up the social media page, there are things kids can do to help!
The biggest thing your child can do is show up ready to work. There will be times they need to memorize lines or shoot a scene more than once. As a parent, you know it can be impossible just to get them to smile for a photo! That’s why choosing a niche that will appeal to your child is so important. You don’t want it to be like pulling teeth just to get a video done.
Popular channels have regular video releases, usually weekly. Even if you start out releasing once a month, your child will need to set aside time to work on the video.
They can also be instrumental in keeping up with the latest YouTube trends since they are probably watching a lot of YouTube for kids themselves, and getting feedback on favorite videos from kids at school.
8. What Type of YouTube Videos Get Viewed Most for Kids?
Nursery rhyme videos are some of the most watched YouTube videos overall, and the most watched kids YouTube videos.
However, the top videos that feature kids are toy videos. Toy videos come in many shapes and sizes. Some videos open toys found in a “giant surprise egg” while others unwrap them like presents. Other videos make a fun story around playing with the toy, like Extreme Toys TV.
9. Who is the Highest Paid Child YouTuber?
Ryan Kaji is a ten-year-old boy who primarily reviews toys online. His parents started his account when he was only 3 years old to share videos with long-distance family. Today, Ryan's World has more than 32 million subscribers and 45.9 billion views. He also has a merchandise line available at Target, Walmart, and Amazon, a show on Amazon Prime, and a float in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Ryan makes over $30 million a year.