The Best Streaming Apps for Kids

When looking for the best way to entertain kids with video, you have no shortage of options. YouTube probably comes to mind first, but while it offers a dedicated YouTube Kids app that lets grown-ups manage what children watch, many parents have concerns with the age range assigned to some videos and adult content sneaking past the censors. However, there are many other streaming apps that are better at delivering kid-safe videos. Most of the apps have standard features, such as a password-protected adult section to set controls and screen time limits, as well as content curated by age.

Although these apps offer some protection and curated content, the bottom line is that no one service is perfect at keeping kids from viewing age-inappropriate videos. Adults must supervise their children and have ongoing conversations about what to do if they stumble across something upsetting.

After testing the top contenders with both kids and adults, we recommend these eight streaming apps for kids up to 10 years old, listed alphabetically.

Recommended by Our Editors

Best for Amazon Prime Members

Amazon Prime Video has a lot of streaming content, but much of it is geared toward adults. Letting kids browse the full selection isn’t smart. That’s why Amazon developed the Amazon Kids+ app for Android and iOS mobile devices. Parents can remotely pause screen time for any kid from their own app or set an amount of reading that must be completed before games and videos are accessible (unlike most other streaming apps for kids, the Amazon app includes books, magazines, and games). It costs $7.99 per month in general or $4.99 per month for Amazon Prime members. One subscription works on up to four devices, and Amazon has a hub for all of its parental control options.

Best for Educational Videos

CuriosityStream lives up to everything it promises, delivering a wide selection of documentaries on everything from space exploration to ancient civilizations with stunning quality. The streaming service has an entire section of kid-appropriate videos covering an equally wide range of topics as adults get. Parental controls are lightweight but simple: When you toggle on Kids Mode, you cannot see videos that are deemed inappropriate for little ones. You must remember to toggle it off when the grown-ups are ready to use the service for themselves. CuriosityStream starts at a reasonable $2.99 per month. If you want to watch everything in 4K, you must upgrade to the $9.99-per-month 4K Monthly plan (though you can save even more money by paying for a year of service upfront).

CuriosityStream Review

Best for Disney+ Subscribers

Although the name Disney might evoke images of mermaids and talking mice, the Disney+ service also contains adult content that parents may want to restrict. You can create a child account set to Junior mode, which only shows ad-free content suitable for all viewers. Older kids may find this setting too restrictive, but for the 10-and-under crowd, it’s just right. Parents can also choose to allow certain content ratings for each profile, such as G, PG, and PG-13. Just make sure to PIN-protect the adult profiles so kids don’t navigate to other content. Note that the service’s parental control options lack screen time limits and program tracking.

Disney+ Review

Best for Custom Parental Controls

As one of the most popular streaming platforms in the country, Netflix (starting at $6.99 per month) has a lot of great content for kids. When an adult creates a profile labeled Kids, the app automatically limits what people using that profile can watch to titles rated appropriate for ages 12 and under. For younger kids, adults need to go a step further and choose only titles rated TV-Y. It’s also possible to block specific titles, in case parents want to avoid Cocomelon altogether for their own sanity. You can create restrictions for each separate child’s profile on an individual basis, which gives you a lot of fine control. Make sure to add a PIN for accessing adult profiles, too. The home screen in the Netflix app shows all profiles associated with the account.

Netflix Review

Best for Free Video Content

The PBS Kids streaming app is simple in design, meaning even young kids can easily navigate it. There aren’t any age restrictions or screen time limits, though, so a four-year-old gets the same list of shows as a nine-year-old. Most of the content that PBS has included is tame, so there’s no real risk involved. Still, it would be helpful to be able to sort shows by age. Episodes can be downloaded to a device to watch offline, a nice feature for traveling families. This app is totally free; you can donate to PBS to support the network in providing high-quality children’s programming.

Best for 7 and Under

Nickelodeon’s streaming service, called Noggin, is a kid-friendly offering that features fun avatar creation and many popular Nick Jr. shows. The app also has some games and books. Parents choose their favorite characters and learning goals at setup so the content is curated for each child. Once those choices are made, though, there aren’t any parental controls around screen time limits. You can download episodes to watch offline. The games offered within Noggin are perfect for the 7-and-under set with lots of learning built in, but kids past kindergarten will likely become bored with them. Noggin offers two months for free, after which you’re charged $7.99 per month or $47.88 per year.

Best for Managing YouTube Access

Safe Vision is a simple app created by software developer Pavel Chuchuva as a response to what he found his kids watching on YouTube. It’s basically an app that gives you good parental controls over YouTube videos. Like Sensical, the content is screened by actual humans rather than AI before it is approved for the app. Parents can add certain YouTube channels if they want to approve them, or even just specific videos. For example, you might add the entire Mr. Beast channel, or only the videos you’ve seen and feel comfortable with your child viewing. Safe Vision is free for one hour per day for one device. Adding more costs money, with plans starting at $2.99 per month.

Best for Recommendations by Age

Sensical was designed by Common Sense Media, a trusted website where adults can read reviews of books, movies, and games for their age-appropriateness and get more specific content warnings that help parents choose media for their kids. With Sensical, the team curates content they’ve already reviewed into one place. This app even has a TikTok tab where kids can find funny animal videos or dance battle videos without being able to explore further into TikTok. Adults can choose from several age categories—Preschool (ages 2 to 4), Little Kids (5 to 7), and Big Kids (8 to 10)—and set screen time limits. Making an account is totally free. One disadvantage noted by some users is that many videos are old or outdated.

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