Finding great Video Content For Your Children

By Andy Robertson on

Finding great content for children to watch is a good way to balance their consumption of YouTube videos. Over the last few months, I’ve been looking into how to find this efficiently, when there are so many different streaming services available.

Here are a few simple ways to find the best films and TV shows for your kids without spending hours trawling Netflix, Prime Video, iPlayer, and Sky separately.

Andy Robertson offers a summary of family friend video-on-demand apps available (after YouTube)

Know Your Services

The first step is knowing which streaming services you can access. This is a combination of free services like ITV, More Four, and UK TV Play along with subscriptions services like iPlayer, Netflix, Now TV, Prime Video and Disney Life.

Some of these services come bundled in with Internet or shopping packages. For instance, if you have paid for Amazon Prime’s free delivery you can also access Prime Video and Prime Music for no extra cost.

Find great films

With so many things to watch, the challenge can be knowing where to start to find great content for our children. Sat in front of an unending list of films and shows, my kids often tell me “there’s nothing to watch”.

There are some great apps that can help you find and curate content for your family.

Just Watch (iOS, Android) is an app and a website that lets you search for films across all your streaming services. This can include Netflix, Prime Video, Sky Go and Now TV as well as free services like iPlayer and More Four.

You can also filter by age rating for suitable content. Better still you can specify a certain IMDB or Rotten Tomato rating (which are two reputable ways of identifying critically acclaimed content.

Finally, you can combine this criteria with popular films other users are watching, as well as a list of what new films have been added to your movie services day by day.

Utelly Anywhere (iOS) offers a similar service to Just Watch, but with more curated and suggested content by their experts. This is a discovery rather than a search tool, so will suggest Award Nominated films, Last Chance to Watch films.

It also has a nice feature where you can specify how long you have to watch a film and find titles that match. You can also sort any lists by their recommendation, age rating, release date, and popularity.

I use Just Watch when I have time to set up detailed searches for content, but I’ll use Utelly Anywhere if I just need an intelligent suggestion to watch based on my previous viewing.

Other useful tools to manage and discover content include the iOS TV app. This replaces the Video app and serves as a one-stop-shop for all your movies. It’s not perfect because it doesn’t pull in everything, but it does a good job of suggesting what you might want to watch next.

IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) is also a good way to discover and track content. It provides a reputable rating system as well as details on actors, directors, and producers.

There are also some good websites that help you search particular streaming services. Examples are New on Netflix, Flixable and Can I Stream It.

More to explore

Here are some helpful resource to choose age-appropriate content for your child and set controls

Get advice on the latest movie, tv, and app reviews from Common Sense Media

Set controls on the video-on-demand services  like Netflix and BBC iPlayer to keep kids safe