Best YouTube channels for home learning
Whether you want your child to learn about maths, geography, science or history, they'll be happy to watch a video about it – and these YouTube channels introduce topics through songs, animations, experiments, skits and riddles. From phonics for new readers to physics for keen scientists, these are the educational channels to subscribe to.
Best for KS2 science
Crash Course Kids ("Science with a side of awesome!") explains Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, Geography, Engineering and Astronomy topics at just the right level for upper KS2 and KS3 students and host Sabrina Cruz is engaging and clear, whether she's talking about ecosystems, the properties of matter or the engineering process.
Best for beginner readers
Alphablocks is a hugely popular CBeebies TV show that brings phonics to life for kids and parents! With letter character adventures, songs and silliness, it’s tons of fun with words – all built on a firm foundation of key phonics skills. Watch playlists to help consolidate a series of sounds or master a phonics skill, or just dip in and out of the hundreds of free videos on offer.
Best for history buffs
From the Vicious Vikings and Awful Egyptians to the Slimy Stuarts and Terrible Tudors, CBBC's hit show Horrible Histories uncovers the most revolting, most gruesome and most amusing bits of history for kids. We love the songs, especially the history cover versions of pop classics.
Best for learning about the body and medicine
Presented by identical twins, Dr.Chris and Dr. Xand van Tulleken, Operation Ouch is packed with explainer videos and incredible facts about the human body and the fascinating world of medicine and biology. From current advice about coronavirus (perfectly pitched and child-friendly) to science and biology "lessons", it's educational and incredibly entertaining.
Best for child-friendly topic introduction videos
From Mozart to Wordsworth, civilisations to lunar eclipse, the Giant's Causeway to the American Revolutionary War, Free School's videos introduce famous art, classical music, children's literature and natural science to children in an age-appropriate way (and you're likely to learn a lot too!). Beautifully produced and very claming to watch.
Best for wild and wonderful facts videos
Weird, wild and wacky videos featuring awesome animals, cool science, funny pets and more National Geographic Kids is really addictive! Find out about the people who are paid to dive with jellyfish (or listen to chipmunks, or design astronaut fashion), see the work of real explorers investigating oceans, the desert and outer space and understand how life is lived on every continent on Earth.
Best for KS1 mathematicians
A story-based maths show for children aged 3 to 6, Cbeebies' Numberjacks are super heroes who help solve problems in the real world. When something's gone wrong, you can rely on 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to swoop in and help you sort it out. A great way to boost thinking skills and problem solving.
Best for poetry and story performances
The official video channel of the poet and author Michael Rosen, Kids’ Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen is bursting with performances, author interviews and stories. It's very, very funny – if you see your kids rolling around laughing in front of the computer, chances are they're watching a Michael Rosen performance!
Best for natural history and wildlife
Celebrating nature, science, space and the human race, BBC Earth is the official channel of documentary series such as Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Blue Planet II. The fantastic nature and wildlife documentary clips are the perfect introduction to our planet and its inhabitants, from pets to predators, and they're short enough to hold even young children's attention.
Best for animated explainer videos
TED-Ed animations are educational videos, beautifully presented, animated and narrated by experts in every field. Whether you want to find out about Viking ships, self-driving cars, Hamlet, particle physics or jellyfish, there's a video to explain it to you. Once you start watching, it's hard to stop... and why not challenge yourself with a few fiendishly hard riddle videos?
Best for maths songs
Math Songs by NUMBEROCK make animated maths videos and educational songs for kids in KS1, KS2 and KS3. Learn concepts like rounding numbers, ordering decimals, classifying 3D shapes, place value, and times tables by singing about them – a surprisingly effective strategy!
Best for curious children (and parents!)
SciShow Kids explores all those curious topics that make us ask "why?" by conducting experiments, researching new questions or talking with experts. The explanations are clear and memorable, so the next time your child asks you how submarines work, what happens when you swallow chewing gum or why there are seasons, you'll know what to say!