I will never forget the first time my son said the “s” word.
No, it’s probably not the four-letter word you’re thinking of.
I mean S-T-U-P-I-D. That’s not a word that we allow in our house. So I was shocked to hear it come out of his mouth. I immediately asked him where he had heard that word before. Nope, it wasn’t from a friend at school.
It was from one of the YouTube families that he idolized. I’ve always tried to be very hands-on with the content he’s allowed to watch online, so he generally watched videos created by families with several kids about his age. They would play games or unbox toys or create stories. All things that I didn’t think were that harmful.
But as I watched more and more of these videos, I realized the kinds of behavior these “famous” families were emulating — they were loud, crass, and sometimes obnoxious. Kids with attitudes toward their parents. They used words like “stupid,” or “crap,” or “shut up.” They didn’t speak kindly to their siblings.
These were not the kinds of role models I wanted my impressionable son to be surrounded by. So, we deleted YouTube from all of our devices.
My son was still asking to watch videos, though. I didn’t want to swear off *all* videos — videos can be a great tool for learning — but I knew I needed to find a way to curate the videos that he was allowed to watch.
That’s why I was so happy when Jellies wanted to partner with Kids Activities Blog. This video app was exactly what I was looking for.
Jellies is a commercialism-free zone for kids. No ads. No unboxing or toy play videos. I was super-impressed by the quality of the videos on the app.
In Parents Mode, I can choose from a selection of topics to add to the Library videos, which are available to watch in Kids Mode. I showed my son some of the options, and he was instantly excited about the Fort Building videos and the April Fools’ Day videos, so I added those to his Library.
That’s another great thing about Jellies — the videos encourage children to explore the world and try new activities. I could tell that the makers of the app pick videos that inspire creativity, imagination, and learning. The kids in the videos were articulate and engaging, without being obnoxious.
All Jellies videos are reviewed by humans. They don’t rely on algorithms to keep children safe. Instead, they watch every single second of every video to make sure it fits their strict guidelines. This was super important to me, especially with the recent MoMo Challenge scare.
The first thing my son said when I showed him the app was, “This is just like YouTube!” He was super excited to explore the video selection and I felt good about what he was watching. He thought he was getting an extra-special treat because we had gone so long without YouTube.
When it was time to put the screen away, he looked at me with pleading eyes: “Mom, please don’t delete this from my phone.”
That’s a request I’m all too happy to honor.
You can download the Jellies app now and receive a 30-day free trial. There is a small monthly subscription fee after the trial ends.