by Mark Ollig
Years ago, when yours truly attended grade school and needed to learn more about a particular subject, I would seek out a book from the school library.
Remember folks, this was before Google and YouTube – way before.
The day my parents brought the World Book Encyclopedia set into our home, I was around 10 years old.
Of course, being an average 10-year-old at the time, found me persistently tagging along with my two older brothers, in an effort to participate in the games being played with the other kids in the neighborhood.
I also recall helping to build a wooden fort nestled within a grove of trees, located at the end of our street; right next to the creek.
Many of us kids in the neighborhood used it as a clubhouse.
This clubhouse became the “base of operations” when it was decided we needed to build a raft, in order to explore the lake.
I remember helping to build the raft using scraps of wood we found nearby.
Our raft had a successful launching from the creek’s southern sandy banks, and onto the calm waters of Winsted Lake.
This adventure found the raft floating fairly-well for the most part; until too many kids hopped onto it, and it began to sink.
No worries; the raft was in shallow water, and we just ended up getting a little wet.
Around this same time, my dad had bought me a new bike from the local Coast to Coast hardware store to replace the small, orange, Schwinn bicycle with the 13-inch solid hard-rubber tires I had been riding.
Dad had a huge smile on his face when he caught my “surprised expression” as he removed the new bike (Coast King) from the trunk of his car, and placed it on the driveway.
Now, I could finally keep up with my older brothers while riding my new bike.
I was able to follow closely behind their bikes as they speedily rode through the downtown area side streets in their futile attempt to “lose me.”
It was a fun bicycle to ride; thanks, dad.
But I digress.
The day the World Book Encyclopedia set arrived at our house, I was opened up to a whole new world of discovery.
Yours truly would spend hours browsing through the pages of information and photographs contained inside the encyclopedia volumes.
I clearly remember reading volume sections about astronomy, science, geography, and the Mercury, Gemini, and early Apollo space missions.
Of course, reading the section about the history of the telephone, was something I wouldn’t forget.
The encyclopedia set in my home was the source for much of the information used in the two school science fairs I participated in.
Today, young people are able to learn about the world by using Internet sources, iPads, and watching YouTube videos.
Although YouTube provides a variety of video content; some of it is just not suitable for children.
Recently, Google began offering a new “family-friendly” software app (application) for children called YouTube Kids.
“The official YouTube Kids app is designed for curious little minds to dive into a world of discovery, learning, and entertainment,” said Google.
This new app is designed to only show age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists suitable for children.
The YouTube Kids app provides parents and guardians of younger children, peace of mind, in knowing the content being viewed is age-appropriate.
Included in the app is video content provided by teachers, filmmakers, and other content creators.
The YouTube Kids app has large display buttons for simple navigation, is easy to scroll through, includes a voice search function, and starts-up in “instant full-screen” mode.
Children videos and online favorites available with this app include:
• Sesame Street;
• Thomas & Friends.
• Mother Goose Club.
• TuTiTu TV.
• DreamWorks TV.
• Minecraft videos & activities.
• Dinosaur Videos.
• Puppy videos.
• Solar system videos.
• Train videos.
• Preschool science experiments.
• Super simple songs.
When a youngster is browsing through the app’s home screen, they will be seeing child-appropriate video channels and playlists.
In addition to the videos, the app provides access to music, science, crafts, and games that kids can explore in a child-friendly place.
The app allows parents to control the content seen, and to set up a timer (like a bedtime setting) to alert their child when it’s time to stop viewing. This timer can also lock the app.
This app works with today’s two most popular OS’s (operating systems), and can be downloaded at no cost onto your Apple iOS or Android OS smart devices.
Download the YouTube Kids app for your Android at: http://goo.gl/SsDTHh or for your iOS device using: http://goo.gl/P0cikI.
A short YouTube Spotlight channel video introducing the YouTube Kids app can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/kb5vsup.
A screen-shot taken from the YouTube Kids app, can be seen here: http://tinyurl.com/YTappkids.