Youtube and Preschoolers: A Narrative Review of Literature


  • Mei Ting Foo Faculty of Language Studies and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, MALAYSIA
  • Siew Foen Ng Faculty of Language Studies and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, MALAYSIA



YouTube, Preschoolers, Guidelines, Filtering, Parents, Teachers


This paper reviews the literature regarding preschoolers and YouTube watching. The narrative review examines studies published between 2010 and 2022. The main purpose of the narrative review is to understand the association between YouTube and preschoolers, four themes have been canvassed in this review which are: YouTube and preschoolers, YouTube content, parents and teachers’ perception and filtering and selecting YouTube content. Findings from the narrative review unveil the fact that preschoolers spend a lot of time watching YouTube and this is even more prevalent during the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19. Literature has indicated that preschoolers are exposed to inappropriate content, parents and teachers are aware of this situation and worry this might affects their children negatively. Undeniably, some YouTube videos bring positive impact to the preschoolers but the videos need to be selected properly to avoid inappropriate content. Literature has consistently revealed that the current filtering systems are insufficient to filter the ill-suited content videos as some negative videos are able to get through the filtering systems and have been viewed by preschoolers. The outcome of this narrative review of literature pertaining to YouTube and preschoolers suggests that filtering and selecting YouTube videos content deserve more research attention. There is a vital need to establish guidelines for parents and teachers to select good quality YouTube videos for preschoolers.


Download data is not yet available.


Ali, Z., Abu Bakar, N., Ahmad Tilwani, S., & Ajanil, B. (2022). Knowledge Management and Technology Management: The Use of YouTube among Preschool Teachers. Education Research International, 2022.

Alimemaj, Z. (2010). Using crossword puzzles to teach grammar and improve communication strategies. In Annals of Language and Learning: Proceedings of the 2009 International Online Language Conference (IOLC 2009) (p. 298). Universal-Publishers.

Amendum, S. J., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Ginsberg, M. C. (2011). The effectiveness of a technologically facilitated classroom-based early reading intervention: The targeted reading intervention. The Elementary School Journal, 112(1), 107-131.

Apsaglm, Ozan. (2018). Altering Game Preferences of Preschool Children. KIRŞEHİR EĞİTİM FAKÜLTESİ DERGİSİ. 1. 1136-1148. 10.29299/kefad.2018.19.031.

Araújo, C. S., Magno, G., Meira, W., Almeida, V., Hartung, P., & Doneda, D. (2017, September). Characterizing videos, audience and advertising in Youtube channels for kids. In International Conference on Social Informatics (pp. 341-359). Springer, Cham.

Azer, S. A., AlEshaiwi, S. M., AlGrain, H. A., & AlKhelaif, R. A. (2012). Nervous system examination on YouTube. BMC medical education, 12(1), 1-8.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Bennett, F. C., Bennett, M. L., Yaqoob, F., Mulinyawe, S. B., Grant, G. A., Gephart, M. H., & Barres, B. A. (2018). A combination of ontogeny and CNS environment establishes microglial identity. Neuron, 98(6), 1170-1183.

Bibi, N. Y. T., & Mansoor, M. O. (2018). Early Childhood Learning Videos on YouTube: A Thematic Analysis of Viewer’s Perceptions. Journal of Early Childhood Care and Education, 2.

Bonander, A. R., & Marsh, M. L. (2015). Modern mimicry and YouTube: How technology has influenced pedagogy and performance of poetry interpretation within competitive forensics. Communication Studies, 66(4), 448-457.

Bright, F.O (2019). Moral values and multimodality in selected reworked animated nursery rhymes from Chu Chu TV’s YouTube Channel. Journal of Pristine, 15(1).

Buzzetto-More, N. (2015). Student attitudes towards the integration of YouTube in online, hybrid, and web-assisted courses: An examination of the impact of course modality on perception. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 11(1), 55.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An examination of undergraduate student’s perceptions and predilections of the use of YouTube in the teaching and learning process. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 10(1), 17-32.

Buzzi, M. (2012). What Are Your Children Watching on YouTube? Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 243–252.

Che, X., Ip, B., & Lin, L. (2015). A survey of current YouTube video characteristics. IEEE MultiMedia, 22(2), 56-63.

Chen, N. S., Wei, C. W., & Liu, C. C. (2011). Effects of matching teaching strategy to thinking style on learner’s quality of reflection in an online learning environment. Computers & Education, 56(1), 53-64.

Clifton, A., & Mann, C. (2011). Can YouTube enhance student nurse learning?. Nurse education today, 31(4), 311-313.

Davidson, C., Danby, S. J., & Thorpe, K. (2017). “Uh oh”: Multimodal meaning making during viewing of YouTube videos in preschool. In Multimodal Perspectives of Language, Literacy, and Learning in Early Childhood (pp. 233-255). Springer, Cham.

Eick, C. J., & King Jr, D. T. (2012). Nonscience Majors' Perceptions on the Use of YouTube Video to Support Learning in an Integrated Science Lecture. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(1).

Flewitt, R., Kucirkova, N., & Messer, D. (2014). Touching the virtual, touching the real: iPads and enabling literacy for students experiencing disability. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 37(2), 107-116.

Gilakjani, A. P. (2012). Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic learning styles and their impacts on English language teaching. Journal of studies in education, 2(1), 104-113.

Given, L. M., Winkler, D. C., Willson, R., Davidson, C., Danby, S., & Thorpe, K. (2016). Watching young children “play” with information technology: Everyday life information seeking in the home. Library & Information Science Research, 38(4), 344-352.

Holloway, D., Green, L., & Livingstone, S. (2013). Zero to eight. Young children and their internet use, 14.

Hu, R., Wu, Y. Y., & Shieh, C. J. (2016). Effects of virtual reality integrated creative thinking instruction on students’ creative thinking abilities. Eurasia journal of mathematics, science and technology education, 12(3), 477-486.

Huang, M. J., Chiang, H. K., Wu, P. F., & Hsieh, Y. J. (2013). A multi‐strategy machine learning student modeling for intelligent tutoring systems: Based on blackboard approach. Library Hi Tech. Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 274-293.

Imaniah, I., Dewi, N. F. K., & Zakky, A. (2020). YouTube kids channels in developing young children’s communication skills in English: Parents’ Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviours.. Ijlecr-International Journal of Language Education and Culture Review, 6(1), 20-30.

Jindal, R., & Kanozia, R. Review of Research.

Jones, T., & Cuthrell, K. (2011). YouTube: Educational potentials and pitfalls. Computers in the Schools, 28(1), 75-85.

Joo, J. (2019). Uses and Gratifications on Subscribed YouTube Channels: Centered on Motives for Ritualized use and Instrumental Use, Flow, and Satisfaction. Journal of the Korea Convergence Society, 10(12), 223-233.

Kabali, H. K., Irigoyen, M. M., Nunez-Davis, R., Budacki, J. G., Mohanty, S. H., Leister, K. P., & Bonner, R. L. (2015). Exposure and use of mobile media devices by young children. Pediatrics, 136(6), 1044-1050.

Kobilke, L., & Markiewitz, A. (2021). The Momo Challenge: measuring the extent to which YouTube portrays harmful and helpful depictions of a suicide game. SN Social Sciences, 1(4), 1-30.

Lauricella, A. R., Wartella, E., & Rideout, V. J. (2015). Young children's screen time: The complex role of parent and child factors. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 11-17.

Lewis, S. P., Heath, N. L., St Denis, J. M., & Noble, R. (2011). The scope of nonsuicidal self-injury on YouTube. Pediatrics, 127(3), e552-e557.

Li, C., and Lalani, F. (2020). The COVID-19 Pandemic has Changed Education. Forever. This is How. Cologny: World Economic Forum.

Lim, S., Cha, S. Y., Park, C., Lee, I., & Kim, J. (2012). Getting closer and experiencing together: Antecedents and consequences of psychological distance in social media-enhanced real-time streaming video. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1365-1378.

Logan, R. (2012). Using YouTube in perioperative nursing education. AORN journal, 95(4), 474-481.

Mahmud, M. M., Ramachandiran, C. R., & Ismail, O. (2015). YouTube and English Literature: Beyond the Chalk and Board. In Taylor’s 7th Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 Proceedings (pp. 279-293). Springer, Singapore.

Morris, M., & Anderson, E. (2015). ‘Charlie is so cool like’: Authenticity, popularity and inclusive masculinity on YouTube. Sociology, 49(6), 1200-1217.

Moussiades, L., Kazanidis, I., & Iliopoulou, A. (2019). A framework for the development of educational video: An empirical approach. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 56(2), 217-228.

Mustafa, N. (2020). Impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic on education. International Journal of Health Preferences Research, 1-12.

Neumann, M. M. (2015). Young children and screen time: Creating a mindful approach to digital technology. Australian educational computing, 30(2).

Neumann, M. M., & Herodotou, C. (2020). Young Children and YouTube: A global phenomenon. Childhood Education, 96(4), 72-77.

Nikken, P., & Schols, M. (2015). How and why parents guide the media use of young children. Journal of child and family studies, 24(11), 3423-3435.

Ofcom. (2017) Children and Parents: Media use and attitude reports.

Oliemat, E., Ihmeideh, F., & Alkhawaldeh, M. (2018). The use of touch-screen tablets in early childhood: Children's knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards tablet technology. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 591-597.

Ottoni, R., Cunha, E., Magno, G., Bernardina, P., Meira Jr, W., & Almeida, V. (2018, May). Analyzing right-wing youtube channels: Hate, violence and discrimination. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science (pp. 323-332).

Plowman, L., Stevenson, O., Stephen, C., & McPake, J. (2012). Preschool children’s learning with technology at home. Computers & Education, 59(1), 30-37.

Radesky, J. S., Schumacher, J., & Zuckerman, B. (2015). Mobile and interactive media use by young children: the good, the bad, and the unknown. Pediatrics, 135(1), 1-3.

Radesky, J. S., Kistine, C. J., Zukerman, B., Nitzberg, K., Gross, J., Kaplan-Snoff, M., Silverstein, M. (2014). Patterns of mobile device use by caregivers and children during meals in fast food restaurants. Pediatrics, 133, 845-849.

Riley, J. (2017). Integrating YouTube videos in online teacher education courses. Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 6(1), 81-84.

Roodt, S., & Peier, D. (2013, July). Using YouTube© in the classroom for the net generation of students. In Proceedings of the Informing Science and Information Technology Education Conference (pp. 473-488). Informing Science Institute.

Sahriana, N., & Pranoto, Y. K. S. (2018, November). Perception of Preschoolers (3-7 years) on Usage of YouTube in Semarang. In 4th International Conference on Early Childhood Education. Semarang Early Childhood Research and Education Talks (SECRET 2018) (pp. 27-33). Atlantis Press.

Sapsağlam, Ö. Z. K. A. N. (2018). Social media awareness and usage in preschool children. International Journal of Eurasia Social Sciences, 9(31), 728-746.

Shariff, S. B. M., & Shah, P. M. (2019). Pupils perception of using YouTube and autonomous learning. Creative Education, 10(13), 3509-3520.

Sharkins, K. A., Newton, A. B., Albaiz, N. E. A., & Ernest, J. M. (2016). Preschool children’s exposure to media, technology, and screen time: Perspectives of caregivers from three early childcare settings. Early Childhood Education Journal, 44(5), 437-444.

Simon Kemp. (2017). Digital 2017: Global Digital Overview.

Smith, A., Toor, S., & Van Kessel, P. (2018). Many turn to YouTube for children’s content, news, how-to lessons. Pew Research Centre, 7.

Snelson, C. (2011). YouTube across the disciplines: A review of the literature. MERLOT Journal of Online learning and teaching.

Steffes, E. M., & Duverger, P. (2012). Edutainment with Videos and its Positive Effect on Long Term Memory. Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, 20(1).

Tahir, R., Ahmed, F., Saeed, H., Ali, S., Zaffar, F., & Wilson, C. (2019, August). Bringing the kid back into youtube kids: Detecting inappropriate content on video streaming platforms. In 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM) (pp. 464-469). IEEE.

Tan, E., & Pearce, N. (2011). Open education videos in the classroom: exploring the opportunities and barriers to the use of YouTube in teaching introductory sociology. Research in Learning Technology, 19.

Zhang, M., Lundeberg, M., Koehler, M. J., & Eberhardt, J. (2011). Understanding affordances and challenges of three types of video for teacher professional development. Teaching and teacher education, 27(2), 454-462.




How to Cite

Foo, M. T., & Ng, S. F. (2022). Youtube and Preschoolers: A Narrative Review of Literature. Jurnal Pendidikan Awal Kanak-Kanak Kebangsaan, 11(1), 67–79.