Today’s kid celebrities aren’t just found acting on TV or movies anymore—they’re being themselves on YouTube. You might not know who EvanTubeHD, kittiesmama, or Kid President are, but chances are your kids do, thanks to how easy the YouTube Kids app has made it to find kid-friendly content with the tap of a finger.
Do your kids dream of being the next big YouTube sensation? There’s no one right way to do it, but Jillian and Addie of the channel babyteeth4 have made it happen with the hard work and support of their parents Bob and Tommie. Bob turned his family’s home movie hobby into his profession, and his unique story might even inspire you and your kids to do the same.
We took our daughter to see the Disney-Pixar animated movie Inside Out last weekend. Like so many, we instantly fell in love with the short before the feature, “Lava.” Having family in Hawaii, we felt very connected to the sweet island love story. Ella has been wanting me to sing the volcano song so she can make up a Hula for her Tutu (grandmother), who she misses every day. I took to looking online for some links to the “Lava” song.
Here are a few YouTube covers of the song that my Facebook friend Kuana Torres Kahele, who is the voice of Uku the volcano in “Lava,” posted to his page.
Sharing these beautiful songs of “Lava” for Tutu and you on this Aloha Friday:
Kelli Marie (the last one) even breaks down the ukulele chords for you. Try this, using the ukulele strum pattern Down, Down, Up, Up, Down, Up:
Intro: C (x4)
I have a dream…
I hope will come true…
That you’re here with me…
C … C7
And I’m here with you.
F … C
I wish that the earth, sea, and sky up above-a…
G … C
Would send me someone to lava!
From the Pixar Wiki:
“Lava” directed by James Ford Murphy and produced by Andrea Warren. It is described as a “musical love story taking place over millions of years that is inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes.” The story follows the love story of two volcanoes, Uku and Lele. It features a song, “Lava”, which is written by Murphy and performed by Kuana Torres Kahele and Napua Greig, who voice the two volcanoes.
If you have a Minecraft fan in the house, you probably know all about Stampy Cat. Stampy Cat, AKA Joseph Garrett, is a celebrity on YouTube known for his entertaining Let’s PlayMinecraft videos and infectious laugh.
After years of making Let’s Play videos in Minecraft, this week Stampy debuted his new series, Wonder Quest.
One part of the series is a fun new adventure in Minecraft, while the other part was an unexpected and happy surprise: I Wonder.
I Wonder, an animated show outside of Minecraft, showcases Stampy’s curiosity about the real world:
“I Wonder” is the first fully animated Stampy experience! See Stampy and Keen investigate how the world works. Watch as they build new inventions, embark on new adventures, and try their best to stop those hilarious henchmen, Flunky and Lackey.
The first episode, short and to the point, talks about how to investigate the world with the 5 Ws, along with some quick facts about Galileo.
As a parent who has asked my little video watcher more than once, “Wouldn’t you like to try a science video instead of another Let’s Play?” and heard the unrelenting reply, “I want to watch Stampy!”, I could practically kiss the cat for combining the two.
Not that I’m a Disney fan, but my teen son showed me these, and they are a great way to procrastinate for geek moms and dads! (WARNING: The language is NOT for young kids…)
Disney Princess rap battles! There are a few of these, but this one features Sarah Michelle Gellar & Whitney Avalon as Cinderella and Belle. “Cindy’s dreaming she’s important; well, someone should wake her. This gold-diggin’ trophy wife is the royal baby-maker. Fear the nerdy, wordy princess…”
Honest Trailers take clips (or full trailers) of your favorite movies and do voice overs that are…well, a little too honest. “Meet Ariel: a half-naked fifteen year old, who’s a confirmed hoarder.”
Remember back in the early days of YouTube when there were lots of youngins putting out their videos each week? Where are they now? Most faded away either because they ran out of ideas, got tired of it, went to college, got a job, etc., etc. But NigaHiga (Ryan Higa) has been making consistently funny videos since 2006. Here’s one with a Disney theme. The Lion King one made me snort (even though I did see it coming…).
I hope I helped you take away valuable work time to laugh today.
Seeing as many GeekMom writers play a variety of video games, it seemed logical to start a Twitch channel.
Right now, our Twitch channel is new. Our schedule consists of a bi-weekly Friday evening show called Mom Plays Gamez (8PM PT). Several other special shows are in the works, including a Hey Mom, Let’s Play series where GeekMoms play video games with their minions.
I have been searching through various feeds on YouTube for channels that are appropriate for young children. Planning on making a list for the growing geek-parent audience, I would find a promising channel that would have just one too many non-appropriate comments, videos, or whatever.
Now there is a YouTube Kids app! Available for iOS and Android, this service provides videos, radio, learning, and exploring categories for your young geek. There’s a timer and a really easy to use parental control area, too! Plus, it’s free. All that is needed is the good ‘ol wi-fi connection.
Some of the channels you would expect: Sesame Street, Lego, and Jim Henson. Others, especially in the radio section, were pleasant surprises.
So, there ‘ya go. Thank you, YouTube, for getting me off the hook on that one. <phew>
Whether you’re looking for videos to catch your homeschooled teen’s interest, browsing for something to occupy yourself for a few minutes, or you’re a lifelong fan of learning, it’s always fun to tumble down the YouTube rabbit hole.
Thanks to some incredibly talented science communicators, you and your kids can dive into subjects like physics, astronomy, and more, and find experiments to take science off the screen and into their own hands. Here are four YouTube channels for those who wonder how the universe works—which is everyone!
Crash Course Astronomy
Phil Plait, also known as the Bad Astronomer, is no stranger to the geek world. When he’s not busy with the Bad Astronomy blog on Slate, he’s often spotted at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con. Recently Plait teamed up with Crash Course and PBS Digital Studios for the new YouTube series Crash Course Astronomy.
Plait’s “f***ing majestic” voice (according to one impressed commenter) clearly and quickly leads you through topics like moon phases, eclipses, the basics of astronomy. Stylish graphics and high-res images make each video exciting and engaging for anyone who loves to gaze up at the stars.
Dianna, an MIT physics grad, calls herself the Physics Girl. In her easy-to-follow videos, Dianna addresses everyday questions that you might otherwise not have spent much time thinking about, along with exploring the mysteries of the universe. Why is our image flipped in a mirror horizontally and not vertically? Why is the universe flat?
Physics Girl also shares her experiences with being a woman in physics, including her time at MIT, and chats with other interesting scientists in her field.
If you’re more hands-on than just eyes-on, or you’re looking for experiments to do together as a family, Sick Science from Steve Spangler Science is what you’re looking for. There’s no talking in these videos—just quick how-to’s for putting together eye-catching science demonstrations that are sure hook anyone with an interest in science. You can also find other science demonstrations by Steve Spangler on the channel, which is always entertaining.
So I had some fascinating, educational, and inspirational videos to show you this month. Then my daughter showed me a music video, and really, there isn’t anything else you need to see. My son Luke, who always does his picks, agreed that this month should be dedicated to the Master of Geek Music: Weird Al. So here are a few of his videos that came out this week:
First, is the best of the bunch: “Word Crimes.” BRILLIANT. Teachers: Make your students memorize this for extra credit. My daughter clapped when he mentioned how people use “literally” incorrectly. This drives her nuts. Thanks, Al!
Next up is “Tacky.” (“At a funeral, taking selfies with the deceased.”)
Then, there’s “Foil.” Hee-hee. The way he draws out the sheet of foil is so silly. I’ll be singing this all day.
“Sports Song” is on his website, so check that out too. And I bet there will be more coming. Ever since “I’m A Danish,” I have been a big fan of his. The guy is a lyrical genius, and happens to have put his talent into making people laugh for decades. That’s reason enough to dedicate this month to him. Go Al!
Enjoy a rap battle between Breaking Bad‘s Walter White and Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes.
Okay, really, it’s comedians Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD, creators of the digital series Epic Rap Battles (or ERB for short). Their YouTube channel produces viral hits on a regular basis, and yesterday’s upload is no exception with already hitting 1.4 million views in less than 24 hours. Being that I’m a big fan of both Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, I thought it was great! I hope you do too.
Oh, this is great. My son is an intern at the Dudley Observatory this year. They recently put up a YouTube channel showing archival films found in their vaults. This is a 1957 Trip to the Moon. The filmmakers use all the information they had at the time to imagine what it might be like.
Star Wars with Winnie the Pooh. Lauren Landa and Jim Cummings do a reading from the script of Star Wars using different voices. Of course, Winnie the Pooh as Darth Vader is…indescribably awesome.
Alternate version of Gravity. Heh. Heh.
I found this while searching “tea geek,” cause I’m always looking for comrades. It’s not really about tea, but information about a group, STEM women socializing, which sounds great! Looking for one in my world…
And this month from my son: LUKE’S PICKS
How Frozen Should Have Ended
Star Wars: “The Rescue” retold by preschoolers and acted out by grown men…
You knew there was going to be a “Let it Go” parody video, so let’s get right to it. This one stars a mom who gives up trying to be perfect—something we all could learn from!
What would you do if your spouse unplugs your gaming console to clean up cat poop because “it’s real.” Maybe make a video about it?
My daughter and I laughed till we snorted. Someone overdubbed horrrrrible singing to One Direction. Be sure to watch to the very end where they “harmonize.”‘
Oh, The Onion. Teens get on the latest social media site: the comments section of a deer video.
And here’s a great video series (similar to Written By A Kid, sadly gone) called Kid Snippets:
My son’s recommendation for Minecraft fans. Very silly.
So…I don’t get this, but my son insists it’s great if you are a League of Legends fan. I’ll trust him on this one:
This next one is long,”What? A YouTube video more than 10 minutes?!” It’s a Lego stop-motion movie done very well, with an amusing plot of someone being hunted down for an illegal song download. The plot twist at the end is perfect. Oh, it’s in French with subtitles. You can tell your friends you spent your lunch hour watching a foreign film.
Let’s start off with something amusing/creepy and going viral. It’s a German supermarket ad. Oh, the bathtub part, I can’t even…
Next I’d like to introduce you to Dael Kingsmill and her MonarchsFactory vlog. This young woman has a smart take on superpowers in real life. In highschool she decided on Probability Manipulator. Women are so practical in our fantasies.
With my daughter getting ready to go to college this fall, this video came at the perfect/worst time. Hilarious, but, urg….
Not sure which is more entertaining: watching the skateboarder continually fall while flexing his muscles, or the gamer boys giggling.
For our learning segment, and in honor of the Olympics, here is a video with lots of downloadable graphics on the physics of different kinds of skates:
My daughter has been working on her beatboxing for a year now, and we often find talented people on the web. This guy gave a TED talk about his craft. What a musician! Be entertained:
It’s cold and snowy around here, but the beauty of snowflakes is something special when caught by this filmmaker:
Did you know a couple of GeekMoms are on YouTube? Check out Natania Barron reading chapters from her novel, Pilgrim of the Sky (Great book!)
And, well, me. Your Undead Heart is a zombie romance music video animated by Dave Barnis to my original tune on piano and cello:
And finally, in case you missed this one going around the fangirl circles: Tom Hiddleson and Benedict Cumberbatch dancing. Tom wins.
Take a break, sit back, and enjoy some videos.
Crazy photoshopping, and a sky all aglow.
Liquids that don’t stick.
A kitten video pick.
Star Trek parody, and how imagination grows.
Let’s start with something gorgeous. This month, there was a slight chance I could have seen the northern lights with my own eyes in upstate New York. My family and I trekked out around midnight, drove out of the city and waited, watching the sky…nothing. Someday I will see them. For anyone who marvels at the night sky, the movement of clouds, the allure of northern lights, enjoy this:
Superhydrophobic Surface and Magnetic Liquid! Impress your friends with a new vocabulary science word. I’ve never heard of The Slow Mo Guys before this video. Cool stuff.
YouTube has a unique rewind of all their top videos of the year: They asked popular channel stars to recreate scenes from those famous videos to a soundtrack of 2013. How many do you recognize?
If you need the explanations, you can watch the original videos here (I have to admit, I watched Miley Cyrus for the first time. I couldn’t make it through one of her videos because she was licking a metal bar and I was worried for her, “That’s not safe! You shouldn’t lick metal!”)
And then here’s a nerdy Harvard Medical School parody from one of those famous videos; this one is called, “What Does The Spleen Do?”
Why did I not hear of this sooner? The people who brought us “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” are at it again, this time with a modern blog version of Emma.
I run a history club, and we were talking about the role media plays in the government. One of my students shared this with us, wondering, “I want to know who are the guys in black hooded robes in a secret room writing all this?” It makes you wonder…
And holiday fun!
I’m sure you have been sent this link by a Star Trek geek in your life, but in case you haven’t yet, here is Christmas-time, Picard-love:
Here is a twisted take on Santa. It’s short, strange, and made me laugh:
And finally a beautiful wintertime song called “Identical Snowflakes” by Hem. A sweet story of two snowflakes “falling” in love. Be sure to check out the lyrics.
What is cute, silly, educational, fun, magical, and leaves you wanting more? All the videos rounded up for your viewing pleasure:
Leaves you wanting more: At the top of the post. It doesn’t really tell you ANYTHING, but this will still get fans of Sherlock going.
Cute: Here is an anime girl dancing to “Moses Supposes” from the classic movie: Singing in the Rain. Damn adorable.
Educational: I made this little clip for my video editing students. Considering how many of us are putting together family videos to share this time of year, I thought ya’ll could learn something: Why Music Matters
Magical: I was checking out some origami videos and came upon this gem. Take a short break from work, get a cup of green tea, and watch.
My Son’s Picks
Silly: My fifteen year old son recommended this as his favorite video this week. Absolutely ridiculous. Freddie Wong is always entertaining, but be sure to check out the videos showing how it was made afterwards too.
Fun: And he also is bouncing over the new Lego feature film. Here’s the trailer:
My niece is an intense, sweet girl who loves pirates. She and I often play pirates together. She and I also hug a lot because her emotions can be overwhelming. For her sixth birthday, I wrote her a pirate story giving her tools to try when she’s feeling sad. I asked my son Luke to draw some cute stick figures for illustrations.
There is a famous pirate tune I’m playing in the background of this video. Can you guess it?
No, you are not being Rick Rolled. There is a new video sweeping YouTube. The Fox by Ylvis (pronounced Ill-viss) is viral with almost 12 million views on YouTube within about a week. Why? It could be because this Norse hit is instantly stuck in our heads. It doesn’t matter if you are annoyed by the infectious lyrics of The Fox, it is certainly worth getting excited about if you are a geek.
1) Furries: Furries. In a music video. The only way it could be better is if they were wearing Kigurumi.
2) Lightsabers: Okay, so the lightsabers don’t have hilts, but tell me you didn’t go there when you saw the light sticks in the ground and think, “Hey, they are lighting the video with lightsabers!”
3) Morse Code: For the first time ever, someone correctly pronounced Morse Code. I always cringe when someone calls it “Morris” code. I guess it comes from having a dad who is an amateur radio operator!
4) The Cow says, “Moo.”: What better companion to the Sandra Boynton book, Moo Baa La La La, than a music video teaching your kids what sounds the animals make. Brilliant.
Is it a blah weekend? Are you stuck between the exhaustion of the summer that has passed and the holiday weekend that is almost upon us? Do you need a YouTube break? You are in luck! We have a nice little list of videos our writers—and some of their kids—have been watching this week. We have some returning contenders, but they are well worth the repeat watch.
Above, Ze Frank shares a stop-motion short on how we try to fit in and finally realize we are all individuals. It is a far more serious piece than I am used to seeing from Ze Frank (I’m addicted to his “True Facts” series about animals). It speaks to me as a geek.
Librarians can make anything better, right? Yes, even Sabotage.
Do you have a theme you would like us to build a list around? Maybe science, kids, music, board games, Doctor Who,… platypuses? Send us your challenge! In the meantime, you can watch this week’s playlist and all previous playlists on our YouTube page.
To the producers and writers of Video Game High School Season Two:
YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! You did it! You are part of the Web Entertainment Revolution. You have a high quality filmed, action-romatic-comedy, with developing characters, in a unique fictional universe, only available on the internet.
Awhile back I sent A Plea To Freddie Wong to take a great concept, well-produced show, and take it to a better level of plot and characters. With season two of Video Game High School, there is the time (thirty minute episodes) and the writing to do just that. I’ve watched up to episode four, and have been completely entertained. The series manages to blend multiple surrealistic game worlds with the everyday life of teenagers in a very cool high school.
There was a Kickstarter for this second season that went completely over their goal, and you all have put the funds to good use. The settings, costumes, and action-sequences are great. It must be so much fun because the actors get to be in multiple places in every episode. No boring sets here.
With the very first, I was giggling. The office scene with the Benji Dolly, Ellary Porterfield, and Freddie Wong discussing homework was hilarious.
It is Friday! Do you know what that means? That’s right, it’s time for another smorgasbord of internet videos recommended by our GeekMom writers. There is something for everyone this week. Not all content is suitable for children. As usual this list is intended to be a boredom-buster after the kids go to bed.
Our featured video this week is the rover on Mars doing rover-like things. Twelve months of digging, scooping, probing and such condensed into a two minute video.
As a side note, many of our writers noted being hooked on the video of Stephen Colbert dancing. I was unable to find it on YouTube, but it will give you a giggle if you are a fan of any of the cameo stars.
It’s that time again. If you don’t like the summer weather where you are, need a break from the activities of the week, or are just—I cringe at the word—bored, here are our video suggestions for the week put into a convenient list for your viewing pleasure.
Our featured video gives us a sneak-peak at the upcoming Geek Week on YouTube. August 4th through August 10th YouTube will be featuring videos from celebrity geek channels. Many GeekMom favorites should be part of the mix; check in to YouTube to see more.
There are tough choices to be made in Russell’s story, similar to those in Bonnie’s. As we wrap up this game, I am a little disappointed that there haven’t been more puzzles. Though, I wouldn’t want a puzzle like the radio one in the original season.
I think Russell wants to be a good kid and make smart choices. Nate, who picks Russell up on the side of the road, tempts him—even after trying to make him a zombie snack! I will be very interested to see if Nate shows up in further seasons. Let’s just say he would add more than his fair share of jerk factor…
Next week will be our last episode of GeekMom Plays! The Walking Dead 400 Days. I am still looking for other games to play. If you have suggestions, leave them in the comments below.
Welcome back to another video playlist! This week the theme of our video playlist is fans.
With shows like Yo Gabba Gabba!, we can introduce even the youngest of geeks to our favorites like Lost.
Even celebrities can be fans of something. Here, we follow Matt Smith as Bart Simpson around Comic Con.
Matt Smith isn’t the only one who likes to cosplay. We have a couple of videos this week showcasing the cosplay at recent comic conventions. The costumes are amazing!
A band like Jesse and the Rippers from the show Full House doesn’t just get together out of the blue. It takes fans for this to happen!
We wrap up our video playlist with The DoubleClicks new video Nothing to Prove, because it doesn’t matter if we are science fans, cosplay fans, weird music fans, or even Yo Gabba Gabba fans: we aren’t fake GeekMoms.
We hope you enjoy the list we put together for this week. Running just under an hour, this list is the perfect length to unwind after the kids go to bed. If you want more GeekMom video recommendations, all of our playlists can be found on our YouTube page.
Watch the video and read the boards. Watch it again to listen to the amazing Doubleclicks. If you listen to it a third time, well… I can’t guarantee that you won’t be humming it for the rest of the day. (My seven-year-old daughter already is.) But you may want to risk the tune getting stuck to spot celebrities like Adam Savage, Paul and Storm, Wil Wheaton, and many more who joined so many other geeks to make this video.
We have nothing to prove. Just because we are girls, moms, women, does not mean we shouldn’t be interested in the things we obsess over.
Thank you, Doubleclicks. You truly are advocates for geeks everywhere.
Bonnie seems to have a murky history and shows questionable judgement when it comes to decisions she has made in her life. She may not be on drugs right now, but she is flirting with married men and associated with thieves. Questions raised in previous episodes will be answered! (What happened to the missing flashlight in Shel’s group?)
Bonnie’s story is short, but Tim and I really enjoyed the brutalness of the decisions and actions taken in the story (enjoyed might be the wrong word. Maybe we appreciated it considering the story telling we became accustomed to in the first story with Lee and Clem). We hope you will enjoy it too.
Welcome back for episode 2 in our GeekMom Plays: The Walking Dead 400 Days series!
This week, Tim and I play through Shel’s story. Almost a year into the zombie apocalypse, Shel’s story reminds me more of season 1 of the game. This is because of the way the game puts me into “mama-bear mode” protecting a child, and because of the hard choices that have to be made for the other characters.
There is quite a bit more action in this week’s episode, and not quite as much conversation. We hope you enjoy!
This week the GeekMom playlist is more of a mix-tape… with a little The Cat in the Hat (or kitten in the ukulele; really you could take your pick) thrown in. Please be careful when viewing the list—the Garfunkel and Oats songs are not entirely child or work appropriate (okay, they are not at all appropriate). But, we hope you will enjoy our list nonetheless.