If Minecraft has taken over your children and you don't know who or what they are talking about, you're in good company. Your kids' obsession with Minecraft can be overwhelming, even though you love the fact that it helps develop 21st-century skills like creativity, innovation, collaboration and teamwork. Most puzzling of all is the fact that they spend every waking minute watching Minecraft videos on YouTube.
YouTube videos of Minecraft are viewed millions of times per day. You can find tutorials (to get ideas on how to make new things), "Let's Play” videos (footage of people playing Minecraft), challenges (new gameplay ideas), mod showcases (which show kids cool things they can download to modify their Minecraft worlds), as well as videos that demonstrate how to use the mod showcases.
The game's unique features, such as the ability to create whatever they want, can lead to wide variations in quality and age-appropriateness. There are many channels dedicated to Minecraft, including some that are more controversial than others like SkyDoesMinecraft and Yogscast. It can be difficult to determine which channels are suitable for children. You could download an app like KicVidz which only curates kid-friendly Minecraft videos. But you know your little fanatic is going to be asking for more.
There are a few things to be aware of even when making videos for kids. They can be time-consuming, as many videos take up to 20-30 minutes. Many commercials advertise everything from vodka to cookies to cars. Third, some videos use salty language. Please review our age recommendations and preview videos as often as possible. If it says "older children", there may be some curse words. There are many resources to help you get started in this worthwhile hobby. These are the top 12 YouTube Minecraft channels that are best for kids.
Stampy (aka Mr. Stampy Cat, aka stampylonghead). This channel features a British cartoon cat voiced by Joseph Garrett, a British citizen. Stampy hosts tutorials and Let's Plays on a variety of Minecraft topics. His game worlds are bright and colorful. Stampy is a mix between Mr. Rogers and Pee-wee Herman.
Check out: His How To Minecraft series for noobs is great.
iBallisticSquid. Stampy's best friend, a squid, is his -- remember that anything is possible in Minecraft! -- voiced by Garrett's real friend David Spencer. Squiddy (or SquidNugget) has mild, kid-friendly, English accented banter with Stampy. He uploads Let's Plays and mods and challenges, which are usually set by Stampy.
Best for: Younger fans. Squiddy's squeaky-clean.
You should also check out: His Pixelmon Learning The Basics is an excellent introduction to a cool mod.
Paul Soares Jr. Self-described father, husband, entrepreneur and gamer, he offers family-friendly Let's Plays as well as tutorials in a friendly, straightforward style.
For younger children, new players, and families. While he is playing, Soares also provides a lot of information on how to play.
You should check out Soares' How To Survive and Thriving tutorials. They are a newbie's paradise. Note the ratings on his videos. He's one of the few YouTubers who took the time to ensure that his content was safe for children.
Little Lizard Gaming. Ryan Fitzimons and Scott Fitzimons are brothers from Ireland. They run Little Lizard Gaming, which features Minecraft play-throughs, how to's, and mods.
Best for: Younger kids. The channel claims it is "100% kid-friendly."
You should also check out the Minecraft Pixelman Mod. It is a hilarious mash-up between Minecraft and Pokemon.
PrestonPlayz. The young Minecraft YouTuber PrestonPlayz has a large following due to his solid playing, amazing parkour maps, positive attitude, and solid playing.
For intermediate players who are familiar with the basics of Minecraft and wish to improve their skills.
Preston's "Draw My Life” video explains his unique background as well as the source of his motivation.
TheAtlanticCraft. Joe (JoeBuzz), Cody (theCodyMaverick), and Joe (JoeBuzz), are hard-core gamers who manage to make their Let's Plays and mods both kid-friendly as well as technically advanced. They have a great rapport and enjoy exploring complex worlds together. This channel can get heated.
For older children: They also offer downloads and host servers.
Check out "Let It Glow", a Minecraft parody on Disney's "Let It Go", from Frozen.
Popular MMOs. Popular MMOs host Pat is a friendly, people-oriented guy who loves the game and has a lot of mods. He often plays against his fiancee Jen (who hosts GamingwithJen), and he also regularly plays against her. This channel is not friendly to language.
Ideal for: Older children who enjoy excitement.
Check out: The Minecraft Kitty Cat Challenge. Jen and Pat honor their cat's passing by playing Minecraft. This shows the human side to the game.
Minecraft Universe. Charming TrueMU, hosts this popular channel. It's jam-packed full of adventure maps, parkour maps and mini-games. There are even original electronic songs that can be downloaded. In a group called Team Crafted, he often plays against other experienced Minecraft players.
Recommended for: All ages. There are many different types of content.
You might also like: Let's Play the "Hottest Girls Ever", where Jason and his opponent play as female avatars. This can spark a discussion about gender roles in games.
The Bajan Canadian. Mitchell Hughes, a Canadian video game commentator, is twenty-years-old and plays Minecraft with a gentle, nerdy tone against his mild-mannered gaming pals.
Best for: Older players who are really interested in Minecraft.
Check out: His parkour videos, and his downloadable "wacky" parkour maps are some of the best.
Maricraft. Mari Takahashi, a female gamer, hosts Maricraft on the highly-popular gaming channel Smosh Games. Maricraft features mostly Let's Plays that feature spirited battles between her friends in bizarre Minecraft worlds.
For older fans: Players swear, but the words are bleeped out. There's also some juvenile humor.
Check out: In Spleggin' Your Face! Mari and her friends play with spleggs (Minecraft eggs) together.
TheDiamondMinecart. TheDiamondMinecart hosts twentysomething Dan Middleton from Northamptonshire, England. He is known for his wide range of creative and entertaining videos. It is one of the most popular YouTube channels, with over a million subscribers.
This is the best option for more experienced players. The offerings are quite advanced, but mostly clean.
You can check out the Hunger Games video, where DiamondMinecart takes down Stampy. There's a fun twist at end.
CaptainSparklez. CaptainSparklez has one of the largest YouTube audiences. His technically advanced worlds and warm, entertaining commentary make him a hit. CaptainSparklez was recently purchased by Disney-owned Maker Studios. He is loved for his complex, atmospheric and complex worlds, as well as his parody videos.
For: Experienced players who are able to understand technical jargon. He can also get a little bit edgy.
Check out: His Super Modded Survival Series takes you on an epic adventure filled with dungeons and new dimensions as well as mighty foes.