My toddler watches the strangest videos on YouTube. At first, I thought he was insane. After talking to more and more moms, I’ve realized he’s not the only one obsessed with the “surprise eggs” and toy review videos. Yes, I am well aware that screen time is not the best thing for my toddler. However, the only way I can get a peaceful shower or a five-minute reprieve from pure utter chaos at a restaurant is to let him watch a couple minutes of YouTube.
Initially, he watched Peppa the Pig or Mickey Mouse videos. Somehow, on his own, he landed on these surprise egg and toy videos. I was perplexed. Why did my toddler enjoy watching some woman with an annoying voice and perfectly manicured nails open eggs to find little pieces of plastic inside? Why is a video of a toy better than the same one we have downstairs? And why, oh why, are we watching them OVER and OVER again? I was really freaked out by his interest them. Furthermore, who the heck is making these videos?!
I never mentioned the videos to other parents. I was worried they would judge me for letting him watch YouTube. One night we were out to eat with some friends and my friend’s daughter was in the midst of a melt down. However, she immediately calmed down when her mom mentioned YouTube. The next thing I heard was that annoying voice opening the eggs. I felt relief. She watches these horrible videos too?! After that, I finally opened up to other parents about it and realized it is a very popular thing amongst toddlers.
Next, I started looking at the views and subscribers of the videos. Ryan’s Toy Review currently has over 8 million subscribers, and one Play-Doh surprise egg video has been viewed over 18 million times! We are not alone in this. These videos have sucked toddlers in.
After the realization of the popularity of these videos, I began to ask why? Seriously, I would love to understand the appeal of these videos to toddlers. Is it the high-pitched voice? Or the surprise of what toy is in the egg? What about the videos of the kids just playing with the toys? Obviously I just don’t get it.
Also, the “related videos” can be even more concerning. I constantly watch over his shoulder to make sure “bad baby joker” is not a click away. After that, I quickly realized I needed to add some filters to our family’s YouTube settings. As time goes on, I still continue to watch and adjust our filters. We have also started to use YouTube Kids.
After all my realizations about this craze, I still don’t feel better about these videos. Please, can someone create some new YouTube videos that appeal to toddlers and are not so annoying and down right bizarre? What is the appeal to these videos? In conclusion, if your toddler watches strange videos on YouTube, you are not alone.