I LOVE children’s church. One thing I always found fun and effective at the start of a service, or in the minutes leading up to it, was a fun video. I know that many other kidmin leaders do the same thing. So, here are 3 of my favorite resources for free children’s service videos… but first a bit of a disclaimer..
The best things in life are NOT free: Youtube is a GREAT resource. The videos are free to view. But, we must remember that they were not free to make and they belong to someone. Some of these videos may contain ads. This can be very distracting and inconvenient in a worship service. One option is to use a youtube downloader to download the videos without the ads. In most cases this is going to violate copyright laws. These videos belong to the people that created them.
DON’T STEAL THEM
If you’re not bothered too much by the ads, then stream away. If you want to remove the ads then you can subscribe to Youtube Red. With this, for just $10 a month you can stream all the videos you want, ad free. I know this then makes the videos not technically free, but at least they are still cheap. Purchasing high quality, fun videos will generally start at $10 each and go up from there. So, this isn’t such a bad option. Even if you only used one video per week, on an average month that’s only $2.50 each.
Now to my list.
How I ranked them: To determine my top 3 video sources I needed to come up with some criteria. I scored each section on a 1-5 star scale. Here are the criteria I used:
- Family Friendliness: This one’s pretty straight forward. I simply asked the question, would I let my 16 year old son, or my 9 year old daughter watch this?
- 5th grade boy enjoyability: Older elementary boys can be the hardest to engage and the hardest to please. So, I asked how much I thought an average 5th grade boy would enjoy this. (This is not to say that the girls are not important. I’ve just always found it easier to get the girls plugged in.)
- Entertainment value: This is a score of overall entertainment value. This is actually a measure of how much I enjoyed it.
- Quality: It’s amazing how good many of the videos on Youtube are. This is a measure of the actual quality of the work done.
Dude Perfect: You may already be familiar with these guys. If you aren’t, you have got to check them out. These guys are an internet phenomanon. BUT, they started out as just some guys videoing each other as they attempted seemingly impossible trick shots with everything from basketballs, to golf balls, to frisbees and more. Here is how they scored:
- Family Friendliness: 4 stars – some will find their celebrations to be too over the top. I think that makes it more fun, but some people won’t like it.
- 5th grade boy enjoyability: 5 stars – Your 5th grade boys will LOVE these videos. They’re probably already watching them at home. Bringing them into your service will definitely gain you some street cred with these boys.
- Entertainment value:5 stars – Naturally some videos are better than others, but overall I can’t say that I ever watched one I didn’t enjoy.
- Quality:4 stars – These days these guys are sponsored and their videos are of the highest, professional quality. Some of their early stuff was a little lower quality, at least in the production department. Still great content though.
- Link:Dude Perfect: https://www.youtube.com/user/corycotton
Bored Shorts: Imagine grown men and women talking, but with children’s voices dubbed over their own. That’s the basis for the Kid’s Snippets videos on this channel and it’s GREAT.
- Family Friendliness: 5 stars – These are aimed specifically at children and families. So,they are perfect for kids of all age (even me at 42 years old).
- 5th grade boy enjoyability: 3 stars – Some of your older boys will love them. Some will think that the videos are too “childish” for them.
- Entertainment value:4 stars – I have seen a couple of their videos that really didn’t do much for me. But, the vast majority of them are super cute and hilarious.
- Quality:4 stars – The production quality of these videos is top notch.
- Link: Bored Shorts: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWiyGLXnnRLbHQjICxph3Bw
Nukazooka: I remember the first video I ever saw from this guy. It involved two grown men in a park. They were battling, but with toys. However, it was as if the toys were real. It was kind of a look into the brain of a young boy and it was AWESOME! Here’s his scores:
- Family Friendliness: 3 stars – While some of his content is great and perfect for kids. Some of his later stuff has gotten much more graphic. Be careful what you use and I wouldn’t reveal the source.
- 5th grade boy enjoyability: 4 stars – They would probably love the videos that I think are a bit too graphic for kids church, but I wouldn’t show those ones. Still the safer ones would still be fun for your older boys.
- Entertainment value:4 stars – These are fun videos that will remind your team of their own childhood while spurring on the imagination of your kids.
- Quality:5 stars – These videos are very high quality. Especially considering much of what you see in them didn’t actually happen, but was computer generated.
- Link: Nukazooka: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQqi–mpTFtGNim0WCtPH-A
PREVIEW EVERYTHING! One final thought that I can not stress enough, preview everything! Never show anything to children at church that you have not viewed first. To do so would be grossly irresponsible. I don’t care how safe you think the source is or who recommended it, WATCH IT FOR YOURSELF FIRST. You don’t want to have to deal with the potential consequences of showing a video that includes gore, or cussing because you didn’t watch it first.
So, what are your favorite sources for get videos that I may have missed?Matt Norman
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