As my son and I searched for YouTube videos to show our pet lizard — crazy sounding, yes, but for a science fair project this year — it became clear that there is little material free of expletives, violence or sexual innuendo.
So I set out to compile a list of videos that my 9-year-old likes and, more important, this parent approves:
“The Black Hole” In this short, a copy machine spits out an image of a black circle that an office worker soon realizes he can reach into to gain access to things he wouldn’t normally gain access to. The sci-fi-esque video is entertaining — and even has a worthwhile message, as young Harrison points out: “You shouldn’t steal stuff.”
“Minecraft PE v0.5.0: How to build the Nether Reactor” Apparently Harrison’s friend Jairo brings his iPad to school. After Harrison watched him build a so-called nether reactor while playing Minecraft, he searched for a tutorial on YouTube and came across this 2-minute, 37-second narrationless video. “It helped me with my game,” Harrison says. I can’t argue with that (only how much time he wants to spend playing “Minecrack.)”
“Bearded Dragon Attacks Grape” Yes, we’re all about the baby reptile at our home. “It’s interesting to watch a bearded dragon attack something other than a cricket or mealworm,” Harrison says. And, the video has an amusing ending.
“Hilarious Harry Potter Deleted Scene” Professor Trelawney, played by Emma Thompson, reminds Harrison of one of his favorite on-screen characters — Mr. Bean. “It’s hilarious,” he says of the “Harry Potter” scene that never made it into the final cut.
“Powers of Ten” A chemist friend turned me on to this brief 1970s documentary about the scale of the universe, knowing of Harrison’s interest in science. It mesmerizes the boy each time he watches it.
“Lady Fishbourne’s Complete Guide to Better Table Manners” (shown) This animated film is a wacky take on what not to do when sitting down for a meal. Harrison and I both cackle until there are tears in our eyes, perhaps because, as Harrison says, “I already knew all the table manners, so it was pure entertainment.”
“Harrison gets hit by a toboggan full of girls at Coindre Hall in Huntington, 2013” Although I cringe at what could have happened to Harrison and the little girls in this video, I recommend it at his suggestion. “Good times,” he says.