Part 1 of a new series on Babble featuring YouTube Kids Trends
Chipped nail polish. High squeals and high drama. Talking toys. If you have an elementary school kid or tween, you may be familiar with the massive YouTube kids’ trend of LPS videos. On their most basic level, these are videos of little girls playing with their Littlest Pet Shop (LPS) toys. I know, right? Kids are watching this? Oh my, yes.
These videos receive hundreds of thousands of hits. Many of them have been viewed by millions.
My 4-year-old daughter is one of those viewers.
I can’t remember when we got into LPS toys, but shortly after receiving a hand-me-down 1st generation iPad a couple of Christmases ago (to be shared with her brothers), she got into watching YouTube videos of kids playing with their toys. She was three at the time.
She is 4 years old now and her imaginary play skills have developed remarkably, surely because she is growing older but I suspect also in part due to these videos. She’s watching other kids play in such undistracted detail that she is blossoming in her own pretend play.
What you should know: One note regarding these LPS videos is that it’s not just random play. These girls are scripting mini-movies. They are staging sets, developing characters, and mastering dialogue.
It’s that last part, mastering dialogue, that is the most fascinating. To a kid, it’s engaging role playing. Seen through the eyes of a parent, you can tell they are working through emerging friendship dynamics, conflict with friends and family, and visualizing goals.
To be sure, you need to screen which videos your younger ones watch. The words “stupid” and “shut up” appear here and there because tweens and teenagers are producing the content. Some have mature subject matter like eating disorders and bullying. To their credit, though, they resolve the issues like championed sitcoms or an ABC Family drama.
Most of them are just as simple and playful as they sound. LPS videos on YouTube can provide countless hours of entertainment for your little ones and tweens alike (most are 10- 20 minutes long), maybe even inspiring future filmmakers themselves. Countless blogs and Pinterest boards are devoted to “How to make a good LPS video” tips, with notes ranging from “apply fresh nail polish” to more practical tips like “make sure there is no background noise.”
Who to watch: These LPS video makers are taking their craft seriously and creating truly entertaining content. Let’s look at some favorites:
Hannah has over 82,000 YouTube subscribers and thousands more Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook followers. According to her social profiles, she is 16 and Swedish (some of her videos are subtitled, which doesn’t phase my daughter at all). Hannah’s most popular LPS video has nearly 2.5 million views, many more in the 300k+ views range, and her categories include Drama, Comedy, and All of My LPS, which are videos highlighting her collection of LPS toys.
Hannah’s most popular video features a scientist LPS whose energy drink invention accidentally turns all the pets’ fur purple.
Check out Hannah’s FAQ and read about how she makes her videos.
Sophie has one of the most popular LPS channels on YouTube. Unlike many of the video creators, Sophie is older and appears to be in college. My daughter isn’t generally allowed to watch her channel because the themes are more mature, particularly on Sophie’s full series Popular. That’s right, she produces an entire web series similar to a high school TV drama and it’s wildly popular with tweens.
At over 143k subscribers, Sophie’s most popular LPS video boasts more than 2.6 million views with most others in her Popular series with over 1 million each. Again, this series is set at Orange County Day where “drama is typical and couture is necessary” and is geared more toward tweens and teens.
Oni plays more like my own daughter does, generally silly and chaotic. She may work from a loose script but it mostly feels like playing. According to her About, she’s 9 years old and from Australia, which makes for some fun accents. Oni isn’t as polished as some other LPS video creators, but she does it just for fun and has only made a handful of LPS videos with roughly 4k subscribers. The one below is one of my 4 year old’s favorites, for 4 year old reasons. Probably the use of the word “butt.” The below video has been viewed over 460k times. I’m telling you, these kids. They absolutely love LPS on YouTube.
Tips for parents: Parents, just be sure to screen which users your kids watch so you can screen out more mature themes. Our house rule is that the kids have to turn off a video at the first ugly word they hear. Otherwise, we favorite and add to playlists videos that are safe for kids and then go back and watch them over and over.
When you find an LPS video creator you like, be sure to subscribe and then restrict your kids’ viewing to their subscriptions, which will create a constantly updating feed for them to watch.
Are your kids interested in making their own LPS videos? Check out ElizaLPS and particularly her blog. Eliza is 16 years old, has over 40k YouTube subscribers, is interested in filmmaking as a career, and provides an absolutely stellar Video Tips page for how to make your own LPS videos. She even has “A Note to Parents” section on her home page about making kid-appropriate videos and her policy on putting disclaimers on videos she thinks might not be suitable for children or trigger epilepsy.
Her “Dealing with Haters” section is worth a look for anyone creating content online. Well done, Eliza.
Do your kids have a favorite YouTube video trend? Share it in the comments and it may be featured in an upcoming YouTube Kids’ Trends piece. What do they like about it? What do you wish they would stop watching? Have any favorites of your own?
Is your kid one of the millions watching these LPS videos?
More of Megan on Threadbare Theory:
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