Tag Archives: kids

The Horrors of Children’s YouTube, pt 3: An Unholy Discovery


This post is part of an extremely-occasional series on the worst of children’s YouTube videos. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Imagine: you’re browsing YouTube when you come across one of the more recent videos from an account called Play Kids. The title of the video is “♫Nursery Rhymes♫ HULK Colors x4 riding Banana Colors cars & Lightning McQueen Cars (Songs for Kids).” The description of it reads as follows:

HULK COLORS With Their New Banana Colors Car & Disney Pixar Custom Flying Colors Lightning McQueen Cars. Popular Children Song With Action. Nursery Rhymes Fun Time.

You might be forgiven for thinking the account manager threw in a bunch of random words in a pitiful bid to enhance the video’s SEO. Only after clicking the play button would you realize that the description was entirely accurate.

Another thing you’d realize? You’ve just fallen into one of the strangest internet rabbit holes in existence. Continue reading


Kid Songs from Hell: The Horrors of Children’s YouTube

I work with young children, which means I spend a lot of time listening to children’s songs. I don’t mean the songs I listened to as a kid–ballads of futility like “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” or gripping exposes of maternal schizophrenia like “Down by the Bay.” I mean more modern creations, the fruits of what I call Children’s YouTube.

Children’s YouTube is like regular YouTube, except it’s nothing but crappy songs and every video has 90 million hits. Take a second to wrap your mind around that: 90 million hits. Kids are nothing if not good little consumers, and they consume the hell out of YouTube.

Most of it is uninspiring fare, though some of it opens up horrifying new avenues of possibility. For example, how many different ways are there to sing the alphabet song? One? Guess again, sucker! It turns out the alphabet song can be sung 13 god damn ways, each of which are sure to enchant the balls off your little tyke.


This one’s like the regular ABC song, except a woman goes “la la la la” every so often. THIS VIDEO IS ALMOST AN HOUR LONG.

Others are apparently so addictive that every single child they touch becomes their sworn thrall. I have yet to meet a kid who didn’t love this video, which begins with a man shouting “I AM THE SHAPES TRAIN! CHOO CHOO CHOO!” in what sounds like an empty airplane hangar, descends into faux-Calypso purgatory, and ends with me screaming in the mad house.

Bob the Shapes Train

“I like watching you sleep.”

The kids at summer camp watched it every day. The kids at school have also watched it every day. Overall, I’ve probably spent more of my life listening to this song than I’ve spent holding my loved ones.

Shapes Train Text

My husband sympathizes.

But those songs are just annoying. The ones I’m about to list are straight up weird. I’ll give them to you in order from least to most surreal/offensive. I’ll also link each video, though I don’t recommend you watch them. I wouldn’t wish my suffering on anybody.

Continue reading

In Ars Dolor: Depressing Stories by an 8-Year-Old

Last week, I introduced you to Diary of My Demented Kid Brother, a repository of my baby brother’s elementary school journal entries that I set up back in 2008.

You’ll be pleased to learn that, in addition to writing spot-on surrealist book reviews, the kid was also a genius at depressing prose. Not a single one of his fourth-grade stories has anything resembling a happy ending. Indeed, most of them end on a note of abject futility. No wonder my parents got called in for a conference with his teacher.

Here are some of my favorites (in order from least to most depressing).

The pencil that smells.

The pencil that smells
Once upon a time there was a pencil named Vern. One day he was playing with his friend they were having a rotten egg war. Vern got hit five thousand times he smelled like rotten eggs. He snuck in his house but his mom could smell him peeeeeyou you smell like rotten eggs. Your gonna hafto take a shower but I hate taking it’s so dark and WET!!! But it’s the only way you’ll get clean. Oh all right so he took a shower and he didn’t smell anymore. So he went back to his friend’s house this time they had a toxic waste and he got hit ten million times he went home but this time it wouldn’t come OFF

Your fourth grade pencil.

pretend your fourth grade pencil talk about your life.
Vern my owner keeps on sharpening so I keep on getting shorter I used to be seven point five now I’m three point five talk about short. Every day he uses me I get so tired of arrrrgh! But when they go home I just sit in his pencil box and sleep but he wakes me up nine 0’clock in the morning. Now I’m lost I don’t know where I am but I think the janitor threw me away if so I’m probably crushed right now let me rest in peace.

The giant baby that went down the Mississippi.

The Baby that went down the MIssippi River
One day a women called Mrs. Johnson had and she called him Baby Bob but the baby weighed so much they couldn’t carry him so they. Asked if the nurse could get some help but unfortunately. They couldn’t get him out the door so they sat down and thinked. But no one thought of anything so they had to get a canoe and put. Him in it and he would hafto go down the Missipi river. So they did and waved good bye till he disapeard into the Fog. Now since baby bob all alone he was hungry so he picked. Some berries along the way and then he was tired so he took a nap for. About five hours and woke up and he was at the mouth but the boat couldn’t hold his weight.

The Bee Keeper.

The Bee Keeper
once there was man that had a lot pride in his bees but one. Day he put his hand in it but he forgot to put on his safety gear. So he got stinged very badly so he had to go to the hospital. When he woke up they asked what happen? Well I pinched my nose to long and passed out. He felt really bad that he lied and he really wanted to get out. Of the hospital so he tried opening a window but that didn’t work so he asked. The guard if he could go and the gaurd said no then he felt something right. Where his heart was so he just layed down and died.

The end

Kid Critic: Book Reviews by an 8-Year-Old

Many, many moons ago, I discovered my little brother’s old school journals in a box in my basement. The entries contained therein were so surreal that I cataloged my favorites at my very first blog, Diary of My Demented Kid Brother. Now that my brother has passed, I’m thankful I made the effort.

It wouldn’t do to forget how stunningly strange he was.

For a taste of his second-grade literary stylings, feast your eyes on these book reviews. The last one is my favorite–I think most of my readers will agree that it has a certain eerie appeal.

Open Wide, Look Inside
Open WIDE, by Robin Mitchell

Open wide, look inside.
How many there? None.
Open wide. Look inside.
How many. Two crazy pigs.

A Goofy Movie
A Goofy Movie, by Francine Hughes

“Whoah!” Inside Goofy and Max tumbled all about. Suddenly, Bigfoot stopped. He leaped off the car. He began to nose around their camping gear.
A few days later Max and Goofy drove back to their hometown. First stop: Roxanne’s house. Max! Roxanne cried running to the door. I Saw you on tv. I think why someone should read this book is because it’s good and funny

Cam Jansen and the Triceratops Pop Mystery
Cam Jansen and the Triceratops Pop Mystery, by David A. Adler

Chapter one who would steel triceratops pops?
Honk! Honk! a clown sitting on a huge tricycle honked his horn. then he handed Eric Shelton a flyer. “thank you,” Eric said. Someone dressed in a large frog costume handed him another flyer. I think why some one should read this book is they have good mysteries

Charlotte's Web
Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White

don’t hear song
don’t see birds
don’t hear a rainbow
don’t hear about wibur’s birthday
don’t hear papa
there’s a ghost in my bed
don’t hear about scarecrow
doesn’t the duck go’s in there but they take him out