If there’s ever a month for heart-warming, it’s December.
So, to kick things off, I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite YouTube videos that are guaranteed to make you smile. After all, they involve kids.
The soul is healed by being with children.
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
These videos will restore your faith in humanity and your hope in the next generation…if you ever lost it.
1. PS 22 Chorus “Viva La Vida.” This is the video I would show on the first day of school to my freshman English students. I used it to paint a picture of the kind of classroom I hoped to create – - one in which students feel free to be their most honest selves – - a classroom free of bullying and judgement. When that kind of safe space exists, the potential for creativity just skyrockets. The N.Y.C. Public School 22 chorus is a testament to that.
2. Caine’s Arcade. This video came to me from my sister, Lisbeth, and had me tearing up in the Publix parking lot one night. Consider this one more like a short film; it’s 11 minutes long and worth every second of your time. Hooray for creative kids and the adults who celebrate their creativity.
If you were as moved as I was by this film, I recommend watching Chapter 2 of Caine’s Arcade.
3. Kittens Inspired by Kittens. It’s such a simple concept – - a little girl interprets the thoughts and words of kittens on the pages of her book; but it never fails make me laugh. It has gotten over 16 million views on YouTube (several hundred of those belong to me).
4. Trigon Commercial: Karate. This little kid – - between his sound effects and adult way of talking – - melts my heart in 31 seconds or less.
5. Home – Acoustic Cover by Jorge & Alexa. If you missed seeing this father-and-daughter duo on Ellen and America’s Got Talent, you’ve got to see the original home video that started it all. I think what draws me in most is their sweet relationship…and Alexa’s spirit!
6. David’s New Snail. Mike Adair had a conversation with his son about his new snail and created a captivating animated film as a result using real audio. I first saw this video years ago, but it’s one that I watch every so often when my spirits need lifting. It’s not on YouTube, so just click here watch the video at Mike Adair’s website.
7. Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I Told My Kid I Ate All of Their Halloween Candy – Again. For the past two Halloweens, Jimmy Kimmel, the late night TV host, asked his viewers to play a prank on their kids, telling them that they had eaten all of their Halloween candy. Hundreds of parents did just that, capturing it all on video that they uploaded to YouTube. Usually tears ensue, tantrums, and even physical attack. But here was one of the sweetest reactions from a little girl to her Mom. (I only hope I would be so forgiving in the same circumstance.)
8. Panyee Football Team. A short five minute film about the true story of Thailand’s Panyee football team…an unlikely group of champions who overcame great odds.
9. Kid Snippets: Kids Tell, Adults Act. If movies were written by children, here’s what would happen. (I love the way kids think!)
10. Grateful Kid Gets XBox 360 & Halo. And I saved my favorite for last. This video about broke my heart when I first saw it. I was so impressed by this boy’s gratefulness and his appreciation for his parents’ hard work to buy him such a big gift. He is an example for us all.
I hope your heart is warmed! And let me know if you have any other heart-warming videos that we should check out. I’m always on the lookout for more YouTube goodness.