Best of YouTube 2022: Plugged In’s Year-End Picks

All of our other entries in our annual year-end blogs have been blessed with alliteration: “Brilliant Books,” “Top Television,” “Gaming Goods.” And that’s been a rather tough act for me, the YouTube specialist, to follow. I mean, I hardly even know any adjectives that start with y, and the few I do wouldn’t make sense. And switching this whole section to something like “Cool Content Creators” feels a bit too much like a cop-out. Who knows? If you have a good y-adjective suggestion, we may very well go with it (and no, we’re not going with any variation of yum).

Until then, though, we’re stuck with this bland title of Best YouTubers of 2022.

YouTube has remained a dominant contender for our (and our childrens’) attention, and not everything on the site is worthy of it. But conversely, we found creators who make content that is (generally) family-friendly and fun to watch!

And before you utter a word, we’ve decided that filling this list with Christian YouTubers would simply be too easy. We’ll save that idea for another blog post.

Plugged In reviewed a good number of YouTubers this year, and we’ve narrowed down this list to a mere five—those who we thought ranked among the most family friendly that we clicked and cast our eyes on in 2022. Take a look at our choices, but don’t forget to read our full reviews to make sure these YouTubers are right for your family. And remember that, unlike many of our other genres, YouTubers are constantly uploading, so even our wonderful reviews may not cover their newest stuff.

Mark Rober YouTube

Mark Rober

(Educational, Family – 23.1 Million Subscribers) Many kids’ first brush with science in action usually takes the form of a baking-soda volcano or throwing Mentos into a 2-liter bottle of Coke. Either way, the experience just may cause them to squeal in excitement—and it just may foster a desire to see more. Well, Mark Rober, a mechanical engineer who worked on the Curiosity Rover, may have more of what they’re looking for. From liquidizing sand to creating an obstacle course for backyard squirrels, each experiment is visually appealing and engaging. The channel does contain occasional swears, but they’re few and far between. Viewers will not only have fun watching the channel—they’ll likely learn something from it, too.

Odin Makes youtube

Odin Makes

Perhaps Mark Rober’s side of YouTube isn’t quite your thing. Maybe you’d like to marvel at complicated movie props and gadgets, but you’d rather see how the things are created than the elaborate after-effects of them. If that’s the case, then Odin Makes just might be the channel for you. Odin recreates hundreds of props from movies, television shows and video games. If you ever had the tenacity to build your own Infinity Gauntlet, Blue Shell or Portal Gun (working capabilities limited), you could theoretically follow along with Odin to achieve the result (parent’s supervision recommended). It should be noted that Odin has not uploaded many videos in the time since our review was uploaded.

Tasting History youtube

Tasting History with Max Miller

Let’s be honest. Mark Rober is fun because he creates elaborate and interesting engineering projects. Odin Makes is fun because he teaches us how to recreate our favorite entertainment props. But what are they missing? Food. That’s where Tasting History with Max Miller comes in. The channel focuses on recreating historic recipes to try the food how it likely would’ve tasted long ago—from the meals aboard the Titanic to the food of Vikings. While Max makes the dishes, he offers a well-researched historical analysis of the dish and its related cultural setting, and his videos are generally quite clean. That said, viewers should note that Max is openly gay—though it hardly comes up in videos.

CGP Grey youtube

CGP Grey

Now that your stomach is full of “Macaroni & Cheese from 1845” thanks to Max, I’ve got a question for you: Is there anything better than hexagons? No, says CGP Grey; “Hexagons are the bestagons.” But you know what else is the bestago—er, the best? Learning new things! And that’s what CGP Grey aims to do. He’ll break down complicated topics, animating them into various stick-figure forms, making them more fun to watch. The channel does seem to advocate for attempting to scientifically discover immortality, and he occasionally misuses God’s name. But overall, the channel provides a very educational experience for its viewers.

Ice Cream Sandwich

But sometimes, we don’t want to use YouTube to learn. Sometimes, we just want to use it to relax and unwind for a little after school or work. In that case, Ice Cream Sandwich provides quick entertaining videos about his personal life experiences growing up. The videos are quick, and they’re made to make people laugh. The channel has some light language concerns, but other than that, Ice Cream Sandwich may be a nice way to help you take a few minutes to de-stress.

And just like that, we’ve managed to filter down plenty of YouTuber reviews into five that your family might enjoy. No channel is perfect, and as you may have noticed from our picks above, there will always be some content concerns to look out for. But if you check out our full reviews for each channel, you’ll have a better grasp on whether these five will work for you.

With millions of YouTubers out there waiting their turn to get a Plugged In review, we’ll certainly be looking at countless more in 2023. But if you have a channel you’d like us to consider, let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll add it to our list of potential reviews!

Kennedy Unthank

Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”

8 Responses

  1. -If you want a wholesome history channel to check out, our homeschool family is a big fan of Townsends. Jon Townsend and co spend a lot of time exploring history, particularly 18th century American history, but they also discuss other daily life experiences from the 17th-late 19th centuries. Whether it’s recreating 18th century recipes or interviewing experts on how to fashion a quill pen or what it was like to be a colonial laundress or showing what sorts of tools Daniel Boone packed on his travels, or even building a period-accurate log cabin from scratch using only the tools an early American settler would have had on hand, the channel is a wealth of American history. They also have a regular livestream called the Nutmeg Tavern where they discuss various topics or have live readings of classic works like A Christmas Carol or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

  2. -Would love it if you guys could review Scott the Woz’s YouTube channel sometime in the future.

    1. – Yes, he’s only got ~1 million subscribers, but there are a bunch of memes that make his channel pretty popular. Unfortunately, he’s not the best gaming YouTuber. In fact, I would say that a lot of gamers with <100k subscribers are the best. lol

  3. -I’m surprised to learn that Ice Cream Sandwich is clean. I’ve never watched his videos because his “About” section says that his channel is inappropriate for children under 13. Granted, his entire “About” disclaimer is written like a parody, so maybe I shouldn’t give much credence to it.

    Has anyone here in the comments section watched Ice Cream Sandwich’s channel? Is he as clean TheOdd1sOut, or is his content more mature?

  4. -Drive Through History with Dave Stotts is a fantastic history channel with a Biblical focus.
    The Farm Hand’s Companion is a very funny way to illustrate Appalachian homesteading. You’ll never look at cornbread the same way again.
    Jeremy Fielding for engineering.
    Smarter Every Day for a wide range of science topics.
    Mr. Wizard’s World was a kid’s science TV show from before my time that I’ve recently discovered. Basic science without the scientism.
    The Outdoor Boys take some little kids on some crazy outdoor adventures!
    Primitive Technology makes you feel like you could actually thrive as a caveman.
    Roger Barnes makes you want to sail a dinghy around Bretony with him.
    Simon’s Cat. Everyone loves cartoon cats.
    Sprouts makes great cartoon videos about psychology and child development.
    Two Cents from PBS gives fun money advice in a very charming package.

  5. -May you please review these channels:
    – Doug DeMuro – Car Reviews
    – Scotty Kilmer – Car Reviews (much more popular)
    – Peter Santenello – foreign countries/cities
    – Bald and Bankrupt – foreign countries (much more popular)
    – Xiaomanyc – foreign languages (most popular out of all of these channels)

    The first channel is mostly clean from what I have seen. The last four have some issues but have decent content! There are some others that I can think of, but they are not popular or lack in good content (basically just plain comedy/parodies).

    1. – May you also review Owen Morgan (Telltale)’s channel? He has become popular recently as he confronts lots of religious issues and even some Christian YouTubers mention him (I believe his subscriber count has tripled in the past year alone). I believe he would be worthy to review as he tries to utilize logic to prove his atheist perspective. While we should not believe everything he states as Christians, it is helpful to know atheist perspectives to reach out to non-believers through evangelism. He could also have possible topics that could be discussed on Focus on the Family’s show. The channel also talks about Jehovah’s Witnesses whenever it is not discussing Christian/conservative beliefs.

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