Learning with Kids Media

Hi everyone! First post on the forum - third attempt at pushing myself past the free part of Wanikani. Almost there!

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for kids media to watch/listen to for learning?

I just learned Gachapin has a Youtube channel - https://youtube.com/channel/UCxx49bVTrbx4_vcMden64iQ - so I watched a video of them making buffalo wings. I can pick up very little at this point, but was happy to get the katakana reading practice when ingredients popped up on the screen.

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Hey welcome on the forum

You could try reading manga for kids, like doraemon or チーズスイートホーム (Chi’s Sweet Home), those two always come up when people talk about kid manga. I suppose they have an animated version if you want listening practice.
If you’re really starting out, it might still be too hard though. Paradoxically, kid media can be harder for beginners due to so many kanas that you can’t tell where the words start or end, and they meld with the grammatical units and sentence endings.

Honestly, the real problem I have with kid content is how the utterly boring simplicity of the topics can drain your motivation :/. If it works for you then that’s cool, just don’t forget to power through the first 20 levels of WK (or other kanji resources if money is tight) and through some basic grammar lessons (tons of em on youtube : curedolly, japaneseammo, etc.), so you can start hitting better content.

Let’s wait and see if anyone comes up with a good resource that matches your goals.


I’ve gotten my daughter into Super Simple Japanese
Cute when she tries to sing some of the songs, but also gives me some simple listening.


I’m definitely planning to read some kids manga when I get to that point, so thanks! I already like reading kids comics so it works perfectly for me.

And Yotsuba& was one of the first manga I picked up as a kid, so I’m excited at the idea of reading more of it in Japanese eventually.

It may take a little extra effort, but if you’ve ever wondered what you might learn going to school in Japan, here’s NHK for School:

It might look a little intimidating because the entire page is in Japanese, but if you scroll down far enough, you’ll see a section with subject names with videos under them. The videos usually come with a transcript somewhere else on the page, and you can turn Japanese subtitles on as well. I believe that fewer kanji are used in videos targeted at younger students. I watched a video on Japan’s constitution after about six months of Japanese, and I found it rather interesting, and fairly easy to understand: I think I got about 60-70% of what was going on. Caveat emptor: I’m a Chinese speaker, so I can sometimes use ‘likely on’yomi’ to help me guess what’s going on without looking it up. Your mileage may vary. Still, I think the videos are pretty fun to watch, and you might want to try them if slightly more scholastic knowledge interests you (or, for example, if you just wish you knew words for basic ideas like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division in Japanese which you probably won’t ever see in a textbook).


NHK School has a ton of videos and articles aimed at elementary school students, about all sorts of topics. Try looking through the grades (1小、2小, etc.) for playlists sorted by grade level, then check out the first green button further down the page for additional videos. Some of the other buttons lead to cool stuff too (articles, etc.) so click around to see what all they have!

EDIT: Dang, someone beat me to it! lol


I found this great podcast the other day where they read children’s bedtime stories in Japanese. It’s very simple language read in a slow relaxing manner. You can find it on most podcast apps by searching おやすみすとーりー


In a similar vein, I sometimes listen to a “grandma’s old stories” podcast that does folklore: 【民話朗読】おばあちゃんの日本昔ばなし (apple/google/bean/etc.) They’re short stories -most 10min or shorter- not particularly difficult (I think?), and usually pretty entertaining.

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