Nearly three years ago my older son introduced us to the slippery slope of YouTube videos for children. We were suddenly immersed in a world of bright colors, choppy animation, and high-pitched songs. Many tunes were childhood standards: Wheels on the Bus, Five Little Ducks, and Itsy Bitsy Spider. There was Baby Shark, a chant I vaguely remembered from my camp days.
Despite the walk down memory lane, I quickly realized YouTube had to go. I had no idea how annoyed I would be by some children’s songs (Finger Family Song, I am looking at you). We removed the app from our phones and moved on.
Years later, Baby Shark attacked again.
This time, my two-year-old prompted the dive back into the YouTube collection of toddler songs. Apparently, the waters were now infested with Baby Shark, a video he specifically–and persistently–requested by name. There were no monkeys jumping on the bed. London Bridge was doing just fine. The kiddo only had eyes for Baby Shark, and YouTube was ready for him.
We are no longer talking about just one video about just one shark family.
There are holiday themed versions–Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas. Sometimes puppets, origami fish, or toys dance along to the song. There are videos where the sharks are wearing dinosaur hats, and videos where dinosaurs are wearing shark hats. The most popular search result is a mix of live-action kids dancing with background animation. You can even find medleys lasting 1-2 hours, should you need a Baby Shark play list for your next office party.
If you are the parent, teacher or caregiver of a toddler, perhaps you too have noticed this trend. Want to know the deal with Baby Shark? I did too. Evidently, our toddlers are on to a viral craze that started last year in Southeast Asia. Check it out:
There are multiple versions of the song Baby Shark, but the most popular YouTube video series is by South Korean educational media company Pinkfong. According to Forbes, Pinkfong’s series had been viewed over 800 million times by September 2017.
#BabySharkChallenge Goes Viral
The hashtag and accompanying dance trend #BabySharkChallenge went viral in Indonesia in 2017. People posted videos using hand and arm motions to represent each member of the shark family. Here is the family of musicians Anang Hermansyah and Ashanty taking on the #BabySharkChallenge:
Baby Shark has been covered from everyone from K-Pop girl group stars Red Velvet…
… to the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (!!).
Baby Shark even landed at number 35 on Billboard Philippine’s Philippine Hot 100 list!
Who knew?! (Apparently, all of Southeast Asia.)
I won’t lie–the song is catchy. It’s a good thing I think so, considering Baby Shark is shaping up to be our family’s song of the summer.
Is your toddler a Baby Shark fan? What do you think about these videos?