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The 8 YouTube Stars Your Kids Are Watching

Photograph by Youtube

Over the course of the last week, my 9-year-old daughter has crafted a portrait in pearler beads, carefully painted a ceramic box at our local Color-Me-Mine and written a lengthy letter. Each of these items was for a special person in her life.

Not me, sadly. Nor one of her BFFs.

Rather, she spent the time and energy making these gifts for her favorite YouTuber, the pink-haired, Minecrafter who goes by the moniker LDShadowLady.

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Her adoration for a 20-something who shares gaming prowess online is not rare. Mine and other kids also avidly watch various YouTubers share their toys, open boxes, perform sketches and just ramble on with random silliness. They watch with a fervor that is usually reserved for Taylor Swift, One Direction or the cast of a Disney Channel sitcom .

But there is something unique about these online stars.

Instead of being born from a marketing department, or by getting a big break like a record deal or a major film role, these stars (for the most part) are self-made. When I asked my daughter what made YouTubers different than your average pop star, she said that they were "people just being themselves, they are just sharing who they are." They are delivering something "real" rather than reading lines. These YouTubers are living the dream, a very 2015 dream.

Back in the day (my day), when people asked what kids wanted to be when they grew up, the answer was often a doctor, a fireman or president. But according to a teacher pal of mine, the answer that now routinely tops the list is "YouTuber." While the odds of making it big on YouTube are as hard as the aforementioned big breaks, if a clever video maker plays her cards right, she can make beaucoup bucks—we're talking millions of dollars in just one year.

So who are our kids watching? Here are 8 of the most popular YouTubers for kids, the superstars of today.

LDShadowLady
Subscribers: Over 1 million

"Minecraft is love. Minecraft is life," yeah, the pink-haired 22-year-old Lizzie is all about Minecraft. But she also plays other games on her growing gaming channel. She holds the title of my daughter's favorite YouTuber.

Brooklyn & Bailey
Subscribers : Over 1.5 million

Brooklyn & Bailey are twin daughters of YouTube sensation Mindy, from CuteGirlsHairstyles. Their family friendly channel (ideal for the tween/teen girl) focuses on fashion, beauty and crafting.

Dan and Phil Games
Subscribers: Over 1.5 Million

Dan and Phil are two British mop-haired 20-somethings who play games, embrace gaming changes and give gaming reviews. They got their start on various shows on BBC Radio 1 but left in August of 2014 to focus on their wildly popular YouTube channel.

EvanTubeHD
Subscribers : Over 2 Million

9-year-old Evan, along with his little sister Jillian, engage in wacky challenges, play with toys and just give us adorable. His dad, who does the videos, spoke of Evan's sudden fame: "I think it's hard for a 9-year-old to fully grasp the concept of fame. But as more and more people are recognizing him on the street, I think he's starting to catch on. At first, he was a little shy and didn't know what to think. But I think he enjoys seeing the smiles on kids' faces when they meet him. My wife and I like to use these opportunities to reinforce the idea of being a role model and setting a good example."


IHasCupquake
Subscribers: Over 3.5 million

Cupquake (aka: Tiffany) is a self proclaimed "geek." On her channel, she does gaming, baking and DIY videos—often in the company of her husband.

FunToyzCollector
Subscribers : Over 5 million

This is one of those unboxing video channels that is wildly popular with kids. FunToyzCollector specializes in small toys, dolls and Play-Doh, all of which are aimed at toddlers, babies, infants and pre-school children. We don't see the host's face, her hands and soft gentle voice are all we get to know. Here's the shocking thing about this particular YouTube channel: it's been reported that the woman who does it has earned more than $4 million dollars a year from it. Yes, MORE THAN FOUR MILLIONS DOLLARS!

Stampy Longhead
Subscribers: Over 6 Million

The British Stampy Longhead (the orange feline alter ego of Joseph Garrett) posts Minecraft videos every single day. He also delivers commentary in an upbeat, silly and enthusiastic way. His laugh and lightheartedness is infectious and has resulted in a new educational Minecraft show for kids called "Wonder Quest."

Good Mythical Morning
Subscribers : Over 8 million

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are professional "Internetainers," have best friends since 1st grade. They're both dads (Link has three kids and Rhett has two). Their daily comedy show is full of banter, wacky challenges and silly music video sketches. Fun fact: you can even order Rhett and Link bobble heads.

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