Best Kodi Builds for Kids 2017 – What are the best Kodi builds for Kids?

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If you’re familiar with Kodi 3rd party builds, you may have noticed that the majority of them really aren’t suitable for children.  Many so-called “kids’ addons” contain addons that allow easy access to violent, scary films or mature content.  If you’re looking for a way to control what your kids watch on Kodi, you’re in the right place.  Read on to discover two of the best Kodi builds for kids.

Before you proceed

Last year, some Kodi streamers received copyright infringement notices for watching movies, sports, and TV shows through various 3rd party Kodi addons.  If you would like to keep your streaming habits private, our recommendation is IPVanish – a complete privacy solution for Kodi users.

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Kodi is a digital minefield for kids

There are a lot of parents out there that would to like cancel their cable subscription and switch to using Kodi.  But if transitioning to Kodi means exposing their kids to mature content, they probably won’t make the change.

This Facebook conversation illustrates the problem that Kodi builds pose for parents

Kodi offers lots of great content for kids.  Virtually every cartoon ever made can be found via various Kodi addons.

The problem is that the open source nature of Kodi means that it’s very easy to quickly get any type of content– including mature content that’s meant for adults.  Once a kid figures out how to peruse 3rd party repositories, they can stream all kinds of indecent videos.

In my December 2016 Kodi Build Roundup, I demonstrated how Beast Kids and SpinzTV for Kids both allow easy access to violent and disturbing content.

In my opinion, if you have to supervise your kid every time they use their so-called “kids’ build,” what’s the point?  You might as well just use a normal Kodi build.

Of course, you could try deleting addons that have links to offensive content.  But most kids these days are pretty computer savvy.  It won’t take them long to figure out how to reinstall any addons you remove– or even find new ones that are even worse.

The only build I know of that comes with built-in parental controls is Shank’s Build.  Shank’s Build has no ads and is 100 percent free.

Shank’s Build: The only build with tools for parents

Late last year, Eric Shankman– a member of the programming team known as Ares Project– added restriction functionality to his build.  The software built into the new Shank’s Build update places limits on both content and time spent watching movies and TV shows.

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Shank’s Build improves Kodi’s default content restriction settings

The default version of Kodi offers very little in the way of content blocking.

You can either lock down all video content, or none of it at all.

To see what I mean, open up a bare bones Kodi installation and navigate to system → profiles → [user name] → lock preferences.  

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A screenshot of Kodi’s horrible “lock preferences” menu

The “lock videos window” box allows you to block attempts to access the videos main menu screen.  But this settings isn’t very useful, because if you select this option you’ll have to enter in your passcode every time your kid wants to watch cartoons.

With Shank’s Build, parents have a lot more power and control.  Its built-in addons allow parents to censor what their kids watch.

I personally checked out Shank’s Build a few weeks back.  I locked down a few addons– then I pretended to be a naughty teenager.

I tried a few sneaky methods to find my way around the content blocks I had set up.  But no matter what I did, I couldn’t find any loopholes that would allow me to access mature video streams.

How to install Shank’s Build

  • Go to https://areswizard.co.uk/ and download script.areswizard[version].zip to your desktop.
  • Open script.areswizard[version].zip from within Kodi by navigating to system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Install Shank’s Build by navigating to programs → ares wizard → browse builds → shanks → install

Inside the Shank’s Build parental control system

The key to locking down addons in Shank’s Build is an adon called PinSentry.

Here’s what PinSentry looks like:

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A screenshot of PinSentry’s main menu

How to configure PinSentry

If you try to open up PinSentry before you configure it, nothing will happen when you click it.  You have to set it up first before you use it.

Here’s how to configure PinSentry on Shank’s Build:

  1. Go to system → addons → my addons → all → pinsentry.
  2. Hover over PinSentry and trigger the context menu by pressing C (or by pressing the menu button if you’re using a remote.)
  3. Choose configure addon once you’re in the context menu.
  4. Select set pin value.

Once you’ve completed all of the 4 steps listed above, you’ll be able to bring up PinSentry via programs → pinsentry.

How to use PinSentry to lock down Shank’s Build addons

With PinSentry, you get 5 different options that allow you to control content: movie sets, music videos, plugins, file source and classifications.

To lock down plugins, open up PinSentry and click plugins.

You should see a screen that looks like this:

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A screenshot of PinSentry’s addon lockdown page

To lock down an addon, simply click its box.

Once an addon is locked down, nobody will be able to get to any of its menus unless they know your access code.

Shank’s Build: Final thoughts

Shank’s Build is the only build I’ve found that has built-in parental controls.  However, it’s really more of a family build than a kids build.

Dads will like Shank’s Build because it has a lot of good sports addons.  Pro Sport, for example, is one of the very best 3rd party sports addon for Kodi.

In my opinion, Shank’s Build’s design scheme is holding it back.  If it had brighter colors and better wallpaper, Shank’s Build would probably be a lot more popular than it is.

Here’s what the latest version of Shank’s Build looks like:

A screenshot of the latest version of Shank’s Build

Though Shank’s Build dark and dreary layout might be a turnoff, the interface is easy enough for a kid to quickly figure out.

The thing I personally like the most about Shank’s Build is that its creator is very dedicated and proactive.  You won’t run into any errors or dead links when you click around this build’s main menus, and if you have any questions or problems Eric Shankman will happily help you out via Facebook.

Good

  • The only build with built-in content control functionality
  • Lots of family friendly addons
  • Easy to use
  • Regular updates
  • Has a “Ladies’ Lounge” menu page
  • The “US Live TV” and “US Sports” pages are designed to help Americans find their favorite shows and sports games

Bad

  • Dark and depressing wallpapers
  • Not enough kid specific menus and addons

AMB Kids: Lots of content for toddlers

If you’re looking for a Kodi build that’ll give you access to content that very little kids might enjoy, AMB Kids is an excellent choice.

Like most kids builds, AMB Kids lacks parental controls.  But if you have very young kids, you don’t need advanced security features.

A screenshot of the Ares ToddlerTube channel, which is super easy to get to on AMB Kids

With AMB kids, you get instant access to all of the following little kids shows:

  • Peppa Pig
  • Dora the Explorer
  • The GiggleBellies
  • Tayo the Little Bus
  • Busy Beavers
  • Paw Patrol
  • Ben and Holly
  • Duck Duck Kids
  • TeleTubbies

AMB Kids even has content lists that are designed with special needs kids in mind.  Ares Dyslexia and Ares Autism feature soothing music, nursery songs and helpful exercises.

How to install AMB Kids:

  • Go to https://areswizard.co.uk/ and download script.areswizard[version].zip to your desktop.
  • Open script.areswizard[version].zip from within Kodi by navigating to system → settings → addons → install from zip file.
  • Install AMB Kids by navigating to programs → ares wizard → browse builds → amb → kids → install

Here’s how to use PinSentry to lock down any build

PinSentry works quite well on Shank’s Build.  Its creator Eric Shankman has made sure that PinSentry plays nicely with all the other addons included with the build.

There’s no guarantee that PinSentry will work as well on other builds as it does on Shank’s Build.  But if you like the way a kids build looks and you want to beef up its security yourself, you could give PinSentry a try.

Here’s how to install PinSentry on any Kodi build:

  1. Go to PinSentry’s page on tvaddons.ag and click the green button to download script.pinsentry[VERSION].zip to your desktop.
  2. Locate your build’s install from zip file menu.  (Most builds have some kind of addon menu that you can get to from the main screen.)
  3. Select script.pinsentry[VERSION].zip and wait for the installation complete popup to appear.
  4. Open up the menu that shows all the addons that are installed on your build, then scroll down to PinSentry.
  5. Hover over PinSentry and trigger the context menu by pressing C (or by pressing the menu button if you’re using a remote.)
  6. Choose configure addon.
  7. Select set pin value.

After you set up your PIN, you’ll be able to open up PinSentry and use it to set up parental restrictions.