A few years ago, an Iowa couple became concerned about the type of online content available to children and the negative effects it can have on mood, behavior, and learning. So, they decided to do something about it.
Joseph Sines, and his wife, Bethany, decided to utilize their skills and background to create a website for kids that would entertain, educate, calm, and most importantly, be 100 percent safe for young minds.
They recently soft-launched their subscription website dubbed Bottlesodes or, as they like to call it, B-TV. The site is loaded with short videos aimed at kids ages 3 to 11.
What's the story?
Joseph has worked in the film industry for about 12 years, and Bethany studied child development in college. They've been married 11 years and they have an 8-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.
In an interview with TheBlaze, the couple said that, after having kids, they noticed that children — their own as well as those of their friends — would sometimes have meltdowns after watching TV or videos online.
"Dopamine stimulates these kids that are already stressed out," Bethany told TheBlaze, as she explained how videos can cause overstimulation in children.
"I saw the urgency and need for [Bottlesodes] when I was nursing my youngest baby," Bethany, 34, recalled while describing a time when she was tired and handed an iPad to her toddler to keep her busy.
"Technology has its place," she added, but it should be used intentionally and not as a distraction tool.
About four years ago, they began working on their idea to create an alternative to websites such as YouTube for Kids and Netflix.
Between Joseph's freelance film jobs and driving a school bus, the 38-year-old father began filming and editing the content that would eventually become Bottlesodes.
The website features a variety of categories including Go Outdoors, The Arts, Calming/Relaxation, Food, Crafts & Science, Family Videos, Life In the 1800s, and more.
Many of the videos feature children teaching other children how to do activities such as making peanut butter and honey sandwiches or creating a book, among others.
Joseph and Bethany are also working on a new child-led series focused on emotional intelligence. It will address the basic human emotions of happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust.
Joseph uploads every video to the website to ensure the safety of the content.
How does the website work?
Bottlesodes relies on monthly ($8) and annual memberships ($85) for revenue.
"We aren't trying to get rich," Joseph said, adding that they hope to be able to purchase a home some day.
There are no advertisements and no investors in their business.
"We want to keep our intention as simple and pure as possible," Bethany said.
They said they're focused on creating a healthy lifestyle for their family and helping other parents do the same.
"We're spiritual, so we see it coming from the spirit," Joseph added.