Advertising, Web, TV

Barkster Kid Songs: Social/Emotional YouTube Channel


Barkster Kid Songs is a YouTube channel featuring fun, educational, and interactive animation for preschool and early elementary-age kids! Join best friends Barkster, Zip, and Zarra as they sing, dance, and learn together.

In our colorful, animated videos, you’ll find super fun, catchy songs that:

  • Teach kids about social and emotional learning
  • Make learning age-appropriate science fun
  • Help kids resolve conflicts and understand their own feelings
  • Celebrate diversity in all its many forms

And like Dora the Explorer, our videos speak directly to the kids who are watching and encourage them to participate.

Subscribe to Barkster Kid Songs today and let the fun and learning begin!


For over 10 years, we here at Pipsqueak Animation have been trying to figure out how to launch a channel while retaining ownership of the IP. But what could we create that would be creatively rewarding and we could afford to make? We knew we needed to feed the YouTube algorithm a LOT of content to help us build a subscriber base. And even our reasonable rates were way too high for us to shoulder the costs without help.

But earlier this year we designed and animated a talking chef’s hat for the Hulu reality series, Secret Chef, that would serve as the show’s de facto host. To cope with production demands, we provided them with a 2D puppet that they could drive on set using Adobe Character Animator’s real time animation tools (i.e. mocap). The production went smoothly and it opened our mind to using similar techniques for a web series. 

We also recently sold and made a couple of fun, simple-to-execute preschool shorts to Sesame Street (like 3 Playful Horses and 7 Busy Beavers). We realized we could reduce production costs for our own series by using a related visually simple style. And real-time animation techniques would reduce them even further.

From there, we researched what was popular for preschoolers on YouTube. It was immediately obvious that we needed to make song-based content. But we didn’t want to compete in the crowded spaces of counting, phonics or nursery rhyme videos. Instead, we interviewed preschool and kindergarten educators who noted there wasn’t enough great content that specialized in social-emotional learning and age-appropriate science information. Bingo! 

From there, we developed a concept that was flexible enough to generate hundreds of episode ideas. We settled on the idea of best friends (Zipp and Zarra) who both boys and girls would see themselves through and a third creature character (Barkster) that would act as comic relief. But we also wanted to inject an interactive element by having Barkster speak directly to camera (a la Dora The Explorer) and ask kids questions. 

Through this whole process, we used our founder’s son’s old preschool as our test audience – pitching story ideas, showing them designs, playing them songs and showing them animatics and episodes. The kids’ comments were so helpful and encouraging! In fact, the class looked at our then-nameless creature character and declared that it looked like a half dog, half monster – a dogster! We found the name so charming wanted to name the whole channel after him! But alas, we were sent a letter alerting us of a potential trademark violation so we changed his name and the channel tp Barkster!


Our show is filled with big, bold primary colors mixed with simple pastels. Our goal is to keep every frame engaging for our young audience. Here are a few images of our cast (Barkster, Zipp and Zarra) and some of the locations our show takes place in. Our goal is to keep everything relevant to kid’s experiences so our real-world settings are places like the park, preschool, home, and the kids’ bedrooms.

And remember, if you need personalized, white glove service for any of your animation needs, get in touch. We provide great value for your dollar and we guarantee you’ll enjoy working with us!