The Magic of ASMR: Exploring Why Children Are Enchanted by These Soothing Sounds

ASMR for Children

If you’ve been on social media – especially YouTube – at all over the past few years, you have probably had a front-row seat to an ASMR video (or ten). If you’re an adult over a certain age, you might not have watched them yourself, instead choosing to scroll away quickly to get to something more interesting to you. You may have watched through one or two and found yourself scratching your head as to why people like them. Or, the appeal of ASMR may have been almost immediately clear.

No matter how you personally react to ASMR videos, the reality is that ASMR has taken over the internet.

What Is ASMR?

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. If this isn’t something that you personally experience, it’s best described as a tingling feeling that typically starts with the scalp and travels down the body to the upper spine area. The autonomous sensory meridian response is so-called because people who experience its sensory effects are triggered by a sound only. The feeling is customarily induced by specific low volume sounds that are frequently intense and crisply captured.

For example, ASMR is frequently created by a woman with a high quality microphone at maximum sensitivity. This microphone can catch even the slightest sounds and it does so with a very crisp playback. These sounds often include nails tapping on a hard surface, whispering, crinkling paper, scratching noises, and may even feature props like synthetic hair getting brushed.

Understanding ASMR and Its Appeal to Kids

While ASMR is certainly a widespread phenomenon, ASMR videos and content have become incredibly popular for children, in particular. While there isn’t currently much research on the topic, some scientists theorize that the popularity of ASMR content for children may be because of its simulation of their time spent in the womb. However, at this point, it’s just a theory.

Today, many ASMR videos are geared toward children, often featuring someone manipulating kids’ toys, substances like slime, and more. Just as we soothe crying babies by gently rocking them or rubbing their backs and how we can help kids fall asleep with a sweet, quiet song, ASMR can inspire these same feelings in children. The sensory response created by ASMR videos seems to be a safe and soothing place for children to settle into.

Let’s explore the sensations ASMR can provide for children.

Relaxation and Comfort

ASMR Videos for Relaxation and Comfort

Some important sensations ASMR can provide for children are feelings of relaxation, stress relief, and comfort. Meditation and exercise are often recommended for stress relief in adults, and this is because repetitive movements and focused thoughts can help reduce stress. For example, slow, repetitive movements like those practiced with Tai Chi can assist with relaxation, stress relief, and intentional thoughts. The same can be said for repetitive sounds for children. Repetitive sounds can also help instill the same meditative mindset as Tai Chi and meditation for children.

This is a crucial benefit of ASMR, as more children are experiencing anxiety than ever before. In fact, between 2016 and 2020, the increase in anxiety among children was measured at 7.1%. Endorphins are vital to our well-being as they help combat feelings of stress, pain, and overall well-being. ASMR has excellent potential to aid in the release of endorphins and the resolution of stress, helping children cope with feelings of anxiety and more.

All science aside, many parents note that their children respond positively to the relaxation potential of ASMR. Some parents have observed that ASMR helps their children drift off to sleep more peacefully, like a form of white noise. Other parents note that when their children have a difficult time focusing, ASMR can help them zero in on the focus they need to get through homework or other tasks. Still other parents have found that ASMR can help to calm children down during the worst part of a tantrum.

Nostalgia and Familiarity

Many of the sounds that ASMR makers use can feel very familiar and nostalgic for listeners. In fact, ASMR triggers are created by familiar actions, like the sound of soothing whispering, crinkling paper, or even the cracking or popping sounds of some toys. All of these sounds may evoke feelings of childhood and playtime or even creative time in the classroom. For some children, these familiar noises from ASMR trigger feelings of sleepiness.

Other children experience the physical sensations provided by these familiar and soothing sounds. Tingling in the scalp and upper spine can be nostalgic, as this response can also be created by familiar activities like having your hair brushed or even light touches to the scalp, neck, and shoulders. These sounds can bring up feelings of caring and nurturing, and for children, this can be incredibly soothing during times of stress or overstimulation.

Curiosity and Exploration

Curiosity and Exploration with ASMR Videos

One of the biggest reasons that ASMR appeals to children is their innate sense of curiosity. While not all children are hyper-curious, learning and discovery are normal aspects of childhood. ASMR can be a way that children can learn and experience new things, whether this learning takes place regarding sound, play, or something else.

There are many different kinds of ASMR content where children can explore different sounds and triggers. When done properly, this can be a safe place for children to express themselves and play. As some of the different kinds of content include whispering or making slight sounds with the mouth, light patterns, page-turning, paper crinkling, typing, scratching, humming, breathing, or the different sounds that toys and props can make, children can experiment or just enjoy the soothing effects.

Role-Playing and Mimicry

ASMR can also help children role-play. Role-playing is a crucial way for children to learn new things and try out new behaviors. In the context of early childhood development, role-playing is important for developing functional behaviors and emotional intelligence.

While ASMR videos are mostly about sounds, they can allow children to express their imagination or create realistic scenarios. ASMR allows them to work within these scenarios in a way that isn’t dangerous or damaging to relationships. Children also learn through mimicry, and ASMR can provide a backdrop for children to express different emotions or even attempt to create ASMR effects themselves.

Emotional Connection and Community

Like many different kinds of internet content, ASMR content can provide a safe place for children to exist. ASMR content feels individual, which can help children feel like they’re receiving a personal connection with the creator. Children can feel loved, accepted, and like they have a place where they belong. This can also help them feel comforted during the most difficult times.

Similarly, ASMR communities can help children find a connection with their peers. People with similar interests can connect through shared interests, and ASMR can provide a community for children to connect. These peer groups can be incredibly important for children who may feel otherwise ostracized by their peers or even children who may be struggling with a difficult time.

Sleep Benefits

As mentioned, ASMR can act as white noise for those experiencing sleep troubles. White noise is meant to mask environmental noises and provide a blank canvas for those trying to sleep. Because ASMR frequently involves repetitive sounds and familiar, comforting noise, it can also act as white noise.

In one study, university students showed improved sleep with the use of white noise. In addition to this study, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence suggesting that white noise can be incredibly useful for anyone struggling with sleep problems. Because ASMR can also help in stress reduction, it can be used to calm children’s nerves and relax them into sleep.

Guidance For Parents

As with any space on the internet, you may be concerned regarding the safety of ASMR for children. One of the most important things to remember is that parents should always pay attention to what their children are looking at and what they’re participating in. There are dangerous places all across the internet, and one wrong click can get your children to places you don’t want them to be.

One thing to be concerned about is potential explicit content. While many creators exist that are safe for children, there are other creators that slip suggestive content into their repertoires. Some ASMR videos can have a sexual undertone that can be dangerous to children. The best thing to do is supervise your children’s ASMR viewing and block your children’s access to these creators – then create a playlist of videos from safe ASMR creators.

Another thing to be aware of is the influence of food ASMR. Recently, there’s been an increase in ASMR that involves a creator eating a large amount of food while making expressive sounds into the microphone. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may encourage overeating for some children.

There are always concerns about spaces that encourage interaction from children. The best thing to do is to pay attention to what your children are viewing and make sure to talk with them about important topics. If they do happen to enter an area that’s too adult for them, addressing the issue right away and being honest with them helps them to feel more comfortable coming to you with other things. This can improve your overall relationship with your child and even improve their confidence and happiness.

ASMR and Children: Final Thoughts


ASMR can be an excellent tool for your children, and there are many positives to ASMR in general when engaged in safely. It can give them access to stress relief, help them with sleep, and even assist them with creativity and regulating emotions. Children can also experience new things and find a group of peers that helps them feel included.

While there is always initial worry over the appropriateness of ASMR content, it’s important to recognize that there are many safe options for children. One way to ensure your child’s safety is to prescreen content. From here, you can find safe videos and safe creators and make playlists for your children that you can be sure are appropriate for them to view. Additionally, having open and frank conversations with your children can help them feel more comfortable discussing important topics with you when the time arises.

There’s plenty of safe ASMR content for you and your children to explore, enjoy, and discuss. Take the journey together, then check out the other great creative content for kids and parents on the Fusion Muse YouTube page. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll be notified when we add our own ASMR videos!



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