Science is not a subject area I am naturally strong in; I’ve always been more of a humanities kind of girl. For this reason, I rely heavily on resources that make science easy and fun for my kids to learn. One of these resources is television.
Yep, that’s right. Brain-rotting, soul-stealing television.
My kids do watch television, and I think that television can be a great tool for teaching when you pair it with lessons and activities. Science-based shows give me a great starting point that I can build on during our instructional time. Here are seven of our family’s favorite science-based television shows.
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1. Sid the Science Kid
Of course, right? Sid is great for preschoolers, and he’s a perennial favorite in our home. The colorful animation and fun songs introduce basic science concepts. You can find Sid the Science Kid on PBS Kids, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD. Amazon Instant Video even has an episode you can download for free!
Since I have boys, you may be wondering why we watch SciGirls. There are lots of reasons, but first and foremost, I don’t think that it’s just girls who need positive female role models. The image that our society projects of women and girls affects boys, too. Also, SciGirls is a great show where young girls get involved with science. They perform experiments, get their hands dirty, and talk with female scientists who are leaders in their respective fields. My boys don’t think much about the gender aspect of it; they just see it as “kids doing science,” and they love it. SciGirls is another great PBS Kids science show.
3. The Octonauts
My three-year-old has loved learning about marine life since he first saw Finding Nemo. Disney Junior’s The Octonauts is a show that is all about exploring the ocean, and every episode features a “creature report” about a different marine animal. You can find The Octonauts episodes on DVD, and find The Octonauts full episdoes on Disney Junior.
One of my all-time favorite shows is also a great tool for teaching science. The science principles may be more appropriate for older kids, but my younger kids love the experiments and explosions. Thanks to Mythbusters, we’ve tested diet soda and Mentos many times. Mythbusters is on the Discovery Channel, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD.
5. Magic School Bus
This classic from my childhood is just as entertaining today. My boys love to join Mrs. Frizzle’s class as they journey through the solar system or inside the human body. You can find the Magic School Bus on DVD or Netflix — and don’t forget to pick up the books, too!
6. Wild Kratts
I love Wild Kratts. It combines animal biology with fun action and a super hero feel. I may also have a crush on one of the Kratt brothers. Allegedly. Wild Kratts is an awesome PBS science show that you can also find on DVD. You can also find Wild Kratts toys on Amazon.
7. Dino Dan
There are lots of great dinosaur shows out there, but the most popular one in our house is Dino Dan. Dino Dan is a kid who loves dinosaurs so much that he sees them everywhere he goes. Each episdoe, he has a dino-based mystery to solve. Dino Dan can still be found on Nick Jr. from time to time, and you can also get it on DVD or watch instantly on Amazon.
What science-based shows do your kids love to watch?