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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Fun and Educational Youtube Channels for Kids (And Even Adults) -- Screen Time Suggestions for Kids that Teach -- Part 2


Now that lockdown has continued for quite a while, some people who'd been strict about doing school at home have eased things up with their kids, and given themselves a much needed break. With all this extra time, you might be looking for things to do with your kids, or even suggestions of educational screen time for them.
The other day I posted a list of educational websites for your kids for when you're stuck at home. However, sometimes you just want to put on a show for your kids and you want it to be teaching them something. Here are a list of fun and educational learning channels for kids, nearly all with my kids' personal recommendations, that you can use in conjunction with more official curriculum those found on Study.com or through your child's school district, or just completely on their own. While these are educational, my kids like to watch these just for fun, because they are done in a way that is entertaining and engaging that they're learning without feeling like they're in "school".

I've tried to list these channels in order of age appropriateness, but you need to know your kids best and what is appropriate for them. I suggest watching the first episode with your kids to make sure its what you want them to be watching/that it's on their age level. I've only included channels available through Youtube for free.

Fun and Educational Youtube Channels for Kids (And Even Adults) -- Screen Time Suggestions for Kids that Teach -- Part 2

Channels For Younger Kids

ABC Mouse is a channel geared mainly towards preschool and kindergarten, with some early elementary school aged things. They have lots of songs, fables, crafts, cover topics such as reading, geography, early science and math, etc.

Storybots has is a song based learning thing for preschool and early elementary school kids, with a lot about astronomy (my kids personally loved the solar system song, and when I was writing this post I had kids streaming to me to listen to the solar system song because they loved it), science, and basic knowledge.

Cosmic Kids Yoga is awesome. It has yoga for kids to do, along with a popular story line. While it is fun for preschool and lower elementary school aged kids, older kids might also enjoy it.

SciShow Kids is a great show teaching about so many different, you guessed it, science related topics, and it's geared towards kids. This is probably best for elementary school, and maybe later pre-school. It is very engaging and even enjoyable for me to listen to as an adult.

CrashCourse Kids covers scientific topics for elementary school aged kids, from physical science to astronomy to engineering to life science, through fun cartoons.

AumSum is an animated show that covers a variety of different topics about all different types of science related things, and is best for elementary school aged kids. It's a little bit more cartooney and silly than just educational.

Free School is a show geared towards the elementary school aged crowds. They cover history, science, grammar, and to be honest, I find it less "fun" and more "school"ey/lecturey as the name implies than these other shows, but I'm including it because of the variety of videos they have.

Kids Learning Tube is a channel that teaches kids exclusively through song. They have songs on chemistry, anatomy, geography, astronomy animals, dinosaurs, etc. So if your kids love songs, they'd love this. However, some kids prefer explanations and not only songs, so your mileage may vary. The age range for this is preschool through maybe middle school, but I do think that while the information it covers can be geared towards older kids, the style it teaches it seems more juvenile.

All Things Animal TV is all about animals, some more interesting, some slightly more boring, but definitely geared towards later pre-school/early elementary school.


Good For Older Kids and Even Adults (and maybe younger too)

Jonathan Bird's Big Blue World- My kids used to be obsessed with this, and I'm sure if I remind them about it, they'll go back and will be obsessed. This is a very engaging show with a host who explores everything related to water, from aquatic animals to scuba diving and ship wrecks. Definitely good for elementary school aged and middle school age, and maybe even high schoolers and adults.

What's Inside. My kids enjoyed this, but they tried telling me that it isn't actually educational, so I'll let people decide for themselves about that. Basically what they do here is they cut things in half, so you can see what's inside them. This involves tech, things around your home, nature things, so many different things. It's interesting and cool, but whether or not that's educational is your call. As for what age its good for, again, depends on your kid, but my guess is that its good from elementary school and up.

Horrible Histories is history without the dirty, blood guts and gore, gross, disgusting, or nasty things censored out of it. So some kids really like this stuff, but as for age friendliness, depends on how much you censor your kids, so I can't answer that for you.

Mark Rober - When I told my kids that I was writing this post and asked them what to put on it, they told me I must put on Mark Rober, that he's really fun and interesting, Ike said "No, its not really educational, its just fun". But jokes on him, because it definitely is educational, about science, engineering, physics, life hacks, etc... its just done in a way that seems cool and not educational. Definitely from upper elementary school to even high school and adults- I find it fascinating as well.

VSauce is another show recommended to me by my kids, which teaches so many different things, but predominantly science based, with a big focus on psychology and other brain related matters. I checked it out and its definitely interesting to me as an adult, its not childish at all. So I'd go with upper elementary school until adult. There are multiple VSauce channels with different hosts, so also search Youtube, not just click on the link above.

Geography Now! I discovered this one while I was looking up information on Indonesia for one of my recipes. I find it fun and engaging and its definitely got information adults could learn from, but I'd recommend it from middle school to high schoolers. I feel so much more educated about the world after watching this, and the best part is even with politically sensitive topics, he makes sure to give a very well balanced and unbiased approach, which I found extra amazing.

SciShow is the grown up version of SciShow Kids (ok, or maybe SciShow Kids is the kiddy version of this one), and its interesting enough and on a simple enough level that later elementary school kids can understand it, but it covers topics and is on a high enough level for middle/high school and even adults.

CrashCourse is the adult version of CrashCourse Kids and is geared towards high school and adults (but upper elementary school would also enjoy it) and its what its name implies- crash courses about so many different things under the sun, from history to science to history of science to theater, philosophy, sociology, law, business, engineering, politics, computer science, languages... basically, you want to learn it, they have it.

National Geographics- If you like National Geographics magazine, you'll love this. Videos about so many things, from science and nature to travel, history, news, etc... This isn't geared towards kids specifically, so show your younger children with discretion, and see if it interests them.

Brave Wilderness- The host goes out into the wilderness and explores, teaching about it, and catching it all on camera. This has a big focus on animals, specifically dangerous animals. Its intense and intriguing (and it really reminds me in tone of the show Survivor), and geared towards upper elementary school, high school, and adults. My kids love it and I've definitely heard them talk about stuff they learned in this in conversations with myself and between themselves.

Quirkology was another one recommended by my kids, with lots of intriguing psychological stuff, with a big focus on magic tricks and how to do them. He talks about bets you'll always win and optical illusions. For older kids, maybe high schoolers and adults as well.

Veritasium- no, Harry Potter fans, this doesn't say Veritaserum, like I thought it did. It's a made up word, the element of "truth" and its a great show about science, all different types of science, more complex science, geographic related science, myth busting, and much more. Another recommendation from my kids. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school, plus adults.

Vox is another one recommended by my sons. They are a channel that covers so many different topics, mainly related to current events, but also politics, history, geography, science, and much else. I find it fascinating as well. I'd recommend this to middle school, high school, and adults.

Matthew Santoro's main focus is on teaching things via 50 amazing fact videos, weird and creepy videos, as well as fascinating and fun topics. This is great for upper elementary school, middle school, high school, and even adults.

Asap Science covers a lot of different science related topics, in fun and engaging ways, but keep in mind that among many other science topics they have topics science related sex and drugs, so if you censor what your kids watch, be careful here. This is all via interactive drawings which makes it more fun and also more child friendly (no inappropriate drawings or photographs). Beyond that point, in terms of levels of difficulty and how engaging it is, I'd say from middle school to high school and adults.

Nick Uhaus is another really fun channel that is all about science in an engaging and fun way. He teaches lots of cool things, strange science phenomenon, and lots and lots and lots of science experiments. It may be geared towards kids, but as an adult I find it fascinating. So I'd say its good for all ages.

Chris Fix. This channel was recommended by my son Lee. I wasn't going to put it on the list because I was sure it was a mistake, but no, he says its great and fun and entertaining to watch this guy as he teaches you how to fix your cars, even if you don't have a car; its just satisfying to watch, and apparently many people agree with him. He says Chris Fix also teaches you how to budget for and bargain when it comes to buying cars and parts, as well as ways to make money via stripping cars and selling parts.

My Drawing Tutorials- This is one of many channels that has drawing lessons, from beginners to more advanced. If this appeals to you or your kids, you can search youtube for other similar channels, I just decided to include the one I'm subscribed to on this list.

Thomas Elpel Survival Videos- This channel is by the guy who wrote Botany in a Day and he has videos on wilderness survival here. Its not exclusively for kids at all, but my kids found it enjoyable and so did I.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just some that I and my kids recommend. Have you or your kids watched any of these, and if so, what did you think of them? If you have any channels you'd recommend, please share about them and what ages they are for, so everyone reading this can have even more suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, another vote for Veritasium, Quirkology, the Vsauce channels, esp Numberphile and SmarterEveryDay. My husband loves them.

    StandUpMaths is great. And anything by Tom Scott.

    Also Grand Illusions (Tim's Toys). Okay, maybe not educational but fun. I can't remember if any are inappropriate for young kids, but maybe parents should watch first just in case.

    I like English Heritage's Mrs Crocombe videos (Victorian cooking.) And anything Townsends puts out (18th century living) is wonderful. Some might be dry for kids...but Jon Townsend is so soothing to listen to.

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