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7 Favorite Science Shows

Home Sick?  7 Great Science Flicks for Kids on the Couch

I am all for getting my kids outside to play, but when they (or you!) are sick, a movie on the couch can be the perfect thing.  Add some hugs, a snuggly blanket and a water bottle to sip on during the show and you’ll be good to go!  These three shows or series have been developed for kids with scientific thinking process in mind:

Sid the Science Kid, by the Jim Hensen company, PBS (2008-)
SciGirls, by TPT Production, PBS (2010-)
Magic School Bus, based on books by Joanna Coal and Bruce Degen, PBS (1994-)
  Note: Soon to be on Netflix as Magic Schoolbus 360° by Scholastic Media

If you don’t have a mysterious travel machine or a stockpile of frequent flier miles, the following four flicks can take you to some amazing places while sharing great nature knowledge.  You’d be surprised how kids can get lost in shows, even documentaries, that tell the stories of earth’s animals, places they have visited, or dream adventures in the making!

Planet Earth, BBC; Andy Byatt, Vanessa Berlowitz, Mark Brownlow
Minnesota:  A History of the Land, University of Minnesota; Barbara Coffin, John Whitehead, Polly Fry, Lansing Shepard, Tim Brady
Blue Planet: Seas of Life, BBC; narrated by David Attenborough
Bill Nye the Science Guy, PBS
Wild Kratts Brothers, PBS; Chris and Martin Kratt


Not all kids will grow up to be scientists, but science is for sure in our daily lives.  If you are a classroom teacher, childcare provider, afterschool professional or parent please know that thinking like a scientist is about skill more than a collection of facts.  Characters in the shows model how to think like a scientist.  Behind the scenes the producers, directors, videographers, divers, and researchers are all using science (as well as art and other subjects) to problem solve and better understand the natural systems at work.  According to the National Academy of Sciences, “Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.”

Simply put?  …we all have a science lens based on our own scientific thinking and we use this lens to make informed decisions for ourselves and communities.  For a more in-depth read on scientific literacy, check out National Geographic magazine’s March 2015 cover story, “The War on Science,” by Joel Achenbach.

Movies are fun, but sticky questions, hands-on science, STEM, and nature play are my real favorites!  If your school, library or community group is in need of programming I can help you out.  If I missed some of your favorite science shows- I’d like to know that too.  Email me at heidi@growinggreenhearts.com, find Growing Green Hearts on facebook, or tweet HeidiSmithFerris@GrowGreenHearts on Twitter.


Play. Learn. Love.

February 2015