The Best Educational Videos for Kids
Learning through videos and shows can be a fantastic source for students. There are so many different educational videos available now through a variety of mediums and streaming services, and some of them are simply genius! They can take complex topics and present them in multisensory (audio-visual) ways that make those topics easy to understand. Finding the perfect show to compliment your lessons and studies simply requires a bit of digging. We’ve gone and done some of the digging for you and provided 40+ of our top recommendations for educational videos for kids.
40+ of the Best Educational Videos
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We love STEAM learning around here (it’s kind of in our name!). The genius in STEM and STEAM is that it integrates the subjects so they work together. The way they are used most often in the real world. Explore this idea more in What is STEM and STEAM?
After all, science is fun especially when you get to do some exciting experiments. Engineering and technology are fascinating, and math makes sense to even math anxious people when they see how it works to solve real life problems rather than just numbers on a page.
STEM and science videos are excellent educational resources that help students have fun and learn at the same time. Today, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and STEM shows have become some of the most popular educational programming for kids from preschool to middle school.
But around here, kids of all ages, including those of us with a little grey, love these STEM shows and educational videos!
This popularity means there have been a ton of resources and energy put into the production of educational videos for kids in recent years. Creating a diverse and exciting variety of programming available through many sources and all over the world. These videos foster imaginations, creativity and passions, all while building a life long love of learning.
A Word About Screen Time
A big concern for parents and educators is finding the right balance when it comes to screen time. We all know that too much screen time is not good for developing brains.
The thing I love about these educational videos and shows is that they provide immense value for the screen time. They inspired kids, make them excited to learn, and provide multi-sensory experiences that can aid in retention of information and learning.
Although we must always be conscious of the amount of screen time our kids are experiencing, these videos and shows are some very positive ways to use screen time with your kids.
Our Top Educational Videos for Kids
Keep in mind that new shows are coming out all the time. Some shows are discontinued, and some may only be available through certain sources or only in certain areas of our planet. Since I am in Canada my picks are heavily focused on those available in North America that I have watched with my own kids, but through the power of the Internet, many of these are now streamed online and can be found anywhere in the world.
Most of these shows are free educational videos, however some do have subscription fees or you will need to access them through cable or a streaming service. I have noted where I found the shows most recently to help you find them.
We have picked shows that are focused on older kids. There are lots of amazing preschool STEM shows too, but our focus is on Elementary grades through middle school and even some high school level videos for kids.
Best Educational YouTube Channels
Adam Savage’s Tested
Tested is a YouTube channel created by legendary Mythbuster Adam Savage. Tested’s website is Adam’s home on the web and is the place where he and his team explore topics in depth, asking the hows and the whys about the things that excite readers the most.
ASAP Science is a great channel by a couple from Canada that does an amazing job of taking interesting and sometimes complex subjects and explaining them in brilliant ways for students of all ages. A great channel to reference when you are looking for information on a specific subject and want innovative explanations to build a child’s knowledge on the subject.
The Brain Scoop
The Brain Scoop is a YouTube Channel ran by Emily, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago. This channel shares some of the amazing things from the collections of The Field Museum. Clips include bullet ant venom, a two-face calf, CSI fun, and more.
Crash Course is a YouTube channel started by the Green brothers, Hank Green and John Green, which contains dozens of videos for physics, astronomy, anatomy and much more. It is a great resource to check when building your lesson plans.
National Geographic Kids
National Geographic for Kids features videos that are funny, entertaining and down right wacky, while also being educational for kids. These videos are best for Kindergarten through Elementary, but the engaging shows may also appeal to older kids.
CGP Grey is a YouTube Channel which features short explanatory videos on varying subjects, Popular clips include Daylight Saving Time Explained, The Debt Limit Explained, The Simple Solution to Traffic.
It’s Okay To Be Smart
It’s Okay To Be Smart is a YouTube channel from PBS Kids Digital Studios, founded by Joe Hanson, Ph.D. Videos explore the fun, creative and pure “wow” of science.
MinutePhysics is a YouTube channel, created by Henry Reich, that explains cool physics concepts in simple, easy to understand clips in just a few minutes.
Periodic Videos is your ultimate channel for all things chemistry. There are videos for each element on the periodic table, science news, interesting molecules and the world of chemistry. Available on YouTube.
SciShow is a YouTube channel that explores the unexpected. Seven days a week, Hank Green, Michael Aranda, and Olivia Gordon delve into the scientific subjects that defy our expectations and make us even more curious. They also have a sister channel devoted to space, SciShow Space for young people interested in the solar system.
Sick Science! is a YouTube channel which contains such science experiments by celebrity teacher, science toy designer, speaker, and author Steve Spangler.
The Slow Mo Guys
The Slow Mo Guys is a YouTube Channel created by two guys, Gav and Dan, who love filming the world in slow motion. You can see fascinating clips of an underwater bullet, paint on a speaker, popping popcorn, and exploding watermelons. This channel is mesmerizing!
Socratica Studios is a YouTube channel that makes beautiful, high-quality educational videos for people of all ages.
Educational Videos on Netflix
Emily’s Wonder Lab
This new series is hosted not only by a woman, but a pregnant woman! I love seeing mom’s leading the charge on STEM like this. Best of all, the show is fantastic and includes fun labs you can do after the show. Highly recommended for curious kids.
This interactive series uses games, illusions and experiments to illustrate how our brains manufacture our reality and often play tricks on us. We love learning about psychology and how our brains work around here and this show is a huge hit with all our learners, young and old! When it comes to educational videos, this is one you should definitely check out. Available on Netflix.
Can you make an explosive with coffee? Can vacuum cleaners lift a car? An engineer puts these and other unconventional questions to the test. Available on Netflix and National Geographic.
Sir David Attenborough narrates this eight-part series that explores the unique wonders of the natural world. Produced in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, it provides and incredible look into Earth’s remaining wilderness areas and their animal inhabitants, and explores how climate change is affecting planet Earth. Available on Netflix.
Sir David Attenborough narrates this critically acclaimed series that dives into the oceans to explore the depths of the marine environment. Two-thirds of the world’s surface is covered with water but scientists know less about the oceans than they do about the moon. This series is perfect for your aspiring marine biologists. David Attenborough videos are always an excellent learning resource for Earth Science studies. Available on Netflix.
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
We love this book and even did a windmill activity inspired by the novel. We were excited to watch the movie inspired by the book the moment it was released on Netflix. It’s the fascinating story of a boy who taught himself how to build a windmill and bring electricity to his village for the first time. It’s a true story and you can watch it on Netflix.
Got a kid who is always asking questions? Introduce them to Explained and you can finally get those questions answered! From learning about biology to developing a new skill, they have loads of cool content. Available on Netflix.
Bill Nye Saves the World
We loved Bill Nye when he was the Science Guy and now he is saving the world. A great series of educational videos to teach your students some fascinating science plus the importance of conservation and protecting our planet. Available on Netflix in the US (sadly not for us in Canada).
Who Was? Series
We’ve been big fans of this book series for years. My kids love learning about the people behind the history, inventions and discoveries. Now you can watch the show version on Netflix.
Educational Videos For Kids on TV
How Do They Do It?
Each episode explores how 2 or 3 ordinary objects are made and used. The show’s slogan is “Behind the ordinary is the extraordinary.” Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
How It’s Made
This show is on every day at out house. Each episode shows how common, everyday items are manufactured. It is really amazing to see how so many different items are made in everything from factories to small artist and craft studios. Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
I think Mythbusters was the original educational video that was also entertaining. Fearless hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take viewers on an eye-opening — and often explosive — journey as they examine some of the most commonly held beliefs in popular science and culture. Available on cable in reruns.
After Mythbusters wrapped their last episode we thought we would be without Mythbusters, but then they returned with Mythbusters Jr. which challenges students to take on some epic challenges! Check with your cable provider.
The Science of Stupid
Of all the TV shows, this one is always a favourite of my teens who love laughing while they learn! Think of it like America’s Funniest Home Videos but where they actually go through and explain the science of those epic wipe outs and what they can do differently in the future to avoid those catastrophes. It provides memorable lessons that will have you laughing and learning. It’s available on cable.
How to Build…Everything
Each episode is a do-it-yourself guide to building humanity’s greatest inventions. Foe example, episode 1 is Secrets Of A Space Suit…the simple, easy steps to build your very own Jet Wing, Space Suit, and Aerial Tramway. Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
How mega buildings and cutting-edge ships, trains and planes were designed and built. Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
Host Mo Rocca explores the stories behind the world’s greatest inventions and showcases present-day change-makers from all over the world who are creating solutions to real needs. The intent is to stimulate curiosity and to inspire audiences with entertaining yet educational stories about yesterday and today’s visionaries. Available on cable.
Outrageous Acts of Science
The internet is an extensive archive of people doing downright amazing things. Outrageous Acts of Science highlights the cream of the crop. Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds seek out the Internet’s most epic fails, and with their science smarts, recreate them showing what science can do to make them go right. Check your cable provider or visit SciGo, where you can stream full episodes.
Educational Shows on Amazon Prime
Make: Combining Technology with Imagination
Inventors, artists, geeks, musicians and everyday people – these creatively inclined individuals – known as Makers – produce new-fangled marvels by mixing and matching technologies. MAKE: taps into the energy of the Makers movement. Each half-hour episode features stories of creativity and innovation, of Makers and their projects, accompanied by practical how-to guides designed to inspire! Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
A documentary series where in each episode provides an in-depth look at a wide range of topics and different areas scientific research. Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
Secrets Of The Universe
This groundbreaking new series follows a trail of energy into the power centers of the universe. Each program visualizes these realms based on current scientific data and uses state of the art supercomputer simulations. Dive into the heart of a supermassive black hole, fly down onto the toxic landscapes of alien planets and ride along the roiling surface of a star that’s about to explode! Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
These videos show you how to do experiments with items you have at home, making it easy and approachable, but they end every episode with a big bang! Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
Wow, I Never Knew That!
A whimsical television series that is jam-packed with exciting tidbits and fascinating facts that uncover the truths and origins behind the stuff in your life. From the items you use every day, to the phrases you use in conversation, to those annoying little habits, you’ll be fascinated to learn how they came to be! Available on Amazon Prime Video with a free trial for 30 days.
Xploration Outer Space
Host Emily Calandrelli, Harvard scholar and former Nasa employee, provides a unique approach for older students as she takes viewers on incredible journeys through space. She visits various NASA facilities as we search for answers about our universe. Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
Popular Mechanics for Kids
We love Popular Mechanics! This series of educational videos is perfect for your young engineers who want to know everything about how stuff is build and works. It’s fantastic, award winning videos that will keep your student learning and growing. Available on Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
From PBS this animated series features characters who need to save the day using science and STEM. Available on cable and Amazon Prime Video which you can try now for free for 30 days.
More Educational Videos for Kids
TEDEd has a website devoted entirely to lessons for students of all ages. They also provide supportive lesson materials and plans for deeper learning. After each video, there is a quiz, additional resources, and a guided discussion. Best of all it’s free.
Curiosity Stream‘s mission is to provide an affordable, ad-free, online destination where the high quality educational videos can be enjoyed on demand and on any device by the planet’s community of the curious.
My list of favorites would take way too long for you to read, but just know that there are over 1500 programs covering all aspects of science, math, technology, engineering, and even history, economics, politics, art, music, literature and more.
That’s a lot of STEM Educational Videos! The best part is that there are more coming out all the time.