If you’re stuck at home with the kids, and you’ve run out of energy for craft, baking, messy play and board games, here is a list of educational kids TV you can let them binge watch (mum) guilt free. I’ve tried to stick to shows that are currently available but things can change. I’ve updated this post based on the recent additions to IPlayer.
CBBC – The home of Educational Kids TV
To be fair, you could probably just stick CBBC on all day and be fairly confident your kids we’re learning something but below are my top picks for their most educational shows.
- Deadly 60 – The host introduces viewers to some of the most deadly animals around. There have been numerous spin offs including Deadly Art and Live n’ Deadly.
- A week to beat the world – A group of sporty young people travel to various places around the world and take on locals at their national speciality sport.
- Operation ouch – Not for the squeamish but I’ve learnt loads from this. Twin Doctor’s, Chris and Zand explore how our bodies work with fun experiments and meet people suffering with various health conditions. They also have a puberty special.
- The Pets Factor – Again, there are some squeamish bits but viewers are always warned in advance. Some of the early episodes have the odd sad bit but the newer ones stick to cases with happy endings.
- Hey You What If – This funny science based series explores what the world would be like if things were different, or example, if the world was flat or if we could time travel.
- Horrible Histories – Dramatises the grossest and most shocking moments of history in a sketch show style to educate and entertain.
- Horrible Histories Gory Games – Quiz show based on the horrible histories series.
- Lifebabble – Series exploring issues that effect young people.
- Matilda and the Ramsey Bunch – Fun kids cookery show from Gordon Ramsey’s family.
- My Life – Reality documentary series exploring the loves of a range of young people.
- The Real Jamie Johnson – Series meeting young football stars around the country.
- Shark Bites – Nature documentary about sharks
Netflix TV Shows
Netflix have a pretty good selection of educational shows that will teach children stuff while keeping them entertained.
- You vs Wild (PG) – This is another Bear Grylls show but it involves viewers choosing their own decisions to help Bear complete his mission.
- Brainchild – This show explores the science of everyday life in a way that children can relate to.
- The Who Was Show (PG) – In a similar vein to The Horrible Histories, actors take on the roles of historical figures in this educational comedy sketch show.
- The Odd Squad – A drama series in which a team of child government agents solve problems using maths.
- Once Upon a Time…Life – This show is from the 80s so expect basic animation but its a good introduction to the human body for younger kids.
- If I Were an Animal – Curious kids observe a variety of baby animals as they grow into adults.
Not a huge selection of educational shows but two very good ones to try out.
- Bear Grylls Survival School – 10 young people go on an adventure with Bear Grylls, abandoning modern tech and learning how to survive in the wild.
- Mission employable – Kids go behind the scenes in a variety of industries and try their hands at different jobs.
If you’ve got Sky then there are lots of wide and wonderful shows your older kids might enjoy, the Discovery Channel has some of the best.
- Mythbusters – One for older kids, the presenters debunk myths, rumours and urban legends in fun show full of experiments.
- How do they do it? – The host explores how ordinary objects are created and how designers work to find better ways of doing things.
Netflix Documentary Films
In addition to it’s TV shows, Netflix also has some great documentary films that are suitable for kids, including the BBCs Our Planet.
- Dream Big 7+ – This documentary explores some of the amazing feet’s achieved by engineers
- BBC Earth Series 6+ – There are now a grange of shows in the BBC earth series that explore our natural world in a beautiful and sympathetic way. Sensitive children might find some parts upsetting.
- The Short Game 7+ – This is documentary about 7 year old golfers travelling to compete in the junior world championships, inspirational stuff budding sportsmen.
- Bill Ny Science Guy 9+ – Dramatisation of the life of famous children’s scientist Bill Nye.
- The Last Man on the Moon 10+ – Astronaut Gene Cernan shares his personal story of visiting the moon.
If you’ve got other suggestions for educational kids TV I’d love to hear them in the comments and if you don’t want to put the TV on, check out my post about teaching the kids to be bored.
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