What do you do when it’s raining and the kids have read every book in the house and are looking for something to do. Something constructive, something to boost those brain cells when they are stuck inside because of the weather. How about streaming a learning show?
One of my favorite shows when I was little was the Magic School Bus. Actually, to be honest I still love it. I don’t mind watching cartoons all that much, as long as it doesn’t require grown men dancing in giant weird animal-like suits or screeching voices, I’m fine.
Netflix offers more than just your average run of the mill reality or drama shows, they also offer educational shows like Sesame Street and the Magic School Bus. Here are some shows you should consider streaming next time the kids holler they’re “bored”.
(This list was gathered by Noodles.org and they asked me to share- to of which I replied absolutely.. I mean- who doesn’t want to add in something extra for their kids to learn from.)
In an effort to prove there's more to their original program than women's prison and Kevin Spacey speaking directly into the camera in a light, Southern accent, Netflix recently announced a plan to reboot '90s-kids-book-series-turned-TV-series Magic School Bus for a new generation of kiddos.
To hold your kids over until the computer animated show reboot debuts in 2016, Noodle a company that provides advice on education decisions, rounded up six great educational and kid-appropriate TV shows and movies currently available to stream on Netflix that are quick fixes to any rainy day home with the kiddos.
1. The Blue Planet (2001)
Wikipedia: Image taken from DVD cover
A huge, high-quality undertaking from the folks at BBC, the eight-episode series The Blue Planet is one of those documentaries worth buying an HDMI cable and hooking a computer up the big screen for.
This exploration of planet earth's vast seas is plenty educational, tracking the amazing life of everything from coral reefs to frozen Antarctic life, with an emphasis on the interconnectedness of everything. The series was notably a precursor to the crazy popular, Oprah-approved Planet Earth series, making it a great watch for curious, science-minded kids.
2. Chops (2007)
Source: IMDb.com- taken from Movie Poster
Chops is a great watch for kids who love music, and in particular, kids who are already passionate about an instrument.
The inspiring 2007 documentary stresses the payoff of working towards perfection as it follows a Jacksonville, Florida jazz band attempting to win top honors at the world class Essentially Ellington Festival at Lincoln Center. Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, also makes an appearance.
3. The Magic School Bus (1994-1997)
Image Source: Retroland.com
The original animated Magic School Bus series is an easy sell to kids based on premise alone: What if, instead of repeated field trips to your mediocre local museum and awkward old-timey reenactment villages, you could go to space, hang out with dinosaurs, and shrink down to the point where ants were terrifyingly human-sized?
Therein lies the appeal of Magic School Bus, which currently has all four of its educational, space and time traversing original seasons available on Netflix.
4. Sesame Street (2006-2011)
Image Source: Noodle.com
The indisputable king of family-friendly educational entertainment currently has episodes between 2006-2011 available to stream on Netflix.
Your kids can expect songs on the joy of cookies, culture references way out of their reach; celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris showing up as someone named the "Shoe Fairy," and a lot more. I mean, I don't really need to sell the joys of Sesame Street to you, do I?
5. Turtle: The Incredible Journey (2011)
Image Source: Atrixfilms.com (taken from Movie cover)
Like March of the Penguins, Turtle: The Incredible Journey is one of those film reminders of how incredible animals are, how tough they have it, and how us human folk tend to make things even tougher.
This warm water tale chronicles the journey of a female loggerhead as she battles the odds to survive a trying 25-year trek from a Florida beach to Africa and back to lay her eggs that only one in ten thousand turtles survives. It's also available on Hulu.
6. Walking with Dinosaurs (1999)
Image Source: walkingwithdinosaurs-theorigins.com
This six-part BBC-produced award-winning documentary is a perfect, kid-friendly and educational way to quench your kid's insatiable love of all things big, loud, and vaguely reptilian.
While the CGI — top notch when the series was released in 1999 — might look a little dated now, the series still gets high marks for its quality and narrative style, which brings the action to life by following the stories of individual dinosaurs and dinosaur families, and not treating them as ancient history.
For more Noodlings and education related advice from Noodle, check out www.noodle.org.