Looking for something fun and engaging to watch with your children? Here are Tutor Doctor’s top picks for educational documentaries that kids of all ages will enjoy!
1. Planet Earth (2006)
BBC’s Planet Earth is an incredible eleven-episode series that explores different biomes and habitats found on Earth. The series provides an impressive look into the animal kingdom, complete with rare glimpses of wildlife and terrain not often seen by humans. The high-definition footage is absolutely stunning to watch, and kids will learn something different about our planet’s environment in each episode (mountains, caves, deserts, jungles, etc.) Planet Earth won several awards and broke incredible ground during the production process by obtaining footage of animals that had never before been captured on video in the wild (like snow leopards in the Himalayas). We also highly recommend checking out Planet Earth II, BBC’s 2016 sequel – filmed in ultra hi-def (4K) resolution, this six-episode series contains more incredible views of our fascinating planet (and its inhabitants). Planet Earth III is supposedly coming in 2022, so it’s a great time to catch up!
2. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)
National Geographic’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is sure to fascinate kids with an interest in outer space, planets, science, and physics. The thirteen-episode series covers a variety of thought provoking topics ranging from life’s origins to astronomy to interplanetary travel (and many others). Narrated by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the miniseries is actually a follow up to Carl Sagan’s groundbreaking 1980 PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Something we particularly like about Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is that each episode makes a point to talk about great minds throughout history and their contributions to modern science. Cosmos is also unique in that its clever use of animated segments really help to tell a story of wonder and discovery in a historical context. If your child is interested in learning about the mysteries of the universe – and beyond – Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a great place to start!
3. Walking with Dinosaurs (1999)
BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs is a six-part series that explores a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Covering everything from the Triassic period (220 million years ago!) to the Late Cretaceous, Walking with Dinosaurs used cutting-edge CGI and animatronics (much like the famous feature film, Jurassic Park) to show dinosaurs in a way viewers had never seen before. Even by today’s standards with advances in technology and special effects, the dinosaurs in this series still look strikingly realistic in their prehistoric environments. Walking with Dinosaurs received several awards and spawned follow-up entries to the “Walking with…” series (including cavemen and sea monsters, to name a few). For any kids interested in the world of dinosaurs, we highly recommend checking out this series!