Watching Documentaries with Kids

Before I had kids, I practically ran kicking and screaming away from anything remotely hinting at a documentary. Just hearing the word documentary made me yawn.

Then, I had kids.
At a certain point in life, kids start asking a lot of questions… about everything
Sure, you can Google until your heart’s content… or… you can do a quick search on Netflix for David Attenborough and learn something with your kids. 
I *heart* David Attenborough’s documentaries. These documentaries are honest snapshots of nature. You may witness a wolf tearing apart a buffalo for dinner, or a time-lapsed plant opening & closing… all with David Attenborough’s soothing voice practically reaching out to hold your hand, educating you throughout the documentary. 
Nature & Nova also offer brilliant educational opportunities. A couple weeks ago, we caught a Nature documentary about wild horses on PBS. Both of my kids were amazed by the beauty of the horses in their natural habitat and eagerly wanted to watch more. 
I get so sick of the constant stream of mindless cartoons, and with the extreme heat we’ve been fighting this summer, there’s been more cartoons than I usually allow. 
A documentary provides a beautiful break from mindless tv, and helps spark conversations within our family afterward. I don’t like to hide reality from my kids. Life happens, death happens. Some of it is incredibly difficult to comprehend, let alone teach. Documentaries illustrate life’s amazing moments as well as hardships within minutes; they are a fantastic way to educate children & adults about the world we live in, while teaching children about empathy.

My kids enjoy soaking in everything about the world we live in. Learning about the many aspects of our big, beautiful planet that may be out of reach is truly something special. 

Documentaries provide families an opportunity to bond and learn… together. 

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  1. Posted July 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes, yes! Dean loves March of the Penguins and anything having to do with sea creatures, particularly Shark Week. A very good break from cartoons!

    • Posted July 12, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      March of the Penguins is one we haven’t watched together yet, Jen! Thanks for the reminder! Yes, cartoons get SO old. I’m happy to capitalize on their love of animals & subtly teach them something. Learning about animals is fun! Right at this very moment, they are soaking in an animal-based episode of Martha.

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