Disclaimer: The Coolest Things Learned below are straight from the mouths of children so may not be entirely accurate!
You vs Wild
A live-action interactive show which uses the same ‘choose your own adventure’ technology that excited adults in Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. From the safety of your living room sofa, they get to join Bear Grylls in some of the world’s toughest environments where the decisions are in their hands. Our kids love the thrill of choosing what to do when encountering a rattlesnake or crossing a ravine, and when it’s led by everyone’s favourite wild man you can be sure that they’re learning some key survival skills along the way.
Coolest thing learned: Jaguars can stare their prey to death.
An American/Canadian show that aims to teach children about biology, zoology and ecology through a combination of live action and animation. Centered around the comedic Kratts brothers, the plot of each episode is to save an animal or species under threat, mixing science education with fun. Our kids love watching the brothers don their Creature Power Suits and become one with the animals whether flying with falcons or diving to the bottom of the ocean with giant squid.Coolest thing learned: A cheetah can run up to four thousand, six hundred billion miles an hour.
Aimed at younger children but just as appealing to older siblings, Creative Galaxy follows the alien, Arty and his sidekick Epiphany as they travel the globe solving problems with arts and crafts. Each animation is followed by a live-action section that takes children step-by-step through the craft project featured in the show, including making stuffed toys, treasure boxes and animal masks.
Coolest thing learned: How to make glow-in-the-dark lemonade and cookies
The Magic School Bus Rides Again
The Magic School Bus (also available on Netflix) was an American/Canadian Saturday morning show that was acclaimed for its blend of educational content and entertainment and its high roster of Celebrity appearances, and has been revived by Netflix in this new version. It focuses on a teacher, Fiona Fizzle, who takes her class on journeys across time aboard the Magic School Bus, discovering new creatures and lands through the wonders of science.
Coolest thing learned: Eagles sometimes eat bones.
From social media to germs, Brainchild explains the science of the world in a fun and refreshing way. Hosted by actress Sahana Srinivasan who children find entertaining and relatable, this show teaches topics in a non-patronising way and is full of facts that most adults will find pretty amazing too.
Coolest thing learned: When something is clean (like a plate) it still has more than 250 germs, even if you keep on washing it.
A hilarious series based on the best-selling Horrible Histories books, that explores the most gruesome, gory parts of history in a way that keeps kids completely enthralled. Definitely one for slightly older children as it contains references to the darker parts of historical events (like dead bodies and slapstick violence), this show teaches our children more than the average history book would.
Coolest thing learned: When making a Mummy you need to pull the brains out of the nose.
Maddie’s Do You Know?
A show to discover how things work, like how bubbles get inside fizzy water or how a vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt. Each show is just 14mins long so it’s great for when you just need to get a few emails sent (or block-watch a few on iPlayer to get some more time!).
Coolest thing learned: Curly pasta is made from long strands that hang from the ceiling