February 7, 2013 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Help me make my step son's brain explode with some amazing/cool/unbelievable videos on the internet!

He is about to turn six and is a pretty awesome kid. For the past couple of months I've been trying to show him videos online of interesting/amazing things, usually related to something we just did or a question he asked. I want him growing up knowing that there are amazing things in this world, and that there is so so much to learn about and that there is so much more going on behind things than he ever imagined. I try very hard to only give him real answers, not dumb-down-to-the-point-of-being-wrong answers that I have heard a lot of people give kids. I also want him to learn that it is OKAY to say you don't know. He has asked me things that I haven't had an answer to and I say "I don't know, but lets go find out the answer together!" and then we do. Its become a bit of a bonding exercise for us and I think it is good for him in terms of being curious and interested and asking lots of questions. Each video usually brings up another question and we keep going. It would be nice to have a batch of videos to show him to get his mind turning and get him asking questions.

Obviously I'd like to keep violence and profanity out of them.

Some things I have shown him so far:
- Michael Jackson dancing, the moon walk and the "Smooth Criminal" lean in particular (following a question about dancing)
- Videos of octopi changing shape/colour (following us having drawn an octopus together and him wanting to know what colour an octopus was so that he would know the "right" colour to make it.)
- Contortionist (following him saying how he is made of rubber because he can turn his head and look at his own butt)
- underwater volcano eruptions (having played a level involving lava in Star Wars Lego)
- Dramatic Chipmunk (just for fun... since I showed it to him I have heard him sing the DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN music while he pees... best kid ever, amirite?)

So what can you give me?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
How about another Octopus video?

This was posted to Metafilter a few months ago. Not only does the Octopus steal a container but he holds a shark back with another arm. Also, banjo!
posted by bondcliff at 7:45 AM on February 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have a feeling this archive of videos from NPR's Science Friday will help.

Glad this reminded me to check out the one about how owls turn their heads that I heard about earlier this morning.
posted by General Malaise at 7:49 AM on February 7, 2013

You should definitely check out The Kid Should See this. It's pretty much an entire site dedicated to awesome videos to show kids. Lots of cool science and art and ... well, anything that's awesome and kid-friendly. In general, it's not videos produced for kids, just cool stuff kids would enjoy.
posted by duien at 7:50 AM on February 7, 2013 [14 favorites]

Awww, what a cool kid. Some things that have blown my (or my nearly-eight-year-old boy's) mind(s):

- Giant creepy spider crab sheds his ENTIRE BODY.
- OK Go wins the internet.
- French girl with an, um, improbable vocal talent.
- Body poppin'!
- Tiny penguin being tickled.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]
posted by astapasta24 at 7:57 AM on February 7, 2013

Powers of Ten
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:07 AM on February 7, 2013 [5 favorites]

A teeny bit of cartoony action violence, but worth it for the physical prowess: The top 10 Jackie Chan stunts.
posted by jbickers at 8:20 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ick factor 10+ Edit: Contains swears. Dang.
posted by Infinity_8 at 8:29 AM on February 7, 2013

This video absolutely blew my mind, and I imagine it would be super cool for a six-year-old, too: Gallopin' Gertie. (That page has the video further down, it's from the podcast 99% Invisible and I like that the transcript of the podcast on that page really explains what's going on—I would definitely recommend reading that so you can discuss with him! Also to allay any fears that that's going to happen to just any bridge.) I'd imagine this is an awesome video to contrast with CGI effects in videos now, because it was hard for me to see this and remember, "this isn't a computer generated video!"

Also, I have no idea if this is too mature or if it would be of interest to your son, but what about a video showing the work that goes into photographing a supermodel (this is kid-friendly) through all the makeup, hair and Photoshopping? I'm not a parent so this may be one of those ideas that seems like it would be fun for kids and ends up being boring or overly agenda pushing!
posted by thesocietyfor at 2:00 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

You ABSOLUTELY MUST check out TED videos for kids. There are dozens if not hundreds. Example.
posted by rada at 4:16 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Octopus Camouflage. Wow, this still excites me!
posted by SPrintF at 9:25 PM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hopefully this won't give your kid nightmares, but watching the result of mercury thiocyanate set alight is seriously cool.

On twitter heating mercury thiocyanate was described as looking "like you've opened a portal to hell"
posted by Zaire at 5:49 AM on February 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

julthumbscrew: - Giant creepy spider crab sheds his ENTIRE BODY.

OH MY GOD. My eight-year-old is in bed and I almost want to go WAKE HIM UP.

(It's not that amazing until you click on the name of the species and see that there is a photo on the Wikipedia page of a person holding one of these crabs and OH MY GOD.)
posted by kostia at 7:45 PM on February 9, 2013

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