Animal documentaries for kids
November 14, 2016 8:05 AM   Subscribe

I am seeking animal documentaries for kids aged 6-8 years old. Ideally, I am looking for ones that talk about animal senses: how a dog's nose works, how bats use echolocation, how elephants communicate subsonically, how cat whiskers work, etc. Ideally as well, these would be available on a publicly accessible video stream online: YouTube, Vimeo, etc., or hosted on an educational site that is offering them for free.
posted by jammy to Education (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of David Attenborough's work would be awesome and appropriate for kids to watch - however some of them show predators attacking prey, so if your kids wouldn't be ok with watching that, you might need to pre-screen them. But I (who grew up on PBS wildlife special) would have loved them as a kid.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ants: Nature's Secret Power

They go into detail about a number of ways ants communicate. It's up on youtube and I believe it's on netflix in higher quality, too.
posted by phunniemee at 8:30 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nature (on PBS) probably has some episodes that would be relevant. My 5 year old loves that show and we watch it together.
posted by Poldo at 8:44 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

My whole family loved National Geographic's Really Wild Animals when we were kids. It does a lot of good explanation and is tailored for kids: It's narrated by a funny cartoon globe, it is full of songs, all the explanation is geared towards children. Some videos appear to be on YouTube. It might be worth just searching YouTube for each of the episode titles to see if someone's uploaded them.

It would really be hard to overemphasize the effect these tapes had on me when I was a kid; I watched them so many times and went on to study wildlife biology in college.
posted by little onion at 9:18 AM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Zoboomafoo - the precursor to the Wild Kratts - is amazing! It looks like most of the episodes are on youtube in their entirety, and on Amazon primae. You may be particularly interested in The Nose Knows, Ears Hear, Eye Spy, Funny Faces, and Talk To Me.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:24 AM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

Attenborough's bite sized series Natural Curiosities might fit the order. It's not as spectacular as the BBC tent pole series, but it has way way more information, most of it fascinating, and each half hour episode contains two "stories" about interesting animals. I love it.
posted by smoke at 12:42 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I like The Natural History of the Chicken. I think most of it is appropriate for kids...I think?
posted by bolognius maximus at 2:53 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's an informative and adorable one on how dogs smell their way through the world.
posted by thebots at 12:54 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thebots, I just found that one as well! Its pretty much perfectly what I'm looking for - good, lighthearted animation, and mostly basic explanations with just the right balance of technical vocabulary mixed in.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I am looking forward to going through them all.
posted by jammy at 4:08 AM on November 15, 2016

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