Calm, thoughtfully made videos for kids?
October 26, 2021 8:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for non-animated videos for my five year old that are calm and well-made, like the original Mr Rogers episodes but shorter.

Snowflake requirements:

* Not animated
* Not jumpy
* Accurate in information, and thoughtfully made, by people with a real knack in making a calm connection to children
* Encourage reflection, compassion, mindfulness (but they don't have to be specifically centered on these topics; they could be on soccer, teeth-brushing, animals, etc, so long as the vibe is calm and mindful)
* Under 5 minutes length, preferably

Examples: Mr Rogers (the original series, not the animated spinoffs), Bob Ross, Gurdeep Pandher etc. I'd like stuff in a similar vein. I have found a few such videos piecemeal but it's hard to find amidst all the jumpy and poorly made Youtube garbage.

In terms of logistics, I always download videos to my laptop hard drive and have him watch those (internet is turned off while he's using the computer). So, to be clear I'm not looking for an app or streaming site; I'm looking for specific videos or creators.
posted by splitpeasoup to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Tony Saletan.
posted by Melismata at 8:53 AM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

There are some concerts by Raffi on youtube and probably elsewhere that my kid liked a lot as a toddler - he has a gentle presence and his face is weirdly compelling for kids - big eyes, dark hair, a big smile. His songs are full of kindness and he's a lovely performer.

You might try David Attenborough video clips from the recent Earth series, the narration is calm and the footage is gorgeous and sweeping.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:36 AM on October 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

My nephews really like This Old House
posted by raccoon409 at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2021

Best answer: The Kid Should See This
posted by emelenjr at 10:16 AM on October 26, 2021 [6 favorites]

Try Stillwater on AppleTV. My elementary school counselor spouse says these are very well done and clearly had some professional consultation in their making relative to children’s development. They are animated so that might be a deal breaker, but are specifically aimed at exactly what you list above - reflection, stillness, mindfulness, compassion. I watch them with my kiddo and they are quite relaxing. You can download them.
posted by chuke at 11:06 AM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This breaks at least two of your requirements, but I am listing it because there may be a time you're looking for just this sort of thing
Jared Owen's youtube channel is full of animations about how things work (like "how does an escalator work?")

sesame street stuff like 'r is for routine' are good, but maybe too young?

a little bit long, but lesley the bird nerd has some good videos about... birds
posted by Acari at 3:14 PM on October 26, 2021

A couple of Americans associated with Fred Rogers came up to Canada and spent years on CBC - the Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup. If you can download YouTube videos, there's lots to choose from.
posted by brachiopod at 8:01 PM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Deep Look is a high-quality PBS series about nature, 4-5 minutes per episode, available on Youtube as well as PBS. Most of the episodes are pretty chill, though there are a few that are more exciting (the ant lion one, which was my kid's favorite for awhile, is fairly tense). It's not specifically aimed at kids, but is pretty kid friendly.

I also watched a lot of 5-minute clips of various David Attenborough nature documentaries on Youtube with my kid at age 4-5, they are super high quality and often very calm, but the ones that focus on predator/prey can get very dramatic and sometimes scary. But they are very thoughtful and educational, not at all jumpy and shouty like a lot of Animal Planet stuff.

Apart from nature shows, it's pretty slim pickings for non-animated, kid-friendly shows that are not designed to excite, I know I looked all over. You might try "Maddie's Do You Know?", which is kind of like "How's It Made", but not fast-paced, and explicitly aimed at kids. It's on UK tv and Youtube as well.
posted by skewed at 7:23 AM on October 27, 2021

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