With remote learning now the norm for more and more kids and families, schools are scrambling to adapt. And while traditional modes of education are evolving, kids need more and more avenues to continue learning. The following shows — all available to stream now on HBO Max — cover an incredible array of knowledge fields, from science and nature to history, space, and beyond. The best part? Your family is sure to love them.
New discoveries of dinosaur fossils from the past decade are completely changing what we know about the creatures that lived on our planet millions of years ago. In “Amazing Dinoworld”, primeval Earth is recreated in stunning CGI to reveal what experts have now come to know about these ancient creatures. This updated look at what dinosaurs were and how they came to be, on land and underwater, is a fascinating watch for paleontology-loving parents and dino-obsessed children alike.
“Butterfly Effect” is a fact-packed and inspiring series that examines how key events in history often started with individual decisions and lesser events that ended up affecting the course of the entire world. Over three seasons, the show explores pivotal figures — from Alexander the Great and Cortes in the Americas, Al Capone and Confucius, Gandhi and Genghis Khan — and societal transformations like the rise of rock music, the Internet, and much more. “Butterfly Effect” is a captivating show that’ll really make you think and is sure to teach the whole family something new.
Beloved documentary filmmaker David Attenborough narrates this absorbing three-part dive into the mysteries of the world underwater. Covering “The Lost World of the Pacific,” “Lights in the Abyss,” and the “Descent into the Mariana Trench,” these hour-long episodes follow a team of experts as they literally submerge themselves in understanding living fossil species, fish that glow in the dark, and creatures that can withstand even the harshest ocean conditions. The documentary is perfect for kids that have finished every episode of “Oceans” and are looking for something more.
Narrated by another favorite, Sigourney Weaver, this series explores different visions for our future in 19, hour-long episodes. From innovative concepts for the cities, homes, and transportation methods of tomorrow, to health, sports, arts, and entertainment, “Dream the Future” provides an all-encompassing, big picture look at the ways in which societies will be living, working, and creating over the course of the 21st century. STEM students, get ready to innovate!
Have an aspiring astronaut at home? “From Earth to the Moon“, created by Tom Hanks, is perfect for you! This 12-part docudrama miniseries tells the real-life story of the Apollo program of the 1960s and early 70s. While some fictional characters were created for the sake of storytelling, the series is known and respected for its accurate portrayal of the events leading up to NASA successfully landing a man on the moon.
With a different cast and story featured in nearly every episode, Rolling Stone’s recent revisit of the series assures viewers that “the anthology format works beautifully…all [the parts] feel like complete stories within the larger one being told by the series, and the varied subjects and styles and tones means that things never get dull.”
Narrated by Jeremy Irons, this six-part PBS series presents a close-up look at some of the world’s most notorious volcanoes and the environments and species that have had to evolve around them. Spectacular backdrops provide a breathtaking contrast to the fiery depths of these geological formations and their neighbors’ struggle to survive. The episodes explore different environments for a greater understanding of volcanoes, from tropical islands, high altitudes, the deep marine abyss, and beyond. Supplement your child’s science curriculum with a deep-dive into these naturally-occurring wonders.
Greta Thunberg, eat your heart out. From the mouths of babes comes a collection of songs, activism, and serious advice for protecting the Earth. Kids share their take on climate change, pollution, endangered species, and other problems facing our planet over six episodes. Interviews with children and scientists explore how humanity and wildlife continue to be affected by the changing Earth, alongside readings and input from familiar faces like Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, and many more.
For the little ones, there’s “Crashbox!” This unique learning experience for younger children features brain-teasers and puzzles that grade-school kids can interactively plan through their TVs. Subjects like history, math, spelling, and nature have never been this fun to learn — especially with the uniquely charming cast of animated, kooky creatures. (For the millennials reading this, think “Zoom” meets “Out of the Box”!)
Each half-hour episode contains several 2-5 minute long educational activities, and according to one kid’s review in the Chicago Tribune, “all of the games are hosted by very amusing characters: Cranky dead pirates, revolting slobs, a mysterious Riddle Snake and a cool Jamaican guy named Captain Bob, to name a few.”
All these shows and more are streaming now on HBO Max.
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