Kids love animals. They love watching them, drawing them, and learning about them. Watching programs about animals is a great way to expose children to documentary style programming. They will accept it more easily than you might expect – if the topic interests them. And animals seldom disappoint. Many people don’t realize that there are lots of quality animal and nature videos are available online to download for free - videos with excellent photography and good educational content. These programs were originally broadcast on television and are now available through the Internet. They make for a nice break from the cartoons, commercials, and commercials disguised as cartoons that kids immerse themselves in, especially during the summer.
Create a fun and educational television alternative using these streaming videos. What is your child’s favorite animal? Odds are that there will be a video available about that animal, or a similar one. As you watch the video, try to answer some basic questions about the program’s featured creature. What is the animal’s habitat? What types of food does it eat? Does the animal have any natural enemies? Is it active during the day or the evening? Is the animal endangered? After you’ve watched the video(s) you can do a little research online to answer any questions that the video might not have addressed. Also, you might want to see if you can actually visit the animal at a local zoo. Exploring wildlife (physically and virtually) is a wonderful activity that you can share with your child.
Almost everybody has seen Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. It has been on TV since 1963! In a world before Animal Planet it was one of the very few programs that featured animals in their natural environment. Wild Kingdom basically created the television format of the nature documentary being presented as an exciting story (as the documentary crew faced different challenges to shoot their footage). The importance of having respect for wildlife was a constant theme of this program. If you would like to re-visit some of these episodes, Wild Kingdom TV has its own YouTube channel where it offers dozens of their old shows to be viewed for free. Episodes include: Bayou Backwaters, Call of the Whale, Chimpanzees of Tanzania, The Amazon River, and Wolf Pack.
Animal Exploration is a syndicated television program designed to explore the various worlds of animals. Jarod Miller, the show’s likable host visits different zoos as well as far off locations. The program is high energy, colorful, and has an enthusiastic host. Kids will really enjoy it. The free Hulu channel offers 13 episodes of the series, including: Animal Giants, Creepy Critters, Survival of the Fittest, and Animals with Attitude.
The Animal Extractors is a television program that examines the results of cities and the natural habitat of animals coming into close contact. When animals come into populated areas it is up to the Animal Extractors, experts in wildlife recovery and control, to re-locate the creatures. This series was produced by National Geographic. Older children will enjoy this program. Full episodes can be downloaded for free on the National Geographic website. Episodes include: Backyard Python, Wild Horse Hazard, Polar Bears in Peril, Bedroom Bat, and Double Trouble Gators.