“Edutainment” they call it—educating children while keeping them engaged and entertained. It’s no secret that we have to battle with this generation’s short attention span. While we need to regulate screen time, we also have to adapt modern ways of teaching, and distance learning.
Aside from apps, we can supplement schooling with online teaching tools, television and video streaming, to enhance the experience. “Managing screen time is always important. But it is also as important for people of all ages to do this. If you’re going to spend so much time watching other people build, bake, create, or move, balance out that screen time by actually doing something with that inspiration,” says Jessica Dowling, Math and Science teacher and Edgems Math education curriculum consultant.
Remember to combine viewing with follow-up activities. As the old adage goes, “Tell Me and I Forget; Teach Me and I May Remember; Involve Me and I Learn.”
Probably one of the most beloved science shows, experiments here come to life, and in a most action-packed, adrenaline-pumping way. Adults and kids of all ages can’t get enough of how (original) hosts -- special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman -- methodically tested and debunked myths, theories, urban legends, and so much more.
No better (and safer) way to teach children various scientific concepts than by watching them do it at a grand scale. “Very kid-friendly, very engaging, and does a great job at going through the scientific and engineering processes,” says Jessica. For all ages.
This one’s an oldie but goodie, the pioneer of engaged learning. Since premiering in 1969, the show has seamlessly incorporated digestible content especially for children’s formative years. Producers use songs, story lines, modeling, humor, and characters based on a comprehensive curriculum, and has proven to be as effective as attending preschool.
As most of us who grew up watching it, we know firsthand how it effectively makes learning easy. More importantly, it teaches values like self-esteem, respect, compassion, and equality. Many psychologists and early childhood education experts agree it is exceptional in how it has a magical way of molding children to be well-rounded children. Helping children learn for life is what they call the “Sesame effect.” For age 7 and below.
The Knowledge Channel
English has become our children’s primary language and as citizens of this country, that is problematic. Language is at the core of any culture, and part of preserving and upholding traditions, intrinsic values, and nation-building. Let us share in the better use and comprehension of Filipino, by instilling in our kids the love for our native language.
They have all the shows that cover school subjects and beyond. The best part? It has a complete guide for episodes including viewing guidelines, activities, homework and session downloadables. All materials including a lesson plan and classroom guide are listed per level. Currently, they have a Covid awareness program and “Learn at Home, Stay at Home” homeschooling program for parents. Make you and your kids proud to be Pinoy! For all ages. Also available on YouTube and www.knowledgechannel.org.
Basically a crash course on everything—world history, biology, chemistry, literature, psychology, film, sociology, politics to name a few topics. The content creators developed this channel for children to enhance learning, and get a deeper understanding of the world around them. Lessons are made into bite-sized facts, and in a fun format. Special guest hosts discuss their area of expertise to offer a broader perspective and priceless nuggets of knowledge. Crash Course (teens, adults); Crash Course Kids (10 and below)
Bon Appetite’s Gourmet Makes
Definitely not your ordinary cooking show. “Good for elementary and up. Claire is a professional NYC chef who recreates popular snacks and treats. She is extremely knowledgeable about food science and we get to watch her go through an informal version of the scientific process, constantly brainstorming, testing, and analyzing along the way,” explains Jessica.
According to her, food shows are perfect for both learning and family-bonding. “Not only do these shows demonstrate how useful science is in our lives, but also shows us that not all scientists wear white lab coats,” adds Jessica. For 5 years old and up.
How to Cook That
Ann Reardon is a food scientist on a mission to debunk and demystify popular YouTube videos. Teacher Jessica explains, “Ann explicitly references the steps of the scientific process, and also explains the science behind why something may or may not work.”
How can baking, cooking, crafting or activities using our hands aid in teaching and learning? “Baking, carpentry, sewing, and origami are all great math applications. There’s plenty of DIY videos out there for honing all of these skills,” Jessica confirms. For 5 years old and up.
Storytelling + Yoga = brilliant idea. Yoga teachers here are able to get kids to make mindful movements, all while listening to their favorite stories. Do this before nap time or bedtime and you’ll thank the makers because your active toddler can channel his energy into exercise, while moms and dads get more peace and less tantrums in return. Namaste! For 7 years and below.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again
Let Ms. Frizzle take you on her magical and sometimes, microscopic field trips (to an atom or your nostrils perhaps?). The series is for satisfying children’s love for adventure and wanderlust, just like how the original series captured audiences back in 1996. For 10 years and below.
Answering questions is their business and pleasure—says the show’s catchy theme song. These cute, tiny, robotic figures take you on a learning journey, one question at a time. The show reminds children to stay curious and explore their environment. Kids and parents can watch out for episodes with celebrity cameos like Edward Norton, Wanda Sykes, Zoe Saldana and Snoop Dogg. For 8 years and below.
This interactive animated preschool series is produced by the esteemed Jim Henson Company, creators of The Muppet Show, Jim Henson Hour and well-loved Sesame Street puppets (if you don’t already know). It stars adorable baby animals Franny (cheetah), Tilly (tortoise), Lulu (panda), Bailey (elephant) and Kip (wallaby) who “sing, dance and play their way through daily routines” as mentioned by the official website. The animated, vocabulary-building program aims to assist toddlers in discovering new words and ways to express themselves. Topics range from animal sounds, five senses, shapes, and nighttime routines which come in handy when it’s time to tuck in your toddler, and for mommy and daddy to also call it a night. For 2 to 5 years old.
Lockdown on learning
Schools can shut down, but learning never stops. These virtual teachers can help stimulate your child’s mind. You can’t quarantine curiosity.
About The Writer
Former magazine editor-turned-freelance-writer/columnist/stylist, Kim’s work revolves around creative pursuits. For 14 years, this mum of two boys has been delving into beauty and wellness, fashion, travel. She finds equal joy in styling shoots as much as styling her kids, and their DIY parties. As a work-at-home mum, she strives to be a mindful mother through Pilates and meditation. Her me-time consists of coffee breaks, binging on documentaries (and desserts), and obsessing about the details of whatever project is at hand.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.