Teaching our children about the environment and wildlife in an interesting yet child-friendly way is really important and luckily there are now plenty of documentaries available to watch to help with this. From wildlife to sealife, plant life and pollution, nature and eco innovations there is a documentary out there to cater for all and in this article I have brought you some of the best to choose from.
20 Wildlife and Environmental Documentaries For Kids
Before I list the documentaries I just want to add that I would recommend viewing these first and deciding for yourself which would be suitable for your child/children. As every child is different, you will be able to gauge what they would be comfortable watching and what is aimed at their age group.
1. Arctic Tale – Focussing on a polar bear and her cubs as well as a Walrus family this documentary explores what life is like for these arctic mammals. Available on YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play and Amazon Prime Video.
2. March of The Penguins – A documentary that follows the journey of Emperor Penguins and all they have to endure during their annual trek across Antarctica. Available on YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play and Amazon Prime Video.
3. Planet Earth – The famous Planet Earth was five years in the making and is the most expensive nature documentary ever commissioned by the BBC. With David Attenborough narrating, this series takes a close look at our beautiful planet. Planet Earth II is also a must-see. Available on BBC iPlayer.
4. Blue Planet and Blue Planet II – Taking a close look at our seas, this David Attenborough documentary shows us firsthand how plastic waste, pollution and humans are affecting our ocean life. Available on BBC iPlayer.
5. Frozen Plant and Frozen Planet II – Another visually stunning and information packed documentary from David Attenborough and the BBC team which takes a look at the animals that live in the coldest areas of our planet. Available on BBC iPlayer.
6. War on Plastic – A great BBC 1 show that truly highlights how much plastic is found in our lives, how it is affecting the Earth and what we can do about it. Available on BBC iPlayer and YouTube.
7. Time to Choose – A look at what is wrong with our behaviour, what we are doing to the planet and the solutions that could work for us. Available on YouTube, Google Play and Apple TV.
8. Before The Flood – Leonardo DiCaprio takes a look at what climate change means, what is affecting it, what is being done and whether or not it is too late. Available on Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play and Apple TV.
9. Disney Nature: Earth – Disneynature brings you a remarkable story, narrated by James Earl Jones, of three animal families on a journey across our planet – polar bears, elephants and humpback whales. Available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
10. Disney Nature: Oceans (Find the full range here on their website) – Oceans is a spectacular story, narrated by Pierce Brosnan, about remarkable creatures under the sea. We see the world through their eyes and discover how they live. Available on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
11. Saving My Tomorrow – From the children who will inherit the planet, comes a collection of songs, activism, and heartfelt tips for protecting the earth. Kids share their thoughts on subjects ranging from endangered animals and pollution to climate change. Available on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and Hulu.
12. Chasing Ice – A 2012 documentary film which shows how quickly the ice caps are melting over time and the effect of this. Available on YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
13. Down to Earth with Zac Efron season 2 (Australia) – The 2nd season in this documentary sees Zac and Darin explore the wildlife, sealife, sustainable practices, eco ideas and the indigenous lifestyles of Australia. This series has been aimed more at reaching children which is why I chose this rather than season 1 which, even though it is interesting, it isn’t quite as informative or voiced towards children. This second season includes cartoons, easy to follow language and explanations of the practices being shown. Available on Netflix.
14. Kangaroo Valley – In this narrative nature documentary, a kangaroo Joey learns how to survive her first year. Available on Netflix.
15. Island of The Sea Wolves – A documentary exploring the wildlife of Vancouver Island including Bald Eagles, Bears and Orcas. Available on Netflix.
16. Our Planet – An in-depth nature documentary of wildlife habitats from around the world, narrated by David Attenborough. Available on Netflix.
17. Wild Babies – 8 episodes covering how baby wild animals adapt to life and grow. From the David Attenborough team. Available on Netflix.
18. My Octopus Teacher – A captivating film about the bond between a diver and an octopus he befriends (it is rated a U but it does have a sad ending). Available on Netflix.
19. Uncharted Amazon – A documentary looking at the world’s biggest rainforest and it’s inhabitants. Covers wildlife, weather, logging and climate change. Available on Netflix.
20. Great Barrier Reef – A close up look at the Great Barrier Reef, the marine life and the importance of protecting areas like this. Available on Netflix.
There are just so many amazing shows out there and there was no way I could list them all but this gives you a good starting point and some great options to introduce to your child/children.
If you have any other favourites do feel free to leave them in the comments below. If you are looking for more shows/films to watch with the kids then do check out this blog post on TV Shows and Films to teach your children about environmental issues.
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