Why is the solar system flat? That’s a great question. If you’re able to explain this to your child without checking your phone, then consider us impressed. If you need a bit of help, then consider us your peer.
YouTube is the place we go to for answers on everything from cooking to changing the oil in our cars, so why not use it as a tool when helping your child with homework?
Here are 10 of the best YouTube channels to watch when your memories of fifth grade science don’t make the grade.
Young Adult writer John Green may be best known for increasing the sale of tissues thanks to The Fault In Our Stars, but teen cancer love isn’t the only topic Green is an expert on. Along with his brother Hank, the two started Crash Course, a YouTube channel that hits the highlights of everything from video game design to the history of disease to macroeconomics. The channel has been around since 2011 and in 2015, partnered with PBS to produce even more fun and informative crash courses in just about everything.
After the success of Crash Course, an elementary school edition of the series was launched in 2015 and covers topics for fifth graders and above. With new episodes uploaded twice per week, there’s a good chance your kid will find the answer to all their queries here.
While Crash Course Kids covers a broad range of subjects, SciShow Kids, which is also produced by Hank Green, focuses on the sciences, including weather, experiments, geology, animals, the solar system, and pretty much all the topics we as adults should remember from elementary school but probably don’t. Why do mosquito bites itch? Great question! Let’s watch a video.
There’s a good chance you’re going to find just as many videos answering your own questions as you do your child’s questions on the YouTube channel How Stuff Works. The long-running series has a TV show, a website filled with interesting articles, and a number of Podcasts in addition to its YouTube channel. With answers for your kids, like why zombies are physically impossible, to answers for you, like will moving scar my child, How Stuff Works has answers to questions you haven’t even thought to ask.
If your little one is trying to improve their reading and spelling, PBS’s Word World channel is the perfect aid. With fun, animated videos, learning to read and write ‘comes alive.’
Paul Andersen is an American science teacher with over two decades in the classroom and plenty of national teaching awards to his name. A proponent of the love of science, Andersen’s philosophy is to nurture the ‘wonder’ in students, helping them to understand science and concepts by enabling them to ‘do’ rather than just explain theories. His videos are great for older kids or kids who show a keen interest in understanding science a few levels above their grade.
Whether you’re looking for something to keep the kids occupied on a rainy Sunday or helping your little Picasso-in-training, HooplaKidz has a number of videos to inspire the creative genius in all of us. From creating a scene from Angry Birds with Play-Doh to making DIY Fairy Glow Jars, HooplaKidz will help make art fun for everyone.
Degrassi has been leading the charge on taboo teen topics that for more than 30 years, and now they’ve expanded their safe space to YouTube. Hosted by Degrassi alum Adamo Ruggiero, The Dot TV is the perfect channel for pre-teens and teens who have begun exploring their identity and are in search of a place to ‘fit in.’ It’s no surprise that the people who brought us the long-running series, that has dealt with everything from teen suicide to drugs to sexual orientation in a sensitive and informative matter, are now producing a YouTube channel that expands on these subjects. Though geared towards teens and not technically a homework assignment, The Dot TV is also a great channel for any parent trying to figure out how to broach difficult topics with their kids.
Why is the sky blue? Is it because a baby coloured the sky with a crayon, or because of the sun’s rays? Super Planet Dolan explores both ideas and does it with cartoons, which instantly makes learning more fun. Young learners who would rather do anything other than school work will love this series, which combines humor (with just the right amount of G-rated grossness) with learning.
Described as “cool physics and other sweet science,” Minute Physics takes complicated and common science theories and breaks them down into easy to understand clips. While the name ‘Physics’ may suggest a teen audience, the channel has something for all ages, including explaining why airplane engines are so big, all the way up to angular momentum.