4 Best Nature Shows for Kids
By Chelsea Good
The best nature shows I watched growing up were in my elementary school science class. These always inspired me and taught me all about animals around the globe. Today, it continues. Some of the best are documentaries I’ve found across all the new streaming services.
My nephew loves nature movies and shows. He’s almost 3, but he loves watching animals. These shows can be very important to kids. They help educate them about the animals’ lives and how they live. Also, about important issues about the planet, like global warming and pollution.
David Attenborough said, “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” Kids have such an amazing curiosity and love of learning. And of course, we know, they are our future. Educational nature shows not only teach the kids but also help our planet.
The Blue Planet and Blue Planet II
Blue Planet is a documentary narrated by David Attenborough. Even though it is 20 years old, these episodes follow a variety of marine life across the globe. In one episode, watchers can dive deep into the depths of the Mariana Trench. They follow fish on the very bottom of the ocean where they capture 2 species on film for the very first time.
Each episode explores specific parts of the ocean, filming several types of species. At the end of the series, an extra episode explains how overfishing has become an issue. Especially to some already endangered species. Overfishing is not only a problem in the reduction of fish. Fishing nets also cause damage to the ocean’s coral reefs and sponges.
Clips of the Blue Planet are on the BBC page. Or the full documentary on Discovery Plus. Being one of the best nature shows, they created a prequel Blue Planet II which is a more recent series.
Blue Planet II came out in 2017. Re-exploring the same areas of the ocean, but showing a bit different species in each episode. Some species not mentioned in the first docu-series! They go back to the Mariana Trench, where they find new species.
At the end of the series, David goes over the increasing issue of pollution. All from our own day-to-day activities. He explains microplastics. These threaten the lives of marine life which then affects the ecosystem. Albatrosses are feeding their babies discarded plastics on the beach. Dolphins are exposing their calves to pollutants with contaminated milk. Baby clownfish are having issues finding their way home because of noise levels. These have increased in time. As humans, we have created issues, and we are the only ones that can stop them.
Not ending on a low note, there is still hope. The series ends with huge impacts across the globe that have already helped. And shows even more that will make a difference. Like the Caribbean community that is risking their lives for the leatherback turtles.
One of the Best Nature Shows, Mission Blue
Winning an Emmy Award in 2015, Mission Blue follows the life of Sylvia Earle and her campaign. Sylvia Earle is one of the most well-known oceanographers. Her passion for the ocean and saving it, is inspiring. Enthusiastic throughout the film, she also is very straightforward about the current issues. And what needs to be done to reverse the damage today.
The documentary takes us through Sylvia’s early stages of her career of being a marine biologist. She started out on expeditions naming several different types of seaweed. After receiving her Ph.D., she joined the Tektite Project. This was a project where Sylvia got to live in an underwater laboratory off the coast of the Virgin Islands.
Being successful, her passion is very noticeable about saving and protecting the ocean. This can be clear throughout the entire documentary. Sylvia tells her stories of several expeditions she’s been on. On one specific trip, she is going back to a coral reef spot she had not been to in years. Sylvia sees a drastic decrease in the live coral.
First discussing the oil spill in 1947, she goes on to discuss further what pollution has done to the ocean. I even learned that the ag culture up in Indiana has participated in affecting our oceans. That’s how far some of these pesticides travel!
Not only is Mission Blue the title of the documentary, but it is also the name of Sylvia’s campaign. Her mission is to create Hope Spots. These areas are specific to protect marine life. Her goal is to increase the protection of the ocean to 30% by 2030. Currently, the official protection of the ocean only sits at 6%.
Mission Blue is a great recommendation. Kids will love the education as well as the history of one of our great oceanographers.
A Life On Our Planet, Another Great David Attenborough Docu-Series
One of the best nature shows that came out this year is A Life On Our Planet, another by David Attenborough. It shows a variety of animals across our planet and the true nature of what is happening today. It has bright visuals of nature. This documentary is David’s witness statement of the “global decline over a lifetime.”
Also learning about the planet, it shows the human errors that we made throughout the years. It starts with Chernobyl as one single historical mistake. Facts posted across the screen about past decades. Each year shows the world’s population, with the carbon in the atmosphere by parts per million, and the percentage of wilderness that remains.
The first year is 1937 when David was a child. It shows the population at 2.3 billion with carbon in the atmosphere of 280 parts per million. And 66% of the wilderness remains. As the movie goes on, it shows the drastic changes in the numbers throughout the decade. Always an increase in population and the carbon in the atmosphere. The remaining wilderness is decreasing.
In 2020, the population was up to 7.8 billion with carbon in the atmosphere at 415 parts per million. The remaining wilderness was 46%. The documentary explains several factors that influence these drastic changes in the numbers. It then goes on to predict the outcome of future years if these factors continue.
But there’s still a chance to change all that today. Ending hopeful, there are countries already changing what they can in their lifestyle. They use resources to help drop pollution and reduce the amount of carbon used. Other countries are creating no-fish zones and allowing coral reefs to regrow.
Sustainable Practices Can Help Us Save Our Planet
The ocean has changed in a lot of ways. We can still help fix the ocean to what it was by educating ourselves on the issues. And we can make lifestyle changes reducing waste. Bigger corporations can change their waste management and improve their recycling processes. They can replace the plastic they use for products with paper which is biodegradable.
We can reduce plastic pollution by recycling and cutting back on single-use plastic. You can use glass water bottles and reusable straws. Shopping in bulk even helps by limiting the amount of plastic wrap that groceries come in.
Another important way is by purchasing at the Ocean Blue Shop.
If we continue to encourage others to think about their waste more every day, we will be able to save the planet. But also ourselves and why the Ocean matters. Want to give back to the Ocean Cleanup and help remove 1 Million pounds with Ocean Blue? Learn more about Ocean Blue Project and partners like 1% for the Planet.
Create A Beach Cleanup with Ocean Blue
Bio: Chelsea Good, I Am passionate about ocean conservation. I love being around the ocean in general, but enjoy traveling whenever possible.