15 Documentaries for Kids to Watch During the Slow Days of Summer

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During the summer months we don't apply as much pressure on Pie to focus on school. She's able to spend those three months following her own passions, exploring new things, and adventuring outside of school. However, we do urge her to do things like write letters, read books, and learn new things. One way for her educate herself during the summer months in a more relaxed way is by watching educational DVDs and documentaries. Netflix and Youtube both have a lot to offer, as does your local library, and of course you could buy them.  

Summer Documentaries for Kids

Pie loves animal-related shows and documentaries, so it's a great way for me to sneak a little life sciences into her summer vacation. There are documentaries on so many topics, it's easy to look for one your little one might enjoy.  There have been many times I've turned to documentaries to answer Pie's many questions about the world. It's interesting to watch them with her and she loves to talk about what we learned. Today I'm sharing some awesome documentaries for kids, but always use your discretion for what is appropriate for your child. Some things scare Pie so we avoid them until she's ready.  For the most I think part even slightly challenging content helps her deal with those fears in a well-informed, healthy, and logical way. 

In no particular order here are 15 (well 20, SURPRISE! YAY bonus 5!!!) great summer documentaries for kids: 

1.   Disney Nature's Wings of Life 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

This wonderfully colorful documentary gets into some really great topics like pollination and the origination of flowers. We both enjoyed this one, Pie sat through the entire two hour movie and has since asked to watch it again.

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2.   Owen & Mzee - The Language of Friendship 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

We have to give our virtual school credit for finding this one. The story of two unlikely friends coming together after an incredible journey from home.The site also has some great games and animal facts. Pie has this one bookmarked and checks it out frequently.  There's a quick video but lots to learn.  

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3.   The Life of Mammals

Summer Documentaries for Kids

This wonderful series has so much to offer that young animal lover in your life. Life science was never this interesting when I was in school. From small to large, this series covers it all.

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4.   The Life of Birds 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

A visually stunning series about over 300 species of birds and their ways of life in 42 countries. Your little one will learn all about birds you've never imagined or heard of after watching this fantastic documentary series.

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5.   Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Summer Documentaries for Kids

We've watched this one a few times. Pie started watching it when she was very small, enchanted by the colors and calming music. As she got older, the story became more interesting and she has watched again and again.  This documentary is the story of the young sea turtle's life.  Our local beaches are home to some of these fascinating creatures, so this is one of my favorites.

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6.   Feeding Time

Summer Documentaries for Kids

This short series is education and adorable. The series takes you across the United States and United Kingdom's zoos to see the animals at meal time. It's great for all ages, it's an old favorite of Pie's from a few years ago.

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7.   Sharks! 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

Here are two great shark documentaries if your little one is brave. We're cautious with shark material, because it makes Pie a little nervous.  But I know lots of kids who love learning all about them. Check out Shark Superhighway andSearch for the Great Sharks if you've got one of them.

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8.   Planet Ocean

Summer Documentaries for Kids

If your little one is more interested in the sea life then this series is for you! Discover the ocean in this beautiful documentary.

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9.   Space! 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

When Pie started asking questions about the universe beyond my education, we went straight to the library for books and documentaries on all of the subjects she expressed an interest. There were A LOT of them, but thankfully, our local library was stocked with plenty of information. Here are a few documentaries we checked out: The Planets (a series), How the Universe Works (a series), and Secrets of the Sun.

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10.   Dinosaurs! 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

Some kids just LOVE dinosaurs, who could blame them? They're pretty incredible and there's a lot to learn about these ancient creatures. There are a lot of documentaries on the topic, here are three for your little dinosaur lover:National Geographic's Dinosaurs UnearthedDinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia, and Dinotasia

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11.  Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

Summer Documentaries for Kids

Okay maybe it's not "educational, but it's pretty amazing to watch.  Pie was fascinated by this beautifully stunning story telling adventure. It's well worth the watch if you're looking to relax on a rainy afternoon.  

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12.   How Stuff Works

Summer Documentaries for Kids

If tinkering is your little one's favorite thing to do, they might like this science and nature series about how everything works. Everything from the food we eat to the metals we use to the water we drink, this series covers it all. 

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13.   Animal Odd Couples

Summer Documentaries for Kids

This is by far Pie's favorite so far this Summer. Her favorite was the cheetah and the dog, but my heart warmed for the blind horse and his goat best friend. Find out who your favorite odd couple is with this adorable documentary.  

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14.   Amazing Planet

Summer Documentaries for Kids

This is a three part series and it has some incredible footage of our world. It's a bit redundant at times, this documentary does have educational value. It's a great tool to teach your child about the world and worth the watch. 

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15.   Ultimate Cat 

Summer Documentaries for Kids

We just recently watched this and it was a little scary for Pie. There are some parts about the predatory habits of these great cats and their lives in the wild.  Which includes some talk about attacking villages... However, after we talked about what happened, she confessed she really did like it and would watch it again. 

We have a lot of rainy afternoons here in the summer, watching these has been a great way to keep the "I'm bored"'s from becoming hours in front of the TV watching something less informative or mentally stimulating.  If you have any documentary or series suggestions, leave yours in the comments!

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