Educational Value of Streaming Video Resources

The educational value of different at home online streaming video services and even free programming is abundant.  I know now that Netflix has child-friendly educational videos that are also high quality entertainment.  So, what do the other services and Netflix provide?



Netflix is a fee-based online video service that has many of the top movies and TV shows available just months after their release.  Their streaming service is relatively inexpensive to stream straight to your computer, TV, or mobile device.

Netflix has a wide variety of programming that is specifically geared for children.  The program is also easy enough for a young child to load their own videos once they are added to the favorites list.  They are also in the process of beta-testing a kid-friendly version of the app to be used on mobile devices.  Some shows available on this service are Sponge Bob, Phineas & Ferb, The Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer, Curious George, Barney and Baby Einstein.  There are also top children’s movies like Toy Story 3 and Tangled.  Many of the children’s programming options on Netflix have educational value like teaching lessons about social skills, letters, numbers, reading, second language skills, and even science.


Hulu is a video streaming website that has both current and classic television shows from many of the major stations along with select movies.  The free version of Hulu has a limited number of shows and movies that can be viewed in standard definition through a computer with some advertisements and commercials.  However, there are still many free classic shows and movies that would be perfect for children like He-Man, the Pink Panther cartoons, Modern Marvels, Pocahontas, and Legend of Camelot.

Hulu Plus, for a small fee, allows the users access to more television shows and movies that can be played not only through the computer, but also on most gaming systems, Blu-ray players, Internet connected televisions, tablet devices, all Apple products, and any computer connected to the Internet.

The one advantage of Hulu over Netflix is that the current television shows are aired along with the actual season of the show rather than after the fact.  There also isn’t a wide variety of educational cartoons available on Hulu.  A good free alternative would be Jaroo.  They have shows including Paddington Bear, Strawberry Shortcake, and Madeline.

Other Streaming Video Resources has a great list of resources that provide free online streaming educational (and entertaining) videos for children.  One of these sites is National Geographic.  This site has many video clips that are fun, interesting, and educational that you could watch along with your child.  It may spur interests that can then be further explored like visiting a zoo, going “bug hunting”, or researching more online.

Another great online streaming video resource is Story Online.  Story Online is a website where famous individuals like actors and actresses are taped reading stories aloud.  This would be great to play for a younger child at bedtime using a tablet computer.

There are so many online streaming video options these days that can provide a wealth of educational programming for children.  Why not take a look into a few of these resources to expand your child’s mind?

Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont

Picture By neotint

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