Whether you are teaching online or homeschooling there are plenty of options available to liven up your lessons and vary the approach. One such method is educational animations or cartoons. They have the immediate benefit of attractive to the child or young learner, they don’t see it as work. The skill, style, and variation available for free is incredibly impressive, there are channels aimed at all age groups and covering an enormous range of subjects from the curriculum to social skills, often mixed together. Now is exactly the right time to take advantage and fill their screen time with something entertaining, fun, and worthwhile.
Enlightening, educational, and entertaining for everybody, everywhere.
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For young students
These free video animations are perfect for young learners up to teens and let’s be honest adults too. A huge variety, selection of topics, and styles. Whether you just want to deep in and select a video for the topic you are covering or use the whole or part of the series as a theme, it really doesn’t matter. Short, entertaining, fact-filled, and free. Just open up the YouTube channel, select and play from any device.
Songs, How-to situations. Problem-solving, science, and technology. 6-11 Age range.
For a mixture of science, technology, and social/emotional learning, The Fixies is pretty hard to beat. Free on YouTube, there is also a fantastic website thefixies.com, that breaks down the 104 episodes, so you can find exactly what you need. The Fixies is a series of 6-minute shows featuring a human child character, Tom Thomas, depending upon the help of his Fixie friends to save the day. Often, Tom Thomas acts as a child would and does not always consider the feelings of his Fixie friends. However, he learns how being kind and considerate of others is the most important aspect of getting help when he is in trouble and how cooperation only works when both sides work together. Viewers see the problems arising from poor social skills benefits of working well with others. The fixies are tiny creatures that live inside machines, appliances, and devices maintaining and repairing them with the aid of their tool-filled pack-o-mats. Each episode contains 2 inserts briefly explaining some “how-to” situation. A great mix of adventure, humor, music, education, and heart: each story centers on an aspect of technology but the central themes are feelings such as worry, excitement, jealousy, surprise, competition, and fear. Encouraging problem solving, social and emotional learning as well as science and technology. And songs too! Aimed at the 6-11 age range but could easily be for older children.
Songs, Lullabies, and “How-to” animations. Middle or Primary school children.
Peekaboo channel is specially designed for young learners as they explore the world. It’s YouTube site is a great mix animated educational videos, classic English songs, phonics songs, lullabies and short “how it” works animations hosted by Dr. Binocs. It is particularly good at covering natural disasters, ecological issues and medical problems even with a short explaining the Corona Virus among a huge range of other issues. Short videos of a couple of minutes or longer 5/6 minutes ones depending on the issues, it can easily be dipped into for your particular lesson. Aimed middle or Primary school children, it’s another great free resource.
Kindergarten, Primary children animations for basic learning skills
Dr. Panda Toto Time channel is for children of 3-8 years old encouraging development of educational values and basic skills to help learn more about the world with new episodes every week available on their YouTube channel for free. Dr. Panda & Toto help out their friends with an emphasis on learning. The early episodes are simple 2D animations before the more recent and definitely more accessible 3D transformation. There is whole Dr. Panda franchise beyond the TV series that includes more than 30 apps that go further than the ABCs and 1, 2, 3s.
Learning English videos with Nursery Rhymes, Dialogue, Song, Rap, Story, Phonics, and more.
Perfect for ESL young learner teachers, EnglishSingSing is an educational YouTube channel for younger children to learn English as a foreign language. Lots of video content updated weekly, offering Nursery Rhymes, Dialogue, Song, Rap, Story, Phonics, etc. It’s got specific grammar videos, role-play dialogues and key vocabulary lessons all done in light easy to follow animated style. A perfect way into the language for younger, with short interesting educational cartoons.
Videos for young children, learning English. You will find Nursery Rhymes, Dialogue, Song, Rap, Story, Phonics, and more types of English-learning videos.
Alex is an animated cartoon series, especially designed to help young children discover the world surrounding them. Alex is a curious 5 years old boy who loves to discover and understand the world around him. The episodes can be themed, for learning about the Sea, Music, the Jungle, Vegetation, etc. Ideal for continuous project work. Excellent 3D animation with great characters in short, 5 minute(ish) cartoons all freely available on YouTube.
Primary curriculum videos -dubbed into other major languages.
A partnership between the largest non-profit animation and illustration studio in the world and major educational NGOs. Well more than 500 animated explanatory educational videos on their YouTube channel and more being added all the time. The grand idea is to be able to educate around the globe with completely free access to courses. There are 400 videos covering the basic primary curriculum and free courses from very basic to advanced are being created in Maths, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computers, Medicine, history and languages. All the videos will be translated or dubbed into all major languages. Quite a vision. Very comprehensive, short, and informative, with basic animation that focusing on the content rather than the art. Check the individual videos for age appropriateness, they can be quite technical.
7. Bright Side
Science and life lesson video for young learners
Bright Side’s YouTube channel has a great selection of animated videos about scientific discoveries, space exploration, mysteries, shocking true stories, health and fitness, fun tests and riddles, or even useful tips for self-improvement, psychology, relationships, gadgets, or just your day-to-day routine. Updated daily, it has videos in a variety of styles from full-on cartoons to real-life films. Most videos are around 10 minutes, and there are 100s to choose from. Ideal for dipping into and searching for your topic. Aimed at young learners right through to older teens and even adults can pick up some great information it is the 29th most subscribed YouTube channel, with over 6 billion views.
If you need something to keep to toddler entertained for a least 5 minutes then this selection of educational cartoon channels are perfect. You can justify their screen time by the educational quality.
Songs, Nursery rhymes and first words for the very young
Award-winning Rock n Learn have been producing educational media for over 30 years. Their YouTube channel has entertaining, educational videos for toddlers, kindergarten and kids up to fifth grade (US) Year 6 (UK) There are videos for baby’s first words, preschool videos, nursery rhymes, favorite kids’ songs, and videos for learning many languages. For the slightly older children there are also videos for reading, maths, and science. Select from the home tab the age range that you require, there well over 200 videos, with more being added each week. Short clips for a class or full videos up to an hour for parents. They also produce apps and audiobooks in the same vein.
9. Akili and Me
Basic life skills and educational stories set in Tanzania
Akili and Me is an edutainment series from the creators of Ubongo Kids. Aimed at Kids 3-6 year olds who can follow Akili and her friends on their magical adventures in Lala Land. Akili is a curious 4-year-old who lives with her family at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. She has a secret: every night when she falls asleep, she enters the magical world of Lala Land, where she and her animal friends learn all about language, letters, numbers and art, while developing kindness and coming to grips with their emotions and rapidly changing toddler lives! Focused on learning numbers, letters, drawing, and English. They have a YouTube channel for animated cartoons and an accompanying website akiliandme.com with printable worksheets. and download music, apps, etc.
Nursery rhymes, songs and stories for toddlers
BabyBus is really a developer of educational applications for preschool children. They have created over 100 apps that support in 9 major languages, but vitally for us, they have a YouTube channel featuring educational songs, nursery rhymes and stories. Their home tab usefully categorizes the songs for you.
English As a Second Language program for speaking and singing.
Busy Beavers is an online children’s educational program. It is aimed at parents and teachers of toddlers who speak English or are learning English as a second language, and parents of children with a learning disability, autism, or delayed speech. Busy Beavers Create Fantastic, Fun Children’s Educational Videos that try to get children speaking & singing. For babies, toddlers, kindergarten kids, ESL English students, daycare & preschool teachers or mums & dads. There is a strong focus on the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and social learning such as caring and sharing. The website has some great downloadable worksheets, textbooks, music, and flashcards.
British English Songs and Nursery Rhymes for babies and toddlers
A YouTube channel. for babies, toddler and very young children to learn to count, learn the alphabet, and much much more. Full of educational cartoons, kid’s videos, children songs, and nursery rhymes, all in British English. a number of different themed videos follow Gecko’s Garage, Number Zoo, Dr Poppy’s Pet Rescue, and The Zorbits plus there are nursery rhymes videos of The Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The site toddlerfunlearning.com is great for downloadable resources from worksheets, coloring sheets, home school timetables, craft instructions, and ideas, and even they have free stories on Spotify. Add this to the 7 pm blog for tips for parents and you’ve got a pretty useful online package to help you through.
13. Dave and Eva
Adventure stories for learning for very young learners
Dave and Ava is a childhood learning channel on YouTube, where two children; Dave (the young boy in the orange puppy pajamas), Ava (the young girl in the blue kitty pajamas), and many other varied characters go through adventures and teach various learning skills along the way. The animated series has been developed especially for young children. Each episode features Dave and Ava along with their friends – Matilda the Sheep, Oscar the Kitten, Stella the Star, cute little mouse Philip, Itsy the Spider, Felix MacDonald, Bingo the Puppy, Izzy the Cat and other. The nursery rhymes teach little ones ABCs, numbers, shapes, colors, etc. There are new videos every Thursday and the videos are also available to download and watch offline. Added to the YouTube channel is a website daveandava.com with downloadable posters and print outs and of course an app. The videos are also available in Spanish.
Traditional Nursery Rhymes and Original songs for preschoolers and lower grades.
ABCkidTV is now Cocomelon, an American YouTube channel for Nursery Rhymes, simply known as Cocomelon a is an American YouTube channel. They specialize in 3D animation videos of both traditional nursery rhymes and their own original children’s songs. The idea is to help preschoolers and the very young to learn letters, numbers, animal sounds, colors, and more, but the animations also include social learning lessons. There are new weekly educational cartoons added to the site.
Color, counting, and vocabulary for babies
An American TV channel and YouTube channel that has content for babies up to the age of 3 and their parents through television, the internet, and mobile applications. The content is intended to develop the child’s skills, such as color recognition, counting, and vocabulary. A huge selection of music videos of lullabies, nursery rhymes, and baby songs. The site babyfirsttv.com also has free printables as well as selling the linked apps.
Song and rhymes based learning video for preschoolers
KidsCamp takes toddlers into the world of Elly and her little sister Eva as they sing and dance on a journey through the world of songs and rhymes. They can learn the Alphabet, Numbers, Shapes and Colors through the series as the sisters come across curious situations and learn about them in creative and innovative ways. Or go with the Lucky Ducky cartoon animated series on the same YouTube channel. Short, fun videos with catchy songs.
Song and rhymes based learning video for the first years of childhood
For the very young children between 0 -24 months Tino – Toys & Toddlers is a new fun channel. This is a channel for children to learn colors, shapes, numbers with high-quality 3D video animation. Tino is a wooden train and his adventures are beautifully and colorfully portrayed.
For teens and adults
So you’ve organized some variety and constructive screen time for the youngster, but what about you? From teens to adults there’s still more to learn and why not be entertained by the learning experience. Here is a selection of sites suitable for self-study or secondary/senior school teachers looking at a way of getting information over in an accessible, entertaining way.
Older Primary, Secondary, High School to adult learning
TED-Ed is TED’s award-winning youth and education platform. A growing video library of free original animated lessons on their YouTube channel from experts in their field. These original animated videos, are paired with questions and resources to promote further research, makeup what are referred to as TED-Ed Lessons. The TED-Ed platform allows users to take any TED Talk , TED-Ed Lesson, or educational video and easily create a lesson plan of customized questions and discussions. Users can then distribute these lessons, publicly or privately, to a class or an individual student. The videos are often short, typically around 5 minutes, in a variety of animation styles, and add a playlist of linked videos for further viewing.
Secondary or High School Students -science,tech and social sciences
A German animation studio that have a YouTube channel that contains very cool highly stylized minimalist animated educational content and added humor. Mainly concerning scientific, technological, political, philosophical, and psychological subjects, the videos are around 5–15 minutes long. They have German and Spanish channels as well as English and over 10 million subscribers. The Home tab categorization makes videos easy to find in whichever area you take an interest in.
From teens to adults
The Infographics Show is a YouTube channel and a company that provides educational videos for teens and anybody who wants to be informed about a subject. Often humorous there is a mixture of more serious topics alongside lighter subject matter. The studio focuses on making animated motion infographic videos, made in a fun and entertaining way. Some of the topics covered are military comparisons, celebrity comparison, video game comparison plus a lot more.
21. Simple History
High School History
Simple History aims to bring history to life through animation. A series of that shows how people lived throughout history: their culture, key figures, developments in technology, epic battles and events. you can explore what it was like to be in the trenches of the First World War, a plundering pirate in the Caribbean or a factory worker in the Industrial Revolution through Home tab categorization or through their website simplehistory.co.uk. Simple animation, contrasting with a more high brow script. They histories are also available in book form.
With these free sites, there is little excuse for not knowing anything. They’ll give you the information you need and spark further curiosity in a highly accessible entertaining way. Ideal for teachers working from home, sharing screens from home learning platforms, and even just messaging links. Ideal for parents struggling to make the most of their youngster enforced isolation. Ideal for preschool parents who are trying to encourage learning from as early an age as possible. These are not time-wasting, filler cartoons, they are educational animations in their own right. Professional videos and presentations that can clarify information, reinforce learning and social skills, and make studying a fun, interesting, and rewarding experience.
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