This Hulu Playlist of Science Shows Will Keep You and Your Kid Sharp This Summer

There's officially no excuse for the summer lull.

The following was produced in partnership with Hulu, who put all your TV in one place to make sure your family never hits the dreaded summer lull.

Summer is time for sand castles, tire swings, fireflies, and ice cream cones that melt too fast. Over the course of a few months, parents and kids can get outside, do experiments, and, thanks to Hulu’s massive library of kid-friendly streamable science shows, engage with big ideas. After all, physics teaches us that everything expands when it gets hotter. That should go for brains as well.

From nature docs to animated shows that dive into fascinating and unexpected topics, Hulu has bet big on educational entertainment that actually entertains. That’s good news for subscribers and for parents who want to make sure their kids are still engaged outside the classroom — even when they’re inside the home. Here are the 10 best shows to scope with your inquisitive kid this summer or — let’s be real — after the kid goes to bed and you just want to stare at some awesome nature footage.

How It’s Made
Hulu How It's Made
From bubblegum to socks to airplane engines, How It’s Made explores how everyday items are created, processed, and manufactured. The show’s ability to make mundane and complicated items seem equally interesting is an impressive feat. The off-screen narrator and his puns may be cringe-worthy for you, but kids will enjoy the free guided tour of how stamps are made (that’s a two-part episode).
Age Group: Little Kids
Available Seasons: THREE

Mythbusters
mythbusters hulu
For 10 seasons, Mythbusters made science fun and ended everything in an explosion (no seriously, the hosts love blowing stuff up on this show). It’s part school lesson, part super rich nerd in a tech store. What good is an engineering degree without the excitement and desire to create, smash, and destroy things in the name of science? With so much to choose from, you can cherry pick the Mythbusters crew at their best, like when they test movie action scenes in real life to determine what’s real and what’s special effects.
Age Group: Little Kids and Family
Available Seasons: TEN

March of the Penguins
march of the penguins hulu
Perhaps the greatest feature-length nature documentary ever made, March of the Penguins is an inside look at the beautiful and brutal life of emperor penguins in Antarctica. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film also serves as a great life lesson to kids: parents will do anything to ensure their children’s safety, and Freeman can make anything sound amazing.
Rated: G
Age Group: 
Little Kids and Family
Run Time: 
80 MINUTES

To the Arctic
to the arctic hulu
This educational nature documentary follows a polar bear mother and her two cubs as they traverse the Arctic wilderness. It’s a rare look into the tough, frozen way of life from the eyes of a wild animal. Plus, at just 45 minutes long, it’s a quick movie that’s great for the entire family.
Rated: G
Age Group: 
Little Kids and Family
Run Time: 
40 MINUTES

Survivorman
survivorman hulu
Survival expert Les Stroud is either a wild genius or a total crackpot. On the one hand, he’s amazing at understanding and navigating ecosystems. On the other hand, he says he’s seen Bigfoot. Either way, his show is a rollicking good time. Stroud survives the elements and, more to the point, embraces them. He never seems to suffer as he bushwhacks his way through the Amazon, the Rockies, and Patagonia. He’s alone and he’s fine. There are lessons here about nature and about life. Be prepared and smart and you’ll be fine.
Age Group: Family (The potentially nervous-making show is best watched in a group.)
Available Seasons: TWO

Stargate SG-1
stargate sg-1 hulu
Some kids need a narrative to help them get excited about science. For those not ready to enjoy Star Trek: The Original Series (also on Hulu), Stargate SG-1 is a great intro to the genre. It’s smart, but not too smart, and there’s a reason it ran for longer than The X-Files: the plots are zippy and the scientific concepts are easily digestible. Make your kid a “Gater” and an affinity for science is sure to follow.
Age Group: Big Kids
Available Seasons: TEN

What on Earth?
what on earth hulu
This series explores and explains the planet’s wildest phenomena, drawing kids in instantly. Want to know the mystery behind an unexplained and seemingly coded pattern of trees in a Chinese forest that can only be observed by satellite? This show has you covered. Not only is it super engaging for the young and curious, it also preps adults for cocktail parties.
Age Group: Big Kids
Available Seasons: ONE

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
bizarre foods with andrew zimmern hulu
Kids already make weird snacks, like boogers or ketchup on pancakes. Well, chef Andrew Zimmern is the king of weird eats. The only difference between Zimmern and an overly adventurous young eater is that Zimmern has a travel budget. The show provides a great introduction to the science of cooking by showing kids what can be done with a pan and how all different types of foods can be transformed.
Age Group: Big Kids and Family
Available Seasons: THREE

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