Videos have their place in the classroom and at home, helping bring topics to life for students at any age. Teachers and parents have more options than ever before, including these terrific educational Netflix shows. History, science, animals, travel, early education—it’s all here. Take a look at our top choices and choose some to watch with the kids in your life!
Note to teachers: Some schools block Netflix, which requires you to use Netflix’s offline feature to download preferred shows and use them during class. When it comes to the legality of streaming Netflix in the classroom, the company notes which media are available for educational screenings. Also, grade recommendations were made by our editorial team, but of course, you are always the best judge of the appropriateness for your own children and students.
Best Educational Netflix Shows for Elementary School
Based on the books, Ada Twist and her two best friends are asking big questions—and working together to discover the truth about everything!
The only thing more curious than the bots are kids. Celebrity appearances and a music video at the end of each episode only add to the fun.
This science-based show answers all sorts of questions kids tend to ask.
With kindness, curiosity, and childlike wonder, five best friends explore their colorful world and find the extraordinary in everyday things.
Charlie creates fun stories using different shapes, and he needs your help! Follow him on various adventures throughout the world … and beyond.
Kids who love to sing will beg to watch CoComelon. It’s perfect for the younger crowd still learning their numbers, letters, nursery rhymes, and more.
Emily Calandrelli shares science experiments to help make STEAM fun!
Learn more about the animals we keep as pets, from dogs and cats to goldfish and beyond. These critters are full of surprises!
Observe different animals as they age from babies to adults.
Izzy Bee and her family rescue koalas in need and help them head back into the wild on Australia’s Magnetic Island.
In Justin’s dreams, he and his imaginary friends Olive and Squidgy travel around the world learning about nature and other cultures.
If you’re looking for educational Netflix shows for music lovers, check out this option. You’ll find adorable songs that include “Baby Shark,” “Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and more!
Beloved children’s book character Llama Llama springs to life in this heartwarming series about family, friendship, and learning new things.
When a science concept just isn’t clicking for your students … Ms. Frizzle to the rescue! Stream episodes on the human body, gardening, weather, and more.
Follow these cheerful blocks as they work and sing in Numberland.
If you teach about the ocean, chances are there’s an Octonauts episode related to your unit.
Inspire kids to take on new challenges and responsibilities with this reality show from Japan. It follows children as young as two as they tackle chores and errands.
Follow the exploits of a fun-loving, curious little boy who loves to play and explore.
A baby puffer fish travels through a wondrous microworld full of fantastical creatures as he searches for a home on the Great Barrier Reef.
Welcome to Puffin Rock, where puffling Oona and her family and friends live. Their adventures teach us all about friendship and nature.
Daisy and Cole use music and imagination to solve problems in a town filled with nursery rhyme characters.
Six-year-old Hank and his best pal, a giant trash truck, explore the world around them on fantastical adventures with their animal friends.
Curious puppet pals Waffles and Mochi travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients.
Have students compare the film version to the classic novel of the same name.
Based on the popular book series, this live-action sketch-comedy show brings important historical figures, like King Tut, Marie Antoinette, and Pablo Picasso, to life in an entertaining and hilarious way.
Meet Bailey, Franny, Kip, and Lulu, four cute and adorable baby animals who want you to join in the fun and help them learn.
These short videos (3-4 minutes each) teach opposites, colors, and more. Perfect for daily openers or brain breaks!
Best Educational Netflix Shows for Middle School
This series blends science fact and fiction to imagine alien life on other planets.
Discover incredible facts and amazing footage of apes, birds of prey, bears, and dolphins in this short series narrated by popular celebrities like Bryan Cranston.
In this movie based on a true story, a guardian and his kids partner with a washed-up boat captain for a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition in order to save their orphanage.
Based on the book of the same name, this movie tells the real-life story of William Kamkwamba, who saved his village by inventing a windmill.
That’s right, gumshoes! The story of the legendary professional thief has been remixed into a cartoon series. But in this iteration, Carmen is trying to thwart evil. Those of us who grew up playing the computer game and watching the game show will love introducing the globe-trotting Carmen to a new generation of kids.
Divers, scientists, and photographers around the world mount an epic underwater campaign to document the disappearance of coral reefs.
Discover 72 of the cutest animals on Earth and how their adorable features help protect them.
On O’ahu for the summer, two siblings from Brooklyn connect with their Hawaiian heritage on a daring quest for long-lost treasure. A good one to showcase the Hawaiian culture.
Comedian Kevin Hart uses his silliness for good, teaching viewers about some of history’s unsung black heroes.
Stunningly beautiful, this docuseries explores nature from a fresh perspective as animals use color to survive and thrive in the wild.
This documentary follows famed naturalist David Attenborough, who maps how steeply the planet’s biodiversity has diminished over his lifetime.
Teenagers at NASA’s Space Camp dream of traveling to Mars, while experts reflect on the future and history of NASA.
Follow filmmaker Craig Foster as he spends a year forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest.
Felipe Castanhari and his lab buddies explore science, history, mysteries, and marvels.
New technology showcases the hidden lives of nocturnal creatures.
Penguins in Africa? Yup! This series follows a colony of South African penguins as they form families, raise their young, and get help from local humans when things are rough.
A filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species—and uncovers alarming global corruption.
After unearthing a tomb that had been untouched for 4,400 years, Egyptian archaeologists attempt to decipher the history of the extraordinary find.
Introduce students to the world of sports with these star golf athletes who are still in grade school.
Follow the lives of speedcubing champions Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs, culminating with their attending the World Cube Association’s World Championships 2019.
A documentary that explores the unbroken Indian-American dominance of the U.S. spelling bee arena.
A Chickasaw Nation woman navigates cultural barriers to pursue a stage career that culminates in a performance at the White House. Based on a true story.
Small animals embark on big adventures in a dramatic nature series that explores their hidden worlds and epic survival stories.
Who doesn’t love baby animals? Follow the adventures of species like pangolins, penguins, elephants, and lions as they learn what it takes to survive.
Best Educational Netflix Shows for High School
Inspire the creatives in your classroom with this eight-episode documentary series on some of the world’s foremost designers, including photographer Platon, graphic designer Paula Scher, and sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield.
Learning about World War II? This short series uses archival footage combined with survivor interviews to bring this historic event to life.
In this wacky talk show, the popular educator explores scientific topics in the everyday world, including climate change, video games, and space travel.
Bill Nye faces climate-change skeptics as he demonstrates the importance of scientific evidence.
Scientists hope to understand and capture the first image of a black hole while exploring the limits of our knowledge of the universe. (TV-14)
Engineers, officials, and the crew members’ families provide their perspective on the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and its aftermath. (TV-14)
Science journalist Latif Nasser investigates ways in which humans are connected to each other, the world, and the universe.
Learn more about the 72 most deadly creatures on Earth!
In less than 20 minutes, the show tackles various topics, from the water crisis to the racial wealth gap, in an accessible way. Be sure to preview episodes, as some are not suitable for the classroom.
This docuseries traces the history of classic video games, featuring insights from the innovators who brought these worlds and characters to life. (TV-14)
These quick episodes combine infographics with archival footage and are the perfect length to show during class. They cover the history of topics ranging from GPS and lasers to dating apps and bottled water.
Biology teachers, take note! These episodes delve deep into the inner workings our incredible bodies.
Take a trip inside the mind of billionaire Bill Gates as he opens up about those who influenced him and the audacious goals he’s still pursuing.
Ever wonder what’s happening inside your head? From dreaming to anxiety disorders, discover how your brain works.
President Barack Obama narrates this inspiring look at national parks around the globe, from Australia and Africa to our own Monterey Bay.
This Netflix series is a lot like Planet Earth, except it urgently calls for viewers to think about the ways that human actions are putting the nature and animals the series covers in peril.
Four scientists offer a sweeping yet intimate exploration of Peru’s majestic coastline.
Take a closer look at our food supply chain, but be prepared to learn unpleasant truths about some of your favorite dishes.
This documentary-drama follows a group of tech experts who sound the alarm on the dangerous human impact of social networking.
This limited series explores the true story of the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave by rising water levels. Their rescue captured the world’s imagination.
What educational Netflix shows, movies, or documentaries do you use in your classroom? Come share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out the best TED Talks to spark student discussion.