Now Enrolling for the 2024-25 School Year click here

Educational Movies to Watch With Your Kids

    Request Information

    Fill out this short form to learn why CCA is the right fit for your family.

    Your Email Address

    By submitting this request for information, I authorize CCA to contact me by email.

    Para obtener ayuda en español, llame al 844-590-2864 y un representante de CCA lo ayudará a completar el formulario.

    Educational Movies to Watch With Your Kids

    Educational Movies to Watch With Your Kids

    In a world of bright, distracting screens, it might feel like your child is always seeking entertainment and falling behind in education. Movies with educational messages or subject matter offer parents and kids a chance to learn as they’re entertained. Watching movies with your kids can help you open a dialogue with your child about important topics and can help improve their social-emotional understanding. Enjoying educational family movies together is an excellent way to learn and grow while still having fun.

    Movies That Teach Life Lessons

    Movies for children can have messages and plots that teach kids important lessons about life. These don’t have to be purely non-fiction movies — stories aimed at children often have a core message meant to teach them something essential about life, like respect, love, and generosity. While sitting kids down for a moral lecture can work occasionally, they’ll absorb life lessons unconsciously during movies and have a good time.

    “Life Lesson” Movies are best for elementary-aged kids. Children who are still young enough that more serious topics might be too much for but old enough to start learning about morals, social expectations, and “golden-rule” type behaviors. Some excellent kids’ movies with lessons about family, kindness, generosity, courage, and love include:

    • Finding Nemo (2003)
    • Frozen (2013)
    • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    • Up (2008)
    • Meet the Robinsons (2007)
    • How to Train Your Dragon (2011)
    • Nanny McPhee (2005)
    • Marley & Me (2008)
    • Mary Poppins (1964)
    • Inside Out (2015)
    • Matilda (1996)

    Documentaries for Kids

    Documentaries don’t have to be boring — many have exciting visuals and engaging storylines that draw kids in and make them curious to learn more about the world around them. Documentaries cover a huge variety of categories, so try to switch the subject up. Show your kids different topics at first — as they watch, they’ll develop preferences that you can then let them explore.

    Having your kids watch documentaries can open them up to interests, hobbies, and careers they never knew, expanding their horizons and making them more well-rounded. Show these films to kids in middle school and up as they become more interested in larger, global subjects.

    Environmental Documentaries

    Environmental Documentaries

    The study of Earth is a classic documentary subject. Our world is so big and beautiful — give your kids the opportunity to see all of it. Environmental documentaries show off our planet and teach kids the importance of preserving nature and respecting wildlife. Here are a few ecological documentaries to get you started:

    • Planet Earth II (2016)
    • Great Migrations (2010)
    • Monkey Kingdom (2015)
    • A Plastic Ocean (2016)

    Historical Documentaries

    These are great entertainment for kids with historical interests and are also perfect educational supplements. Some historical subject matter can be extremely serious or complex — these documentaries are the ideal way to start a conversation about real-world, challenging topics with your tween or teen.

    • Liberty! The American Revolution (1997)
    • Paper Clips (2004)
    • King: Man of Peace in a Time of War (2006)
    • Mercury 13 (2018)

    Biographical Documentaries

    Biographical stories let kids look at real-world events through the lives of one person. They add context to our world today and let kids explore the lives of real people who sparked change in some way. They allow us to connect with people who have had very different lives, and they can teach kids lots about change, challenge, and perseverance.

    • He Named Me Malala (2015)
    • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
    • Jane (2017)
    • Man on Wire (2008)

    Movies About Real Life Events

    These movies still contain facts about people, places, and events, but they’re structured as entertainment. These are excellent for middle and high school kids who want to be entertained but also want to learn something simultaneously. These are more mature than movies in the “Life Lessons” category but are still appropriate for kids.

    • Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
    • October Sky (1999)
    • Soul Surfer (2011)
    • Hidden Figures (2016)

    Movies Based on Classic Literature

    Movies based on classic books are perfect if you have a student who loves to read. They’re also helpful for high schoolers who are reading classic literature in their classes — watching the movie helps with visualization and might clear up points that were confusing to read on the page.

    • The Outsiders (1983)
    • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    • Romeo + Juliet (1996)
    • The Green Knight (2021)
    • Of Mice and Men (1992)

    How to Talk to Your Child About Movies

    No matter how old kids are, they might see something in a movie that upsets or confuses them. Talking about these subjects can seem like a challenge, but it’s essential that you don’t avoid them when your kids bring them up. You’ll have to change your approach depending on your kid’s age, but you should always acknowledge the topic in an age-appropriate way and ensure they feel like they can talk to you about their feelings and questions.

    Here’s how to approach difficult topics with kids based on their age:

    Ages 2 to 7

    Try to discuss topics simply and use references to feelings or situations your child is familiar with to help their understanding. Avoid blanket-labeling fictional movie villains as “evil” or “bad” to help them understand the nuance behind real people and actions. Additionally, break things down into simple phrases. Use more vague, neutral statements to give them a general understanding of someone being hurt or a scary situation.

    Ages 8 to 12

    Kids at this age have more life experience and are becoming exposed to complex topics. If they’re still coming to you when they feel upset about something they’ve seen, reinforce that they can always have a dialogue with you about upsetting or difficult topics. Let them know they’re welcome to ask you about issues like race, gender, sexuality, and violence and provide them with age-appropriate materials to help them understand these ideas better. Encourage them to think up open-ended questions about topics and help guide them to places where they can find discussions and deeper thoughts.

    Ages 13+

    Teens often feel like adults — although they aren’t quite there, they’ll be expected to engage with more serious topics like current events and have increasingly complex dialogues about challenging concepts. Let them know where you stand on certain topics, but push them to research what others think as well. Ask them for their opinions and why they think what they do. Teens are at a crucial stage in life — they’re looking for their place in the world and trying to find out what they think for themselves. Encourage them to come to their own conclusions through research so they can understand why they believe what they do.

    CCA Makes Learning Fun and Engaging

    CCA Makes Learning Fun and Engaging

    CCA works to provide each student with a personalized learning program that encourages growth, curiosity, and active learning. We believe in educating the whole child — building out their social, educational, and communal skills, so they become well-rounded, successful adults.

    Our flexible, tailored curricula work with your child’s schedule, giving them room to learn at their own pace and build their ability to tackle challenges around them. If you’re interested in learning more, request information about our programs online now.


    Commonwealth Charter Academy


    April 17th, 2024


    Learning Lab

      Request Information

      Address Info
      Call 844-590-2864

        CCA helps learners gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to achieve success.

        Back To Top

        Interested in CCA?

        Enroll Now Request Info

        or Call (844) 590 2864