Nat Geo Kids Block

Ages: 8 - 10Producer: National Geographic

Nat Geo knows how to pack a lot of information into 50 minutes. Kids who are plopped in front of the television during the Kids Block will likely be captivated by the fast-paced segments, snazzy graphics and images, interviews with experts, factoids of all sorts and jokes—on topic and just the kind of thing you could a child re-telling at the dinner table. It’s TV time that seems well worth it.

If you’re tuning in, you might meet Albert, a drone-wielding, off-roading research scientist who is using high-tech tools and “good old-fashioned exploring” to try to find the 13th century burial site of Genghis Khan, the founder and leader of the Mongol Empire.

Or you might see how Kenny dives into eerie and dangerous blue hole caves off the coast of the Florida in the Bahamas in search of artifacts about our geologic and biological past that will reveal information about climate change and other issues. He’s an environmental anthropologist.

A short bit titled “Mysteries of the Unseen World” might highlight the mites on your eyelids and the very creepy microscopic photos of head lice.

Longer segments delve into the mission of NASA’s New Horizons team, a group of elite scientists devoted to collecting data about Pluto, the planet (or not) that is 3 billion miles away. And another segment envisions a world of space travel in the future.

p>Sandwiched between all the informational segments, are jokes. Have you heard about the new restaurant on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere. Why did the robot eat a light bulb?
He was in search of a light snack.

Most of the videos throughout the block stick to the main theme, but not always. A video featuring a cartoon DJ doing a catchy rap about states and birds of the 50 states was a fun surprise. Did you know the yellowhammer is the state bird of Alabama?

After watching, kids will likely be saying a lot of that: “Did you know . ?” The information is presented in a way that’s easy to soak up and retain. Just be warned: So are the jokes.

Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.