Mythbusters: Your surprise partner in learning

Mythbusters: Your surprise partner in learning

You can add “How It’s Made” to that list, too.

Last night, while we were making rockets in our 4-H club, the kids were asked if they’d ever learned about effervescent tablets before. Two girls shot up their hands and said, “Yeah, on Mythbusters!” That’s right. Mythbusters is an amazing learning experience and yes, lots of girls like the show, too.

Of course, that said, it’s still bloody annoying. Jaime’s beret and mustache alone make me not want to watch. Everybody’s got their annoyed buttons; those happen to be mine. That said, I like Adam quite a bit, and it goes without saying that Kari Byron is pretty freaking awesome—not to mention a wonderful role model for our kiddos to look up to. She also blogs over at Geek Mom for those interested.

That got me thinking about the television shows that I don’t like but that my daughter happens to enjoy. In addition to Mythbusters—which it turned out that every child in the room enjoyed last night!—she also loves the show How It’s Made, which I could care less about. That said, she doesn’t just learn about models and molds; she also learns about physics, chemistry, vocabulary, and history.

It’s actually a pretty amazing all-in-one program that reminds me of the little snippets I used to enjoy on Mr. Rogers—a program that my daughter loves to this day as well. Unfortunately it’s rarely on television now, though; we tape it when it’s on every other Monday on PBS.

There’s also the Magic School Bus, which most kids I know have enjoyed at some point as well. We used to tape it, too, but I’m not sure if it went off the air or what, but it stopped showing up on our DVR.

The cool thing about it being 2012, of course, is that you can simply look it up on YouTube to watch it. I was also surprised at the environmental stewardship that David the Gnome has taught my child and wonder if that’s where little treehugger me began.

What surprise shows did you discover as a child—or as a parent—that were also learning experiences? I obviously don’t mean Stand by Me, which, though it’s my favorite movie, is only going to teach you about vulgarity, being a twelve year old boy growing up in Castle Rock, and what a dead body looks like (among other non-educational things). What did you surprisingly learn from, and would you recommend it to other parents?