Shedd Aquarium’s new video series encourages kids to wonder and explore

Kids ask questions. A lot of questions. To help out parents of elementary students and to encourage kids to stay inquisitive, the Shedd Aquarium recently launched Sea Curious, a new video series. Available on YouTube, each episode tackles a different question about the aquatic world, such as “Do animals play?” and “Why are some animals slimy?” and “What do animals do at night?”

The topics came from members of the Shedd Aquarium Adventure Club, which is for Chicago kids ages 7-10. Each episode shows animal care experts from the Shedd working with club members to find the answer to their question. I’m pretty sure Dr. Matt will have a lot of little ones wanting to become veterinarians.

In addition to the Shedd staff members, Chicago area stars join in the quest for answers, including U.S. Olympic bobsledder Aja Evans, Nickelodeon actor Kel Mitchell, chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya, White Sox second baseman Yolmer Sanchez and Chicago Fire players Brandt Bronico and Richard Sánchez. They show kids that learning is a life-long endeavor.

The Sea Curious videos are designed by kids, for kids. The episode devoted to poop may just be the best roof of that. The videos share interesting information in a way that’s easy to understand. Translation: when I watched this with some friends, the adults all felt we learned something new but it wasn’t over the kids’ heads.

The videos are pretty short, clocking in at around four minutes. That’s good for those with a short attention span. For those wanting more, it works to watch several of the videos consecutively. There will be nine episodes total, with the remaining two debuting on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The episodes are available in Spanish.

There’s also a guide for parents to help encourage children’s natural curiosity. Tips include starting an “I’m curious” box into which kids can deposit their questions and encouraging kids to make predictions and observations rather than automatically answering their questions right off the bat.

The Sea Curious videos are a great way to get ready for a visit to the aquarium or to keep the learning and wondering going once you’ve returned home. They’re also great if you’re waiting somewhere and need to engage the kids for a few moments.

“At Shedd, we believe encouraging curiosity and wonder in young kids is the first step to creating lifelong advocates for the underwater aquatic world,” said Jo-Elle Mogerman, vice president of learning and community at Shedd Aquarium, in a statement.

It got us craving more adventures at the Shedd. If that’s the case for your family, too, read about the penguin encounter here.

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