TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks are inspiring and motivational videos that cover everything from education and science to technology and humanity. They offer an intellectual adrenaline rush, which can turn a new leaf in a kid’s life. Frankly speaking, initiating kids to the TED culture from an early age can have a transforming impact on their lives.
TED speakers approach their subject in a cross-disciplinary way, offering remarkable opportunities for kids to gain knowledge and a wide-range of skills. This is precisely the reason TED talks are now being offered in the classrooms as a source of educational content for students. Here is a compilation of a few captivating, inspiring, and fun talks for kids.
Underwater Astonishments by David Gallo, an undersea explorer
This TED talk by David Gallo from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, in a fun-filled five minutes, offers a magnificent footage of the deep sea and all the amazing creatures that inhabit it. You will see the octopus that changes color like a chameleon and disguises itself as a rock. You will be acquainted with the colorful fish that display a beautiful show of light with its bright and shiny natural glow. Watching the sea animals perform astounding antics is both educational and amusing.
What Adults Can Learn From Kids by Adora Svitak, a 12-year-old writer and blogger
In this amazingly intelligent TED talk, Adora talks about the need for the older generations to think more like kids. Her reasoning is that kids and young adults have the innate passion and drive needed to pursue their goals. She asks adults not to underestimate a child’s abilities. She puts forth the need for teachers to give students responsibilities and encourage them to think for themselves. This kid-to-kid talk is a must watch for not just your kids, but also for you as a parent and teacher.
A 12-Year Old App Developer by Thomas Suarez
At an age when most kids are playing video games online or downloading the latest iPad game apps, boy wonder Thomas Suarez, at the tender age of 12, was busy developing those apps. In this motivational TED talk he tells us how he was inspired by Steve Jobs and got into app development. This amazingly talented young boy also runs his own app club at his school. This talk can inspire kids into looking at their own potential to achieve something big. Time to find out if you have a computer wizard at home!
A Performance of “Mathemagic” by Arthur Benjamin, a math professor
The math professor takes you on a ride through a magical mathematical world of mental calculations. He uses memorization techniques for calculation and surprises the audience with his unbelievable ability to square everything from double digits to five digits – all without a calculator and faster too. While he doesn’t reveal many techniques, this talk is guaranteed to keep you and your kids laughing for hours. Use this talk to make your child embrace math!
The Best Kindergarten You’ve Ever Seen by Takaharu Tezuka, an architect
Won’t your preschooler love to see an outdoor classroom without walls? Your teenager might find this school in Tokyo envious too. Tezuka shows off his urban jungle classroom with only a roof, no doors, climbable trees and roof access, designed to let kids be kids. Traffic jams at this cute kindergarten are caused by kids, not vehicles. If you’re not in Tokyo, the least you could do is take your kid on a tour of this kindergarten. Sit down with a bowl of popcorn for this one.
How I Built a Windmill by William Kamkwamba, a boy from Malawi, Kasungu
William’s book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is about how he built a windmill for his family. This talented 14-year-old wanted to generate electricity for his home and did this solely with the information he found in a book from the library. In fact, he created a more powerful windmill than the design in the book. And all he used is spare parts. This TED talk, which is an interview with this amazing kid, is sure to bring a smile on your face. It can be the inspiration young kids need.
Hands-On Science With Squishy Circuits by AnnMarie Thomas, Founder and Director of Playful Learning Lab
This TED talk will be as engaging to adults as it is for kids. AnnMarie talks about the importance of hands-on education. She uses homemade Play-Doh to create recipes that conduct electricity. She shows how very young kids can build circuits with their tiny hands. This TED talk is what your kid needs to get creative. Together, you will learn how to generate home-made electricity for light, a spinning tail and a lot more. Get ready for some hands-on action this summer.
These TED talks demonstrate the power of creative and original thinking. They inculcate, in young minds, the need to think out-of-the-box and do what it takes to achieve success.