Watch this! The Origin of Everything

Grade-school kids seem capable of acquiring encyclopedic knowledge of just about anything, whether they’re dinosaurs, dog breeds, Pokemon or Minecraft. My kiddo has been into history since last year, thanks to the Hazardous Tales books by Nathan Hale, but these are books about history on a grand scale, like the Alamo, Underground Railroad, World War I and II. For variety’s sake, how about something a bit shorter and lighter? PBS’s digital series Origin of Everything on YouTube fits the bill perfectly. Host Danielle Bainbridge, a self-professed history nerd, answers questions about origins of things (all kinds of things) while giving you solid historical background. Best of all, every video is under ten minutes!

You and me and every kid want to know… Why Do We Get Grades In School? Is it to give us PTSD? Does success in the classroom predict future success? Danielle answers.


In How WWII Create Godzilla & Mech Robots, Danielle dives into the origins of monsters and giant mechs. World War II and post-war industrialization were hugely influential on movies and animation.


Here’s one for kids who love science. Why Do We Eat Artificial Flavors?


I love how Danielle takes what are essentially trivial question and makes connections with history. Watch more on PBS’s Origins of Everything channel.

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