The Biggest Little Farm

The Biggest Little Farm

Common Sense Media suggested age: 8+

The Biggest Little Farm follows a couple as they idealistically start and maintain an organic, biodynamic farm just north of Los Angelos. In a short time after beginning their farm, the couple faces the up and down realities of farming and animal husbandry. Some potentially disturbing scenes for kids include: dead animals, the danger of wildfire, a farmer loading a gun to chase a coyote, the death of the family dog, and a human friend’s death from cancer is discussed.

Paper Clips

Paper Clips

Common Sense Media suggested age: 10+

Paper Clips is a great way to introduce kids to the Holocaust and the importance of tolerance and diversity. The film follows kids in the small rural town of Whitwell, Tennessee as they try to collect six million paper clips to represent the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. While the Holocaust is mentioned and described, there are few disturbing or graphic details about the event, making it suitable for most ages.

On the Way to School

On the Way to School

Common Sense Media suggested age: 10+

On the Way to School provides viewers insight into our diverse world through a subject most kids can relate to – traveling to and from school. The film shows four kids from Kenya, Argentina, Morocco, and India on their long and often arduous trips to school. One rides a horse with his sister while another encounters wild animals. This film will expand kids’ horizons as they learn that not all children travel by bus, car or public transit to get to school. It also showcases children who are eager to grow in their education and who will go to great lengths to learn.

Living on One Dollar

Living on One Dollar

Common Sense Media suggested age: 10+

Living on One Dollar provides viewers with insight into the living conditions of nearly 700 million people worldwide. The film is set in Guatemala and features four American college students as they attempt to survive on just one dollar a day. Throughout the film, the students encounter hunger, parasites, and severe financial burdens – exposing the challenges of living in extreme poverty. While the film is eye-opening to all viewers, some aspects of trying to survive extreme poverty could be disturbing to young viewers.

Underwater Dreams

Underwater Dreams

Common Sense Media suggested age: 10+

Underwater Dreams is the story of a robotics team from Phoenix’s Carl Hayden high school, which has a large population of low-income undocumented Mexican immigrants. In 2004, the team entered an underwater robotics competition which put them up against the likes of M.I.T. and other prestigious schools. The Carl Hayden high school outperformed everyone’s expectations and inspired future generations of students at the school to pursue engineering. In additon to the competition, the movie also focuses on immigration reform and what alum from the high school are doing to address it. Beware that there are few times when expletives are used and even though they’re silenced, it’s still obvious which word was said.

He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala

Common Sense Media suggested age: 12+

He Named Me Malala is the follow-up film to the best-selling book, Malala. It showcases young Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her human rights activism. Malala’s activism began shortly after she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about girls’ right to go to school. The film is very forthcoming about the shooting and the political situation in Pakistan that lead up to the assassination attempt. Fortunately, there is no graphic imagery of the event although bloody images are shown of the vehicle Malala was riding in. There are also surgery-prep scenes and news footage about how almost everyone expected Malala to die. This film is intense, making it not suitable for young viewers but the messages of bravery, courage, and the importance of education will resonate with older tweens and teens.

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Posted Under: Kids Activities and Play