Whether it's an on-screen space adventure, the brain challenge of an anagram quiz, or great recipes for cooking with kids, SBS has plenty to offer over the holiday period.
So much to watch
All day, every day there’s a wonderful range of movies and documentaries streaming at SBS On Demand. A great place to start is the Family Movies collection, which includes gems such as the heart-warming Belle and Sebastian, the tale of a young boy who befriends a wild mountain dog (there are two sequels, too, and both are also available). Older kids with a creative bent can jump into Bandslam or Fame. On the sci-fi and fantasy front, take a look at the family adventure Alone in Space; the tale of a strange new pet in the comedy CJ7; or The Ash Lad, which sees a farmer’s son embark on a dangerous quest to save a princess from a troll.
The Children’s TV Shows collection at SBS On Demand has a great mix of old favourites (Fraggle Rock, anyone??) and new shows, including two seasons of the Logie-award winning animated Australian children’s series Little J and Big Cuz and the time warp of Future Dreaming. Kids also love the adventurous wolf cubs in the animated series Tales of Tatonka.
Look out, too, for Wonderful World of Chocolate Christmas, a delicious documentary that goes inside a chocolate factory to see how they make lots of festive treats, including a near life-size Santa (8.30pm Friday 18 December on SBS). And on NITV, there's the joy of Emmett Otter’s Jug-band Christmas, by Muppets creator Jim Henson ( 7.30pm Monday 25 December).
Cooking with kids
If your kids love cooking, look out for Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance Kids, which will be screening on SBS Food (Channel 33) at 2.30pm weekdays from Wednesday 30 December to Friday 8 January. The show is packed with great recipes that kids can enjoy helping to make, from choc-banana brownies to coconut popsicles and sushi cones (find all the great recipes from the series on the SBS Food website here). “I’ve taken simple recipes that kids adore and given them a healthy change-up,” Hay says.
Over on the SBS Food website, take a look at BakeProof columnist Anneka Manning’s Kids in the Kitchen favourites. “We often underestimate what kids can achieve in the kitchen, presuming that rolling a biscuit, decorating a cupcake or licking a bowl is their limit. But kids can be incredibly capable when it comes to baking — if they are supported, encouraged and given guidance. Of course they’ll probably love just doing the simple, fun and deliciously sweet jobs, but there are so many recipes that will engage, teach and entertain them, and that they will love eating when they finish,” she says. The column includes recipes for sticky cinnamon chocolate scrolls, baked pumpkin gnocchi and marbled meringue pops.
For an incredibly easy kitchen project with sweet rewards likely to please small and big folk alike (a great present idea, too), take a look at this two-ingredient chocolate fudge recipe, where condensed milk and chocolate make magic together. Also check out the SBS Food kid friendly recipe collection – it’s a combination of things kids will enjoy eating and things they will love to make!
Quizzes and activities
SBS Learn offers a range of excellent resources for teachers, but there are some gems for parents and carers here, too. Several of the resources include suggestions for activities that kids could also try at home. First Gear: Healthy, Sustainable Lifestyles Through Cycling, for example, has sections looking at the Tour de France, safe cycling and healthy lifestyles, plus an “invent a bike” activity (using craft materials to design the kind of bike we might be riding in the future). Preserving First Languages is based on a popular interactive documentary, My Grandmother's Lingo, and gives a chance to learn some of the Marra language or to hear about the process of making the film. Or challenge their brain (and yours) with the interactive quizzes in the Problem Solving and Lateral Thinking Resource. And for footbal fans, Celebrate the World of Football has worksheets in six languages.
Read this article on Classroom Recommendations before doing any of the SBS Learn activities with children.