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Shark Week Is The Best Kid TV Event Of The Year

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The 25th anniversary of Shark Week officially kicked off Sunday night and we’ve been celebrating with our kids by watching the Discovery Channel and learning all about these wondrous creatures. Sharks have been around more than 420 million years and there are about 400 different species of sharks. My kids always get super excited about Shark Week, and we try and make it a family event by watching the programs together, reading about sharks, making shark-themed snacks and playing on the Shark Week website shown below.

My boys are interested in sharks and think they are cool, but my most rabid shark fan is my 7-year-old daughter who can name many different species and recite all sorts of interesting facts about them.The only time she gets upset during the shows is during the autopsies or seeing dead sharks, but I’m just careful to close her eyes then. I’m happy that my kids can appreciate how interesting sharks are and don’t just see them as horrifying killing machines, and we talk about how they are misunderstood and in danger of becoming extinct. Shark Week is really the best consistent television viewing of the year with kids. It’s fun and educational and they get to see some incredible animals that they don’t get to encounter at their local zoo.

Watching Shark Week with your kids is great to get them excited about science and to learn all about these amazing creatures.

Kids will freak out over Sharkzilla,  a 52-foot-long mechanical shark that Mythbusters created to replicate a prehistoric megalodon that grew to over 50 feet in length—almost three times bigger than a great white. He has an 8-foot wide, 8000-pound set of steel shark jaws with over 20,000 pounds of pure bite force. You and your kids can vote online to see what Sharkzilla chomps down on next. So far the giant robot has smashed a jet ski, sofa and ATM machine!

There is a webpage dedicated to interactive shark games where kids can “shark themselves” by uploading a picture, solve puzzles,take quizzes and view a map that shows where shark attacks have occurred and where other discoveries have been made.

In addition, there is an excellent Discovery Kids shark app sold for $2.99 which features live action videos, virtual shark trading cards, shark facts and five interactive games.

Shark Week has partnered with three organizations dedicated to protecting sharks, and families can learn about shark conservation and how people can help these magnificent beats from becoming extinct.

For those of you with smaller kids who may be too afraid to enjoy the deep sea predators, feel free to enjoy a much fluffier alternative, Animals Acting Like Sharks Week  featuring puppies and kittens.

I’ve always been fascinated by sharks. They are dinosaurs! In the water! My younger sister is a huge shark advocate and has traveled to swim in shark cages and observe sharks up close. I haven’t gotten the chance yet, but I’d love to see these beautiful animals and wonder at the sheer insanity of how amazingly cool sharks are.  It’s crazy to think that this species of incredible animals have been around since the beginning of time and they can grow to be the size of of a moving truck. It’s terrible that these creatures are facing extinction in almost every part of the world due to overfishing and destruction of their habitats. Sharing Shark Week with my kids means that they learn to care about the world around them, and hopefully sharks won’t end up something that can only be viewed in books and movies by the time they have kids. In this day and age of Kardashians and Real Housewives, I’m thankful The Discovery Channel provides a reality viewing experience I actually like sharing with my kids.

Are you and your kids enjoying Shark Week? How do you celebrate it? Be sure and let us know in the comments and check your local television listings for Discovery Channel HD. I know me and my little ones will be watching The Great White Highway Thursday night!

(Photo: Shutterstock)