It’s no secret that TED Talks are full of valuable nuggets of information that can make you a better presenter, storyteller, professional, and human. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are a number of great TED Talks that provide all kinds of helpful advice and value to little humans, too.

Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or someone else who finds themselves spending lots of time with children, check out the following TED Talks that are sure to leave a positive impression on kids. 

A teen just trying to figure it out by Tavi Gevinson

Who better to speak to teenagers than a teen herself? In her inspiring talk, Tavi Gevinson discusses her struggle to find strong, teenage girl role models and this struggle resulted in her creating an online space where they can find each other. Her web magazine, Rookie, is a publication that centers around modern feminism, and the often confusing and uncertain issues teen girls face each day. This talk is all about how she did that and the hope she has for a feminist future.

A performance of “Mathemagic” by Arthur Benjamin

Anyone who’s spent time working with a child on his/her homework knows that it can be tough to draw out any enthusiasm for math. Questions like “What’s the point?” “When will I ever need this?” and “Do I have to?” are common refrains. Well, in this unique talk, Arthur Benjamin does the seemingly impossible: he makes math fun. For real. From guessing birthdays to solving equations faster than a team of calculators, this presentation is sure to make kids rethink the idea that math is boring.

A promising test for pancreatic cancer from a teenager by Jack Andraka

Their small size, inability to vote, and general lack of freedom compared to adults can make a lot of kids feel like they can’t make a difference. Well, Jack Andraka turns that notion on its head. In his moving presentation, Jack discusses how he solved the problem of late-diagnosed pancreatic cancers (which typically leads to death) by developing an early detection test that’s cheap, effective, and non-invasive. And he just so happened to have done it before his 16th birthday.

The genius puppetry behind War Horse by Handspring Puppet Co.

Any presentation revolving around awesome and innovative puppetry is bound to get a child’s attention, but this talk is more than just puppets. It tells an incredibly compelling story about how a hyena’s paw led to some of the most lifelike puppets the world has ever seen. But rather than tell the audience how lifelike they are, they show them, ending the presentation with Joey the War Horse galloping on stage in all his amazingly lifelike glory. This talk is as entertaining as it is informative, so it’s not to be missed.

If I should have a daughter by Sarah Kay

In a presentation that received two standing ovations, poet and teacher, Sarah Kay, tells a story of personal transformation. She delves into the personal value each of us has to offer the world, no matter our age, gender, or background, and the ways to find the courage to tap into it and share it in the face of fear and uncertainty. Furthermore, she talks about how to overcome the often desperate desire to seem “cool” and how much happier we are when we learn to ignore that and instead focus on being fully engaged with ourselves and what’s around us.

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