How It's Made

TV review by
Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media
How It's Made TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
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Parents say

age 6+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 21 reviews

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We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Encourages curiosity about the world. No mention of working conditions in the factories where the products are made.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This series is an informative and educational look at the process that goes into creating items, but very little attention is paid to any role models -- positive or negative -- who are a part of the process. 

Violence & Scariness

Brief mention of topics like animal slaughter.

Sexy Stuff

Segment on hatchery chicks talked about fertilized vs. unfertilized eggs.


The show is all about specific products, but brands usually aren't part of the deal.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How It's Made is a fascinating fact-based educational series that demonstrates how all sorts of items are constructed. Occasionally segments focus on potentially disturbing products, like hatchery chicks, in which baby chickens are seen hatching and then being sorted by hand and machine onto giant conveyor belts for eventual shipment to farms (and subsequent slaughter). Little kids might not be interested or have the attention span to follow the different segments, but children who like to know how things work may very well be entranced.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byeswanson April 9, 2008

6yo son LOVES this show

Personally it bores me to tears with innane commentary, over use of stock video footage, and slow pace but it fascinates my son. I let him watch while I go do... Continue reading
Adult Written byChief438 March 15, 2020

Unhappy now

Why are your ad for other programs larger than your program that is currently showing. This just started. I don't appreciate commercials taking over almo... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old July 28, 2014

vary good.

vary good in education and learning.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Very interesting.

Very educational show! Suitable for all ages.

What's the story?

HOW IT'S MADE is a fascinating educational series for all ages that reveals how every day products are made. Using clear, factual language, the narrator describes the steps involved in making food products, household goods, and more as viewers watch the production onscreen. Episodes usually feature four products, from car radiators and phyllo dough to aluminum foil and hatchery chicks. In the phyllo dough segment, for example, cameras capture the mixing of ingredients as the narrator explains the proportions of high-protein flour to low-protein flour. A machine shapes the dough into cylinders that workers then shape into balls by hand. The dough is then flattened, dried, stretched, cut, and packaged -- some by machine and some by hand -- until it becomes what consumers recognize from the supermarket.

Is it any good?

Curious kids and adults will learn from the show, and some segments can really broaden your perspective. For instance, the segment on hatchery chicks might encourage a discussion about where meat comes from or families' opinions about industrial versus sustainable food production. With its emphasis on facts, some might find How It's Made lacking in personality. Some segments will appeal to viewers more than others, depending on your interest or familiarity with the featured item.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about everyday products they're curious about and speculate How It's Made. What things do you want to know more about? Which products seem mysteriously constructed?

  • Have you ever thought about where your food, car, furniture, sporting goods, etc. came from? How do you think people would get by if they were responsible for obtaining and/or making everything they needed themselves?

  • How do you think products are selected to be featured on the show? How does the show help market the products it features?

  • How does How It's Made inspire curiosity? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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