Life Hacks for Kids: On the Road
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
YouTube DIYers find inspiration in new experiences.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
All of the DIY projects featured in the show are easy to replicate at home with basic craft supplies like glue, paper, fabric, and embellishments. The hosts give verbal and visual instructions as they complete the projects on-screen. The field trips they take expose viewers to a variety of careers related to science and the arts.
Kids see Gillian and Angeline out on adventures that expose them to new skills and introduce them to new people. Their curiosity opens doors for them, and they're never afraid to make mistakes (and learn from them) on their journeys. When things don't turn out as they plan, they turn disappointment into excitement with "hackspirations" that inspire new DIY projects.
Positive Role Models
Gillian and Angeline learn under mentors in subjects related to music, art, and science. They eagerly jump into the projects at hand, and their creativity shows in what they learn and in their finished works. Mentors encourage their ideas and their hands-on learning, as well as the concept that every mistake has value in its ability to teach a lesson.
Products & Purchases
Gillian is a YouTube personality with numerous DIY-themed videos. The show has a literary (and marketing) tie-in with a series of instructional books available to fans.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Life Hacks for Kids: On the Road is a DreamWorksTV series extension of the YouTube series Life Hacks for Kids that expands on the brand's DIY format to follow its young hosts' travels along the West Coast. YouTuber Gillian Espina stars in the series with her sister, Angeline, and episodes follow the girls' visits to a variety of places where science and the arts inspire the work that's done. As they try new things under mentors, viewers see how the girls' curiosity and eagerness to learn opens doors for them, and how they use creativity ("hackspiration") to remedy mistakes. Because of the show's relationship to YouTube content, kids may want to check out more DIY projects online, so reminders about online safety would be wise.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Life Hacks for Kids: On the Road
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What's the Story?
In LIFE HACKS FOR KIDS: ON THE ROAD, YouTube personality and expert life hacker Gillian Espina is joined by her sister, Angeline Espina, for some West Coast field trips that provide "hackspiration" for new DIY projects. Each episode sees them off to a new city with plans to visit places and people whose work inspires them. From mural artists to NASA engineers, the mentors show Gillian and Angeline what they do and how they do it, and invite them to try some of it as well. Along the way, these life hackers demonstrate projects that help make the act of travel more fun and life's inevitable messes a little more tolerable. The show also features a band whose members interact with the hosts at the start and end of each episode.
Is It Any Good?
Budding DIYers will want to tune in for these gregarious sisters' adventures that are more well-rounded than a 30-minute series billed as "life hacks" would suggest. Yes, plenty of attention is given to kid-friendly projects like jazzed-up jeans and personalized headphones for a car trip, but these whirlwind field trips are enjoyable in their own right. As Gillian and Angeline meet adults with as much passion for their jobs as the hosts have for their hobbies, viewers get to see that pursuing your interests can take you places you may never have imagined -- and that's a great message for all kids.
Life Hacks for Kids: On the Road is a fun pick for parents and kids to watch together, and it encourages conversations about experiencing new things, meeting new people, and turning mistakes into learning opportunities. If you're a DIYer, even better. Grab your glue gun and your glitter, and get ready to be inspired to team up with your kids for some projects inspired by Gillian and Angeline.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the learning value of DIY shows like Life Hacks for Kids: On the Road. Do you have the skills needed to replicate the projects the hosts do? If not, how might you go about learning them before tackling the larger projects?
This series suggests that Gillian and Angeline embark on their adventures mostly on their own. What freedoms do you have in where you go and how you spend your time? What are your family rules about communication when you're apart? How does technology make communication easier? On the other hand, what safety concerns exist concerning our easy access to social media in particular?
Kids: What character strengths do you notice in the show's hosts? How does their sense of creativity and curiosity help them overcome the mistakes they make? Do you react similarly, or is it more difficult for you to get over disappointment?
- Premiere date: March 4, 2018
- Cast: Angeline Espina, Gillian Espina
- Network: Universal Kids
- Genre: Reality TV
- Topics: Adventures
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Last updated: November 1, 2022
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