How do you explain September 11 to your children?

9/11 on Brain POPToday is my birthday. Which means for the last 10 years, it’s the day I refuse to turn on any news media whatsoever and re-experience the hell that I did more than a decade ago on this date. But now that my kids are getting older and asking questions, I’m turning to more appropriate sources than some network that shows footage of a fiery plane crash 6500 times in a row and calls it “news.”

BrainPOP Jr and BrainPOP are always my saviors in such matters and last year we discovered that they do a great job explaining September 11 to kids, even if it’s still pretty heavy and definitely not for little kids. I’m pleased to see it updated for 2012, with more recent details about the building of the Freedom Tower in NYC, and capture of Bin Laden; but I love that they also take the time to explain that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people. There’s also a nice FYI section for more info, including a really lovely acknowledgement of all the rescue workers that’s summed up by my favorite line: In the face of tragedy, the American spirit of cooperation and generosity had not been damaged at all. 

I think that’s a perfectly encouraging message for kids to take away from this all.

Plus the video ends on an upbeat, “I Love NY” note. And as a New Yorker, still here on this date, I couldn’t agree more either. -Liz

Find the September 11 BrainPOP video for older children online at their website. 

*Peace, everyone. Now go turn off the TV and do something special*

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • Reply September 11, 2012


    I am so sorry that it is your birthday. That is a bitter pill on top of an already difficult day. Like you I avoid media on 9/11. The argument that we will somehow forget if we aren’t reminded is an insult. I also go to BrainPop and each year the kids watch their video and take the quiz and talk about any questions they have. We love brainpop.

    Happy Birthday, Liz!

  • Reply September 11, 2012


    This is a terrific resource, Liz. And happy birthday!

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