Best Educational TV Shows for Kids
Updated: Aug 17
While young children should not be stuck in front of a television or tablet all day, a bit of tv time each day will not hurt them.
There are many educational shows out there to allow your preschooler to continue learning while watching television.
Some of the best educational tv shows are interactive and engage children with various topics and can take them on fun adventures.
My children love to sing along to shows and learn new games from watching some of their favorite programs.
Younger children can even start to develop social skills by singing fun songs and responding to the main character.
Check out some of the best educational shows for preschoolers.
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Are Educational Shows Good for Kids?
There has been some debate on if educational tv shows really help children learn.
Studies have shown that watching too much television can lead to aggression and behavioral issues in children.
According to WebMD, "Researchers found that children who watched more than two hours of television per day from age 2 1/2 until age 5 1/2 were more likely to develop sleep, attention, and aggressive behavior problems than those who watched less."
So, are educational television shows really worth it or should you stick to only books and crafts?
Should I Allow My Kids to Watch Educational TV Shows?
I think you can find a nice balance between allowing your children to sit on their tablets all day and not allowing them to use them at all.
Educational shows can help children learn how to interact with a teacher whether it's by singing songs or repeating words.
Parents should always work with their children to prepare them for school and social settings, but educational shows are just another way to help.
Another reason to allow your children to watch educational shows is to give them the experience of electronic devices.
Although many don't agree with it, electronic devices have become a big part of school today so children should be familiar with them before going into school.
How Much Screen Time is Okay?
I tried limiting my children to a certain number of hours of screen time a day and they would get upset when I would take it away.
I decided to test out a theory I had and stopped limiting screen time. I wanted to allow them access to their tablets the whole day to see how it would go.
My theory was correct, and they barely picked up their tablets the entire day they had full access to them.
My daughter used her tablet for an hour while my son napped, and my son laid on the couch and watched an episode of a show before his nap. They only seemed interested when they were tired.
I realized limiting their screen time to a specific number really made them want it more because it was forbidden. They only wanted their tablets or to spend time in front of the tv when it was not accessible to them.
This may not work with all children though so go into it knowing your child's personality.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states, "Designed to help families make wise media choices, the AAP recommends that parents and caregivers develop a plan that takes into account the health, education and entertainment needs of each individual child as well as the whole family; and then follow the family media plan together, revising it when necessary."
Spending 7 to 10 hours a day on electronics is not good for children but limiting screen time and getting your kids engaging in fun activities and going outside is a much better use of their time.
What are Some of the Best Educational Children’s Shows?
There are so many educational shows out there, so it was hard to pick a few. I decided to choose shows I have watched with my children that I feel teach them new things in a fun way.
Some of the best kids shows teach children how to use their imagination and play together. They can also learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, emotions, and so many more things that are useful for them.
A good show will really engage your child and get them interacting with the characters.
If you are looking for a way to watch some of your favorite educational children's shows, sign up for an Amazon Prime Account.
1. Word Party - Netflix
Word Party is a Netflix series with 4 adorable baby animals, and now 5 since they added Tillie the turtle, who learn many new words. They teach children at least 4 words each episode that all have something in common, for example careers, weather, colors, and more. Since adding Tillie, they also include how to say each word in Mandarin.
2. Bluey - Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video
Bluey is an Australian animated series about a blue Heeler dog, her little sister, Bingo, her mom Chilli, and her dad, Bandit. Bluey and Bingo use their imagination to tell stories and go on adventures everywhere they go. They are great role models for kids of all ages.
3. Ask the Storybots - Netflix
The cute colorful characters Beep, Bing, Bang, Boop, and Bo of Team 341B are given questions by curious younger viewers. They go out into the world to find the answers to questions from real children. You can even submit your child's questions to appear on the show.
4. Doc McStuffins - Disney+ and Hulu
Doc McStuffins is about a young girl who uses her magical stethoscope to bring stuffed animals and toys to life to heal their injuries. She has a playhouse in her backyard where she helps her patients. I love how this show teaches kids they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up, including a doctor.
5. Blippi - Netflix, Hulu, & Amazon Prime Video
Blippi started as a YouTube channel geared towards teaching children about letters, numbers, colors, shapes, animals, trucks, space and more through different activities. Blippi goes to museums, parks, zoos, and so many other places and shows kids what you can do there. Blippi has expanded into multiple shows stretched across different platforms and he has a live show you can attend when he comes to your area.
6. Charlie’s Colorform City - Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Charlie is a colorform from the original colorform toys who goes on story expeditions by changing his scenery and outfits. He has a group of friends who join his adventures along the way. Charlie teaches kids how to build with shapes and explain their emotions with colors.
7. Numberblocks - Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Numberblocks is a great show to teach kids how to count on each other. Each of the 10 characters in the show has their own unique skill and ability, which helps them on their adventures. This show is great to help teach kids preschool math concepts like numbers and counting and has shown to help many kids improve these skills.
8. Little Baby Bum - Netflix and Hulu
This UK based show is educational and plays nursery rhymes each episode. It follows a young girl, her family, and many different animals she's made friends with along the way. Every episode is made up of a series of popular nursery rhymes that children can sing along with.
9. Little Einsteins - Disney+ and Hulu
Little Einsteins follows a group of friends, Leo, Annie, Quincy, and June, who take a trip in their rocket ship to outer space. They introduce us to music, art, nature, and more to teach kids classical works. Each episode teaches a classical song, world culture, and we learn about famous artwork all through their space travel.
10. Blue’s Clues - Paramount+ and Amazon Prime Video
This classic show has been around for many years and has introduced us to many different hosts, but it still sends the same message. Children learn how to work together to solve problems and kids can relate to many of the storylines. Blue wants us to figure out what she wants to do every episode by leaving clue paw prints around the house for us to find. My daughter’s favorite episode is when Magenta goes to the eye doctor to get new glasses because my daughter had received new glasses not too long before she saw the episode.
11. Bubble Guppies - Paramount+ and Hulu
These cute little guppies from under the sea attend Preschool underwater and learn about math, science, literacy, and other subjects. The original music is catchy and will pull you in to watch this show staring these curious little creatures with your kids.
12. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - Disney+ and Hulu
Mickey Mouse and his pals go to his clubhouse to go on a new adventure to learn early math skills, and identify shapes, patterns, and numbers. The playhouse can transform and move however they need it to and has many fun gadgets, including the Mousekedoer and Toodles. The Hot Dog Dance will even have you and your children dancing to the end.
13. Sesame Street - PBS Kids
This long running original series is still a family favorite after all these years. The show made its debut in 1969 and has taught my parent's generation and my generation numbers, colors, and the alphabet. Now this iconic television show is continuing to teach the next generation of children and will continue for years to come. Join Big Bird and the gang while they teach about real life experiences and help kids learn and grow.
14. Magic School Bus Rides Again - Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Go for a ride with your children on the Magic School Bus with Ms. Frizzle's younger sister and her students on magical adventures. You'll learn about scientific topics and historical figures across multiple time periods and locations.
15. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood - Amazon Prime Video and PBS Kids
This series, inspired by Mister Rogers Neighborhood, is about a 4-year-old tiger named Daniel. Daniel is based off the original show's Daniel Striped Tiger and gets ready in the morning just like Mister Rogers by putting on his red sweater and tying his shoes. He goes on a daily adventure of make believe with his friends and invites us to come with him.
16. Dinosaur Train - Amazon Prime Video and PBS Kids
Come on aboard the Dinosaur Train to learn about paleontology, science, history, and planet earth in this CGI-animated series. A young Tyrannosaurus Rex and his family travel on the Dinosaur Train to meet different dinosaurs and travel the natural world. You even get to hear from a real paleontologist at the end of every episode who goes over what you learned during the show.
17. Muppet Babies - Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video
If you loved Muppet Babies in the 90's, you'll love the new Muppet Babies for your children. Instead of focusing on colors and shapes, this show focuses on imaginative play and learning about emotions. Follow the Muppets while they're babies, before the adult versions we all know and love.
18. Super Why! - PBS Kids and Amazon Prime Video
Super Why is an animated tv show and it has an interactive website for kids to learn and play. Preschoolers can learn reading skills, including the alphabet, and rhyming, to help them prepare for kindergarten. The characters in this show live at the library and solve problems by turning into superheroes and going into books. They can use what they learned in the books to solve problems in their own lives.
19. Sid the Science Kid - PBS Kids and Amazon Prime Video
A kid named Sid, who wants to be a stand-up comedian, uses his stuffed animals as his audience to tell jokes and ask silly questions. Then he spends the rest of the episode looking for answers to his questions and sometimes uses the scientific method. Kids can learn science in a fun way using jokes and music and watch experiments throughout each episode. This is a great way to teach your children natural science, even if they're in preschool or kindergarten.
20. Gabby's Dollhouse - Netflix
Gabby loves to shrink down and enter her dollhouse to explore with her cat friends. Each episode begins with Gabby sitting into bedroom with her stuffed Pandy Paws. After getting mail, she takes Pandy Paws along into the dollhouse where they visit the many different rooms inside. Kids can learn so many different messages including teamwork, creativity, and taking care of themselves in everyday life.
There are so many fun and educational children's shows that are great for the whole family.
Many of these shows do a great job teaching kids science concepts, math concepts, critical thinking, social studies, and even about the human body.
I love to play with my children and watch their imaginations grow and these shows don't take away from that.
I know that if they are watching one of these great options, they are still learning and growing.
If you are looking for a great list of educational shows, these are some of the best shows out there right now for younger kids and older kids.
Some of these shows I enjoy watching with my children because I feel like I'm learning right along with them.
What shows do your children love to watch?
Are there any other shows you find educational for children?