Whether you are looking for educational content or just shows with appropriate content and values for your kids, you want to know what they’re watching. These great shows represent some of the most popular and best educational content on television.
1. Bob the Builder
Can we do it? Yes, we can? Bob the Builder’s can-do attitude encourages self-reliance and hard work. The show is known for emphasizing cooperation and problem-solving in a team. On air since 1988, the show has been nominated for several BAFTAs over the years and actually won one for the Christmas special.
2. Sesame Street
Kermit may not hang on Sesame Street anymore, but Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Super Grover, and your other Sesame friends are still teaching pre-reading, counting, colors, and even other languages. Its list of awards is lengthy and includes a couple Peabody awards, numerous Emmys, recognition from writers’ guilds, ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) awards, and more for everything from costuming to writing and general outstanding children’s programming.
3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Based on the tiger from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the show models kindness, curiosity, and respect for others while discussing the typical preschool issues. Like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, the show’s premise is built around teaching social-emotional skills to preschoolers. Common Sense Media lists it as ‘amazing’ and notes the research team behind the show vets each episode with real preschoolers to assess understanding. It has won a variety of awards, including the Silver Parent’s Choice Award.
4. Super Why
Super Why is a literacy-based, interactive show where viewers are encouraged to solve a ‘big problem’ while recognizing letters and using pre-literacy skills. The show has been nominated for several Emmy awards and is noted as actually helping children learn to read.
If you have a budding reader, Wallykazam may be all that you’ve been hoping for. Focused on teaching kids phonics, letter recognition, and letter-sound associations, each episode teaches interesting words, and bonus – it’s set in a fairytale forest. The blogger from Mommyish praises the show noting it has great music that ‘won’t drive you nuts.’ The show has only been on since 2014 and already has been nominated for an Annie award for excellence in animation and an Emmy award for outstanding children’s program in 2017.
6. Doc McStuffins
There are so many things to love about DocMcStuffins, a little girl who opens a clinic for hurt stuffed animals and toys in her playhouse. The show features an African-American girl as a ‘doctor’ and has received quite a bit of attention and praise for breaking stereotypes. The show works with the Hollywood Health Society to ensure the storylines are medically accurate and has won the NAACP image award for Outstanding Children’s Program.
7. Between the Lions
On air since 1999, Between the Lions is about a group of lions who run a library. Educationally, the show’s focus is on teaching reading, but more importantly, teaching a love of books. Parenting Magazine has listed it as a great television show for preschoolers, and it has won two Emmy Awards for outstanding children’s show and outstanding writing.
8. Sid the Science Kid
Sid the Science Kid is about a kid who uses comedy to try to answer questions about scientific principles. If you’ve ever wanted to teach your kids great hypothesizing, this is your show. Based on the national curriculum, Preschool Pathways to Science, the show has a team of writers dedicated to adhering to national science standards. It’s recommended by Science Explorers as one of the best science shows for preschoolers.
9. Little Einsteins
Little Einsteins features classic art and music while viewers are encouraged to interact with the show such as patting knees or making other gestures to ‘help’ the crew complete their mission. It is unique in content and because it uses live action footage combined with animation. It has won a Parent’s Choice Award, and Common Sense Media gives it a solid 5 out of 5 stars.
10. Peg + Cat
Peg + Cat features Peg and her adorable Cat. The duo always find themselves on an adventure that somehow requires arithmetic and mathematical thinking. It has won several awards including seven Emmy awards and as a Parent’s Choice Gold award.