While it’s very important to limit screen time for kids, letting kids have some occasional TV time in moderation won’t hurt and can be educational. With that in mind, you may be wondering what TV shows will be educational and good for your children to watch.
Here are some of the best educational shows for kids that seek to teach little ones important life lessons:
1. The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That
The Cat in the Hat may know about a lot of things, but he doesn’t know it all. In this short cartoon, the Cat and his pals Sally and Nick seek to learn more about the world around them. This show is designed to spark a love of learning in kids, and it uses the whimsical world of The Cat in the Hat to:
- Introduce kids to science
- Support curiosity about the natural world
- Teach children about scientific inquiry
While science is sometimes seen as “too advanced” for small children, teaching it early is important to establish and maintain interest in children. The Cat teaches kids basic but crucial habits like asking questions and using different resources to find answers.
Each episode is around 12 minutes long and recommended for children ages three and up. Parents should encourage questions their children may have about the natural world and share in the excitement of learning something new.
2. Peg + Cat
Peg + Cat is a math-based series that follows a little girl called Peg and her sidekick Cat. Together, they go on adventures and discover how math is important in their world. The show seeks to teach children basic math skills such as:
- How to measure
- Problem-solving skills
- Shapes and patterns
Peg and Cat solve the problems they come across with math and sometimes they fail, but that’s okay. To solve the problem, they have to brainstorm and try to work out the problem via trial and error. Peg and Cat teaches kids that even if a problem seems impossible, there’s always a solution.
Peg + Cat is recommended for children three to five years old, and each episode is 12 minutes long. Encourage your child to work with Peg to try and figure out the problem. Ask them what they think Peg should do to solve the problem to encourage creative problem solving.
3. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Considered a classic, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood invites children to join Mr. Rogers in everything he does from going on field trips to caring for his goldfish. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is specially designed for children with its slow pacing, and seeks to create a calm, safe environment and encourage imagination.
The show focuses on the more social aspects of life like:
- Respect for yourself and others
- Overcoming and understanding fears
Once they enter his “Neighborhood of Make-Believe,” Mr. Rogers shows respect towards visitors and seeks to know them better and appreciate what makes them unique. He also tackles bigger topics like death with gentle honesty in a way that children will understand and parents will appreciate.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is recommended for children two to five years old, but children of all ages can watch it and appreciate the messages. While on the longer side of 28 minutes, it may be a good idea to break each episode up into segments so your child can take a break and move around. In between each break, ask your child what they liked about what they saw and what they learned from it.