Five of the Best Educational Kids Shows (that aren’t super annoying)
Any mom of a toddler has heard the horror stories of a certain kids show…
No, it’s not Barney, it’s not Dora the Explorer, it’s not even Spongebob (which will NEVER be shown in my house).
It’s the dreaded…
I’m lucky enough to never have watched it, and apparently, for good reason. What I’ve heard from moms is that Caillou, the main character, is a kid who is annoying, disrespectful, and whiny. It seems to be a show that is every parent’s nightmare, so it’s been avoided in our house.
With that said, though, what kind of shows do my kids watch? If you’re a busy parent, you probably don’t have time to watch a whole episode of each new show before your kids to decide whether it’s decent or not.
And every mom has, as some point, caught themselves singing the theme song from a kids’ show absentmindedly, only to suddenly stop and question all that is good in the world. (Or is that just me??). Okay, admittedly, I’m being a bit dramatic. But, I’ve got to be honest – every time I realize I’m obliviously singing a Barney song when my kids aren’t even around, a little part of me dies.
…Not to pick on Barney.
My point is, as parents, we sometimes can’t avoid seeing and hearing our kids’ entertainment. And that means I will be even pickier in what I allow them to watch. (Granted, I’m already somewhat picky because I want most of their entertainment to be wholesome and at least somewhat educational).
So, here are my picks for good kids shows that are educational and not annoying (keep in mind, all kids shows are somewhat irritating, so it’s all relative, haha!). All of these shows are available on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
#1: Little Einsteins
This preschool-age show features a group of kids who go on missions in their rocket (that’s the selling point for my son). The episodes are designed to introduce themes of nature, world cultures, and art to young children.
Each episode incorporates one classical piece of music by composers like Bach and Beethoven in the Little Einsteins’ mission or journey. They integrate the song throughout the episode, using rhythms, counting, and patterns in the song.
Seasons 1-2 are available on Netflix.
#2: Doc McStuffins
Doc McStuffins is a Disney show about a 6-year-old girl who is a “doctor” to her toys and animals. It does feature some magical elements with the toys being able to come to life, so that may bother some parents. But in my opinion, the main character is a pretty good role model for young kids, and the “magical” elements are more about playing make believe.
She uses her imagination and solves problems, hoping to become a doctor like her mom when she grows up. Her treatments include things like fixing loose stitching or replacing low batteries.
I would say this show isn’t as educational as some of the rest on this list, but overall it teaches good lessons while being tolerable for adults.
Seasons 1-3 are available on Hulu.
#3: Magic School Bus
Most people are familiar with this classic show, which is about a class of students and their eclectic teacher going on scientific adventures in a magic bus. I would say it’s best for kids more in the 4-8 range.
Watching the show, kids will learn about things like animal habitats, the human digestive system, and how volcanos work, in an interactive and fun way. In my opinion, it’s a great show for kids.
Seasons 1-4 of Magic School Bus are available on Netflix.
#4: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
This spin-off of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is made for ages 2-6. It’s about 4-year-old Daniel Tiger, who invites preschoolers into his land of make believe.
Overall, the show is just about learning basic social skills like sharing, patience, self-control, etc. It includes simple little jingles that my kids still sing all the time, like, “You can take a turn, and then I’ll get it back!”
Seasons 1-7 are available to stream through Amazon.
#5: Wild Kratts
My kids recently started watching Wild Kratts after I’d heard great things about the show from other moms I trusted.
After some whining about trying out a new show (the trials of youth), my kids loved it! The Kratt brothers take kids on really fun adventures while learning about animals and nature.
One cool thing about this show is that my 3YO loves it, but I think they would continue to enjoy it up to ages 7 or 8.
Seasons 1-2 and 10 are available on Amazon.
There are a few other shows that I let my kids watch, but these are my favorite that we’ve found.
What do the kids watch at your house?