12 Educational Shows For Toddlers That You Don’t Feel Guilty (2023)

All right, first things first—the experts are clear on the rules of screen time for toddlers: no screens before the age of two, per the American Academy of Pediatrics.

And while we strongly urge you to follow guidelines set out by the experts and avoid screens for your under-two tot, we also know that sometimes, screens = survival. So, if your toddler’s favorite toys just aren’t cutting it and you’re tuning into a television break for your little one, you can at least make sure it’s one of these educational shows for toddlers.

We’ve rounded up a list of the best educational TV shows for toddlers that are highly-rated by both young viewers and their parents. You can expect plenty of engaging characters, quality content, and ample opportunities for learning. Whether your baby is on the brink of toddlerhood or your almost preschooler is begging for a snack and a movie snuggle, rest assured that these educational shows will provide top notch viewing.

Who knows, you might even find yourself smiling at a character’s cute antics, bopping along to a catchy tune, or singing a little jingle reminding you to “stop and go right away” when you have to go potty.

TV shows for tots:

  • Beat Bugs
  • Peg + Cat
  • The Magic School Bus
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Baby Signing Time
  • Wild Kratts
  • Ask the StoryBots
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  • Hello Ninja
  • Cocomelon
  • Word Party
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

“Sometimes, screens = survival.”

What are the Best Educational TV Shows for Toddlers?

So what are the best educational shows that you can turn on for your toddler? Let’s take a look with some of our favorite recommendations.

Beat Bugs

Available on Netflix

What do you get when Australian and Canadian creators merge minds? A fabulous kids show inspired by darling bugs and the songs that make them groove, namely The Beatles. In Beat Bugs, five cute bugs—a ladybug, cricket, beetle, fruit fly, and a slug—teach little ones valuable life lessons from the safety of the bug’s backyard home.

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Peg + Cat

Available on PBS Kids

Created by The Fred Rogers Company (so you know it’s good!) and inspired by the children’s storybook, The Chicken Problem, Peg + Cat follows a little girl, Peg, and her meowy-sweet kitty friend, Cat. These two tackle problems that require them to put their math and problem-solving skills to the test.

The Magic School Bus

Available on Netflix

If I do say so myself this is the single best education TV show for toddlers, because it’s straight outta my own childhood.

Climb on the old-school classic Magic School Bus, where adventure and science are waiting! Teacher Ms. Frizzle and her class are ready to explore science and your family gets to tag along. Touted for school-age kids, our family has found that it is engaging enough for toddlers too, so don’t leave them out of the learning opportunity.

Sid the Science Kid

Available on PBS Kids

Sid is a creative kid with a lot of questions. (That’s not just me saying it—it’s his tagline!) Every episode starts with one such query and then he sets off to find the answer. Developed by The Jim Henson Co., Sid the Science Kid melds the wonders of animation and puppetry for a fun and fabulous educational show.

Baby Signing Time

Available on DVD, for purchase on Amazon Prime, and smart TV subscription streaming

Emmy-nominated sign language expert Rachel Coleman launched Signing Time and Baby Signing Time after giving birth to her daughter, Leah, who is deaf. Coleman and her sister have gone on to produce many amazing episodes introducing sign language to parents, babies, toddlers, and older children as well.

Although this show used to be available on public television and streaming services, it is now only available for purchase. But, we couldn’t leave it out—it’s too valuable of a resource for little ones and definitely worth the investment.

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Wild Kratts

Available on PBS Kids

You may remember the Kratt brothers from your own childhood—Chris and Martin Kratt have been teaching a young audience about animals for a long time. Their current show, Wild Kratts, animates the brothers as they adventure, fight nature’s villains, and teach amazing facts about wild animals and their unique habitats.

And honestly? This show is darn interesting–you’ll probably find yourself enjoying it right alongside of your kids!

Ask the StoryBots

Available on Netflix

Five curious little creatures lead little ones as they explore the world and answer questions kids commonly have. Follow along as Beep, Boop, Bing, Bang, and Bo explain big things in a tangible, kid-friendly way. And, be sure to enjoy the spin off series, “Storybots Super Songs” and during the holidays, “A Storybots Christmas.”

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Available on Disney+

Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Goofy at their Clubhouse! With engaging music, fun stories, and introductory lessons in shapes, colors, numbers, and patterns, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will help your toddlers master basics while falling in love with classic Disney characters. Plus, I can guarantee your toddler will love dancing along to that infamous opening theme song. (And yes, it will be stuck in your head all day, sorry.)

Hello Ninja

Available on Netflix

Based on the book by the same name, Hello Ninja chronicles Wesley and Georgie’s best friend adventures as they put their ninja skills to work and save the day. As a team, with their silly sidekick cat Pretzel, the trio problem solve and put their imagination to work.

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Cocomelon

Available on Netflix

Note: Netflix doesn’t have an official trailer for Cocomelon on YouTube, so this is a third-party video.

Before joining Netflix, Cocomelon was a YouTube series for little learners (and it is still available there). Now, they have brought their darling nursery rhymes and original songs to Netflix, so more toddlers can enjoy J.J.’s adventures as he learns letters, numbers, animal sounds, and more.

As a mom who introduced Cocomelon to her toddler, I have to say: do this with caution, because your toddler will get hooked. It’s all my daughter wants to watch 24/7!

Word Party

Available on Netflix

Word Party invites viewers to help a friend group of walking and talking baby animals discover the answer to their questions. The little wallaby, panda, elephant, cheetah, and tortoise embark on familiar, daily activities with laughter and song with a focus on building vocabulary, exploring foreign language, and better understanding emotions.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Available on PBS Kids

Inspired by Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, four-year-old Daniel Tiger and friends O the Owl, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, and Miss Elaina learn throughout the day at home, school, and everywhere in between. Thanks to its Mister Rogers’ roots, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood teaches little ones social and emotional awareness through imagination and creativity as they grow and develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much screen time is OK for my toddler?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no television or screen time for children under the age of two. After that, less than two hours a day is ideal. It’s also important that when you do choose to tune in, you are particular about the shows you choose and watch with your children so you can explain, monitor, and engage with them as the content is delivered.

Is my toddler actually going to retain anything from educational TV?

Yes and no. Toddlers will always retain more from hands-on activities, but educational TV does provide a reasonable launching pad for both introducing and reviewing age-appropriate topics. This relates back to the importance of co-viewing. When you watch with your child, you are then equipped to complete the lesson full circle with a tangible experience. For example, “We saw Tilly trying peas for her lunch, let’s have peas together today when we eat next!” or “Daniel is practicing riding his bike, let’s turn off the show and practice yours together.”

Are cartoons better for toddlers than live action shows?

The comparison between cartoons and live action shows truly come down to personal preference. Some little ones will be absolutely transfixed by National Geographic animal shows, while others are only drawn to bright colors and cartoon characters. Across the board, almost all television shows geared towards toddlers are animated, but, as the parent, you definitely have the prerogative to screen and introduce appropriate live action shows too.

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Written by: Gretchen Bossio

Gretchen Bossio is a homeschooling mom from the Pacific Northwest. Writing has always been one of her favorite pastimes so she takes great joy in moonlighting as a freelance writer covering topics such as parenting, wellness, education, fashion, and travel.

FAQs

What is an example of educational television? ›

The presence of edutainment is especially evident in children's television series, such as Sesame Street, Teletubbies, and Dora the Explorer. Discovery Channel is also known for its various shows that follow that theme, including MythBusters.

What is the best show for 5 year olds? ›

Educational TV Shows for Kids
  • Cyberchase. age 5+ ...
  • The Electric Company. age 5+ ...
  • Elinor Wonders Why. age 5+ ...
  • If I Were an Animal. age 5+ ...
  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again. age 5+ ...
  • Molly of Denali. age 5+ Network: PBS Kids (2019) ...
  • My World Kitchen. age 5+ Network: Xfinity, CBeebies (2018) ...
  • Nature Cat. age 5+ Network: PBS Kids (2015)

What shows are not good for toddlers? ›

Some animations such as Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad, South Park, and Beavis & Butthead, are examples of seemingly kid TV shows that actually send bad messages and are definitely not for children.

What's a good show for 4 year olds? ›

The 12 Best Toddler Shows to Stream
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
  • Bubble Guppies.
  • Bluey.
  • Blue's Clues & You.
  • Peg + Cat.
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
  • Dino Ranch.
  • Beat Bugs.
17 May 2022

Can TV be educational for toddlers? ›

New research shows that after watching an educational children's television program, toddlers can learn to count to five and read a simple map. Scaremongering about the negative effects of children's TV-watching is not new.

What cartoons are educational? ›

Ahead, we have gathered some of the best cartoons for kids aged five and up that parents will enjoy, too!
  • 11 Best cartoons for kids aged 5 and up. Sesame Street.
  • Tayo: the Little Bus.
  • Mister Roger's Neighbourhood.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood.
  • Word Girl.
  • Sid the Science Kid.
  • Nutri Ventures.
  • Arthur.
23 Apr 2020

What is a good educational show for a 2 year old? ›

Bubble Guppies

They sing songs about it, they play games about it, their teacher teaches a lesson about it, and so on. It's a terrific way to learn in-depth about one subject and still keep it interesting.

Is Peppa Pig Educational? ›

Her adventures show kids how to be kind, grateful, and more. One-on-one time with your kids is a great opportunity to foster their social and emotional skills. Luckily, Peppa Pig is here to help! From making friends to learning to share, Peppa knows just how to help preschoolers discover thoughtful — and fun!

What is a good educational show for 5 year olds? ›

  • Ask the Storybots. Courtesy of Netflix. ...
  • Julie's Greenroom. Courtesy of Netflix. ...
  • Odd Squad. Courtesy of PBS Kids. ...
  • Annedroids. Courtesy of Amazon. ...
  • Wild Kratts. Courtesy of PBS Kids. ...
  • Brainchild. Courtesy of Netflix. ...
  • Mythbusters. Courtesy of the Science Channel. ...
  • Horrible Histories.
22 Jul 2019

What are the best toddler shows for development? ›

Play the TV show Peppa Pig to improve your child's language skills. TV shows such as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Peep And The Big Wide World, and Bubble Guppies combine Math and entertainment. Children also learn empathy when watching shows such as Tumble Leaf.

Is watching Cocomelon good for toddlers? ›

Some experts think that viewing Cocomelon is absolutely fine for young children. Nicole Beurkens, a psychologist in Grand Rapids, finds Cocomelon stimulating but not overwhelming.

Why should I not let my child watch Cocomelon? ›

' This leads to 1) children experiencing symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, often leaving them dysregulated, and 2) a general discomfort with the speed of everyday life. The more children watch the show, the more the brain begins to expect that kind of stimulation.

What is the best show for a 3 year old? ›

8 TV shows to help your preschooler learn
  • Creative Galaxy, Amazon Prime, 3+ ...
  • Curious George, PBS Kids, 3+ ...
  • Daniel Tiger, PBS Kids, 3+ ...
  • Peg + Cat, PBS Kids, 3+ ...
  • Super Why, PBS Kids, 3+ ...
  • Tumble Leaf, Amazon Prime, 3+ ...
  • Wallykazam, Nick Jr., 3+ ...
  • Doc McStuffins, Disney Junior, 4+
8 Feb 2016

What age is Peppa Pig for? ›

While Peppa Pig is predominantly aimed at children aged 4 to 6 years, there is no upper age limit for who can watch Peppa Pig and it is enjoyed by people of all ages. Peppa Pig is suitable for family viewing and can be enjoyed by older children and parents alike.

What a 3 year old should watch? ›

Best Television Shows for Two- and Three-Year-Olds
  • Kipper (available on Sprout and Netflix)
  • Wonder Pets! ( available on Nick Jr. and Netflix)
  • Blue's Clues (available on Nick Jr. and Netflix)
  • Doc McStuffins (available on Disney Junior)
  • Curious George (available on PBS Kids and Netflix)
11 Mar 2013

What are 5 Advantages of television? ›

The 13 Benefits of Watching TV
  • Educational. TV has many educational benefits for children and adults. ...
  • Stay Current. TV is a source of news. ...
  • Get Cultured. TV can provide a cheap escape instead of travelling. ...
  • Crazy Fandoms are Fun. ...
  • Feel the Connection. ...
  • Family Bonding. ...
  • Learn a Language. ...
  • Mental Health.
11 Oct 2019

What age is Cocomelon for? ›

“In its core audience of 2-5 the average viewer watched each episode nearly three times in the fourth quarter alone,” according to Nielsen, information that will shock no parent of a 3-year-old. Parents are losing their minds.

Does watching TV help toddlers talk? ›

Watching television or videos – even programs billed as educational – does not help children under age 2 learn language. Babies and toddlers learn new words and develop language skills by listening and interacting with caring adults – real talk from real people, not TV or videos.

Which cartoon is best for 2 year old? ›

Best 9 Educational Cartoon Shows for Toddlers
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
  • Word Party.
  • Wild Kratts.
  • Sesame Street.
  • Super Why.
  • Sid the Science Kid.
  • Word Girl.
  • Ask the Storybots.

What show should my toddler watch? ›

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Aimed at preschoolers, this show is perfect for your 2-year-old. Your little one will learn important lessons about emotional intelligence alongside title character Daniel Tiger.

What should I look for in a toddler show? ›

Try these tips when picking your kid's "starter shows":
  • Look for shows with short episodes. ...
  • Pick shows that won't make you want to wear earplugs. ...
  • Think about pacing and tone. ...
  • Avoid ads. ...
  • Choose shows that promote messages and topics you care about.
7 May 2017

What Should toddlers be learning at 2? ›

By the age of 2, your toddler is talking, walking, climbing, jumping, running and bustling with energy. Your child now has a growing vocabulary and acquires new words on a regular basis. She/he can sort shapes and colours and may even show an interest in potty training.

Is Peppa a girl or boy? ›

There is an exception to this gloomy view of the ABC4Kids line-up - namely the popular Peppa Pig. Peppa is female. She is the star of the show and while she may be pink, her father and little brother are too.

What age is Bluey for? ›

Available to watch on Disney Plus in the US, Bluey is aimed at preschool children but I regularly watch it with both of my children, now aged 6 and 9.

Is Bluey good for toddlers? ›

For kids, Bluey is a great show about the joy and heartbreak of childhood. In 125 eight-minute episodes across three seasons, Bluey and Bingo, two sweet little dogs, play and go to school and cause trouble. The games they invent and the lessons they learn are easily portable to kids at home.

What is the best educational program for kids? ›

The 7 Best Educational Apps for Kids in 2022
  • Best Overall: Khan Academy.
  • Best for Toddlers: Busy Shapes.
  • Best for Preschoolers: ABCmouse.com.
  • Best for Elementary School Kids: Prodigy.
  • Best for Tweens: Google Arts and Culture.
  • Best for Teens: Quizlet.
  • Best for Teaching Kids Coding: Hopscotch.
20 Jun 2022

How much educational TV should a toddler watch? ›

Toddlers 18 months to 24 months old can start to enjoy some screen time with a parent or caregiver. Children this age can learn when an adult is there to reinforce lessons. By ages 2 and 3, it's OK for kids to watch up to 1 hour a day of high-quality educational programming.

What is a good bedtime show for toddlers? ›

Episodes of Bedtime Stories With Netflix Jr.

Chip & Potato: Mystery Before Sleeptime – Chip and Potato go on a nighttime adventure to find Spud's missing Zinger jewel. Super Monsters: Lobo's First Sleepover – Lobo has his first-ever sleepover with Frankie.

What is dramatic play for toddlers? ›

What is dramatic play? It's the kind of play where kids take on roles and act them out as a way of exploring themselves and their surroundings. By pretending to be someone—or something—else, children can learn new ways to express themselves, share thoughts and ideas, and even get in touch with their feelings.

Does TV help children's development? ›

Watching television with your child and elaborating and commenting on what is viewed can help enhance their understanding of the content, reinforcing their learning during educational programs.

Why do kids go crazy for CoComelon? ›

According to Sannes, “Cocomelon is so hyper-stimulating that it acts as a drug, a stimulant. The brain receives a hit of dopamine from screen-time, and it seems that the stronger the 'drug' (aka the level of stimulation a show delivers), the stronger the 'hit'.”

What age is Paw Patrol for? ›

The movie is rating G. To be honest, did you really expect the PAW Patrol age rating to be anything different? A G rating means that it is suitable for all ages. While technically it will be for ages five and up, the majority of children under five will be able to see it without parents watching it at the same time.

What is better for kids than CoComelon? ›

Winner of multiple accolades, including a Peabody Award and four Emmys, Classical Baby is a far more relaxed alternative to CoComelon, and helps introduce young children to classic musical arrangements by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and other classical composers.

Why are parents canceling CoComelon? ›

CoComelon is causing tantrums in children

It's over stimulating which can delay a lot of developmental milestones," one mum claimed. Another mum shared on Reddit that her little one was so addicted to CoComelon, she would tantrum to the point of harming herself when she wasn't allowed to watch it.

Is CoComelon causing speech delay? ›

There is also no proof the show causes tantrums or speech delays.

Is Disney good for a 3 year old? ›

Three year olds can do most of the rides at Disney minus a few roller coasters and steep drop rides. 3 year olds can also meet characters, enjoy shows, watch parades and fireworks and eat lots of Mickey Shaped Snacks!

What TV shows do 3 year olds watch UK? ›

Here, we round up eight toddler TV shows that are entertaining and educational.
  • Bing. ...
  • Peppa Pig. ...
  • The Octonauts. ...
  • Bluey. ...
  • Hey Duggee. ...
  • Blue's Clues and You. ...
  • Little Princess. ...
  • In The Night Garden.
5 Sept 2022

Is Clifford a good show for toddlers? ›

Designed for children ages 3-7, this animated series is based on the books of the same name. Clifford the Big Red Dog uses storytelling to present universal social and emotional messages to young children.

What age is Daddy Pig? ›

How old is Daddy Pig? The age of Daddy Pig is not really clear, but is believed to be 30 years old. However, in the episode “Daddy's Pigs Birthday”, Peppa refers to him as “very very old”, despite having only 13 candles on the birthday cake.

How old is Chloe pig in Peppa Pig? ›

Chloé appears to be around nine years old and acts like a grown up. She will only accept playing "baby games" if someone younger like George wanted to do them. She gets along with her cousins and has two best friends, Belinda Bear and Simon Squirrel.

Is Peppa Pig 17 years old? ›

Peppa Pig is a 4 years old loveable pig which leaves with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and her little brother George.

What age is a toddler? ›

Toddlers (2-3 years of age)

Is Paw Patrol OK for toddlers? ›

According to one expert, the popular animated series could be beneficial to your child's development. According to childhood development expert Maureen Healy, it's the show's predictability that makes kids feel safe and supported.

What age can watch Shrek? ›

I will say, though, that despite the fact that it is an outstanding work of art, it does have some edgy humor and language, and it definitely deserves the PG rating, but I think it is okay for kids who are 6 or 7 years old at the youngest if they watch with a parent.

What do you mean by educational television? ›

1. : television that provides instruction especially for students.

What are the examples of educational media? ›

Educational media services include school library services except School Librarians' salaries and fringe benefits), audiovisual services, educational television services, and computer assisted instruction services.

What is educational TV channel? ›

The SWAYAM PRABHA is a group of 34 DTH channels devoted to telecasting of high-quality educational programmes on 24X7 basis using the GSAT-15 satellite.

What is the most educational TV channel? ›

Educational TV Channels
  • Discovery Channel. ...
  • History Channel. ...
  • Baby TV. ...
  • Sony Yay. ...
  • Animal Planet. ...
  • 10 Popular Fairy Tale Stories for Kids.
  • 25 Best Out of Waste Material Craft Ideas for Kids.
  • 12 Innovative Apple Crafts And Activities For Toddlers, Preschoolers and Kids.

Is TV a good educational tool? ›

Television is a great way to open your child's mind to a variety of things and help them learn about topics they may not be exposed to at school. On the other hand, television can reinforce what children learn in school and provide a supplementary method to teaching children about important subjects.

How does TV affect children's education? ›

Television's effects on education are long term – positive and negative. Studies have found the following: Children who watched exclusively educational TV as preschoolers had higher grades, less aggression, and placed more value on academics than those who watched all kinds of TV.

What is media give 5 examples? ›

Modern media comes in many different formats, including print media (books, magazines, newspapers), television, movies, video games, music, cell phones, various kinds of software, and the Internet. Each type of media involves both content, and also a device or object through which that content is delivered.

What are the 3 types of educational media? ›

Educational media refers to channels of communication that carry messages with an instructional purpose. They are usually utilised for the sole purpose of learning and teaching (Webcrawler, 2013). There are different ways to classify media. Print media, non-print media, and electronic media.

What are three best examples of media? ›

The three types of media are commonly known as news media, social media, and web media, but you might also see them referred to as earned media, shared media, and owned media. Some other forms of modern media are print media, television, movies, and video games.

Does Netflix have educational shows? ›

Education for Kids
  • Little Angel.
  • CoComelon.
  • Gabby's Dollhouse.
  • Word Party.
  • Blippi.
  • Barney and Friends.
  • Numberblocks.
  • The Magic School Bus.

Which kids channel is best for kids? ›

Here are a few channels to tune in to for your kid to enjoy.
  • Pogo. ...
  • Nickelodeon. ...
  • Discovery Kids. ...
  • Disney Junior. ...
  • Nick Jr. ...
  • Baby tv. ...
  • Hungama. It is an Indian-based channel that airs popular shows like Doraemon, Shin Chan and Perman. ...
  • Animax. Animax is an option if your kid is 10 years or older.
25 Apr 2022

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